Ohioans can start pre-registering for new federal unemployment programs Friday


PUA is a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers

Unemployment Benefits_93046

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on Friday.

PUA is a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced.

The program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who historically have not qualified for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, part-time workers and those who lack sufficient work history.

Individuals who have exhausted all regular unemployment and any weekly extensions also may be eligible for the program.

To pre-register for PUA benefits, visit unemployment.ohio.gov and click “Get Started Now.” The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25. The pre-registration tool will allow individuals to get in line early and pre-register their account, so that as soon as the agency has the technical ability to process their claims in May, they can log in and complete their paperwork.

For those eligible, PUA benefits will be retroactive to the date they qualified, as early as Feb. 2, ODJFS said.

Anyone with questions should call 833-604-0774.

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