COLUMBUS, Ohio — Unemployed Ohioans who do not meet the criteria for regular jobless benefits can start pre-registering for a new federal program on Friday, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS).

ODJFS said Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is authorized by the CARES Act. To apply, click here and then click on "Get Started Now".

ODJFS said PUA benefits will be similar to regular unemployment benefits plus an additional $600 per week through July 25.

By pre-registering, ODJFS said people can get in line early so as soon as the agency has the ability to process claims in May, they can complete the paperwork.

ODJFS said in a statement:

For those eligible, PUA benefits will be retroactive to the date they qualified, as early as February 2. 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. Anyone with questions should call (833) 604-0774.

The agency also said that Ohioans already claiming unemployment benefits started receiving $600 weekly supplements as part of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which will be available through July 25.

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