Ohio approved for $300 weekly payment


By Staff Report

Unemployed individuals in Ohio will once again be receiving a federal bonus on top of their state unemployment benefits.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced Thursday during his and Governor Mike DeWine’s twice-weekly press conference that the state had applied and been approved by the federal government for the unemployment bonus.

The bonus which was crafted by President Donald Trump following stalled negotiations between Republicans and Democrats was originally intended to provide a $400 weekly bonus, with states providing a 25 percent match, $100 of the total funds.

As previously reported, DeWine soon after Trump’s announcement went on CNN telling the host that many states like Ohio would be forced to turn down the funds if that match was required as his state was facing fiscal shortfalls.

Trump quickly changed course, saying that states that couldn’t afford the matching portion could still act as a pass-through for the $300 federal unemployment bonus.

Only three states, Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia are providing matching funds, with recipients to receive the entire $400 original payment.

According to Bret Crow, Communications Director for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the state applied on Monday and received word late Wednesday night that the state’s request had been approved.

Even with formal approval, the state awaits the actual transfer of funds in the amount of $717 million to be received.

The money will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.

Even as the state awaits the transfer of funds, the actual software and procedural adjustments will take many more weeks to implement.

Gov. DeWine said Tuesday to not expect the bonus payments until at least mid to late September.

Payments will be retroactive to Aug. 1, however, it is currently unclear if the week ending Saturday, Aug. 1 will also be available for payment as the previous federal $600 weekly bonus ended on July 25, with final bonuses received the following week.

This was due to a legislative error on the behalf of the U.S. Congress who had the bonus ending on Friday, July 31, without taking into account states factor unemployment eligibility on calendar weeks Sunday through Saturday.

As Ohioans await those payments, Muskingum County has seen the lowest initial unemployment claims since the pandemic began, with total unemployment for the county at its lowest since before the state-ordered shutdowns began.

For the week ending Saturday, August 22, the county had 129 initial claims and 1,838 continued claims, for a total of 1,967 unemployment claims.

Muskingum County is arguably better insulated from the economic effects of a recession as a larger percentage of its workforce works in the healthcare industry.

Its manufacturing & distribution sectors have seen an increased need for additional space resulting in both Dollar General and Kellogg’s planning expansions in the near future.