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Unemployment assistance extended for Ohioans under new federal relief package

President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package Thursday, including extended unemployment assistance and $1,400 direct payments for most Americans.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is preparing to implement the pandemic unemployment provisions of the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed yesterday.

“As soon as we receive the needed guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, we will prioritize the required programming so we can continue assisting those in need,” ODJFS Interim Director Matt Damschroder said. “We are committed to providing as seamless a transition as possible to those receiving benefits through these programs.”

All of the unemployment programs and benefits in traditional unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have been extended until Sept. 4, 2021.

Highlights of the third federal package include:
• Additional weeks of traditional unemployment extensions, from 24 weeks to up to 53 weeks;
• Additional weeks of PUA, from 50 weeks to up to 79 weeks;
• Continuation of the $300 supplemental payment for all qualifying weeks of unemployment;
• Continuation of the Mixed-Earner Unemployment Compensation program;
• Federal funding of traditional unemployment benefits to help defray the costs to reimbursing employers (governmental and nonprofit employers) will increase from 50 to 75%;
• Continuation of full federal funding of Ohio’s premier layoff aversion program, SharedWork Ohio;
• Full federal funding (up from 50% funding) of the first week of unemployment benefits;
• Additional funding for states to combat fraud, waste, and abuse in the unemployment programs;
• Waiver of interest for states with unemployment Trust Fund advances.
Additionally, beginning for tax year 2020, individuals who legitimately received unemployment benefits will not be taxed federally for the first $10,200 in benefits.

The agency also will soon post updates with target implementation dates at jfs.ohio.gov/caa.