Filing for Ohio Unemployment Benefits

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is the state agency responsible for determining eligibility and compensation for Ohio unemployment benefits. The purpose of the unemployment benefit is to offer financial protection during a job loss to guard against economic insecurity. A worker’s employer pays the unemployment insurance benefit to the state, and there are no deductions taken from a worker’s wage to pay for this benefit. To pay out this benefit, state regulations determine who is eligible, amount and duration of benefit payments.


Determining eligibility requires that you are unemployed at the time you file the initial claim, that you did not quit your job causing your own unemployment and that you were not discharged from your employer for just cause. The state has strict guidelines for eligibility, and by law, your employer must prove that you were discharged for just cause in order for you to be ineligible for benefits. You must have worked a minimum of 20 weeks and earned enough money in the claim base period to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Filing an Initial Claim

You may file your initial claim online at unemployment.ohio.gov, by phone at 1-877-644-6562 Monday through Friday or by visiting your local One-Stop center. An ODJFS representative will ask several questions in order to process your claim. Once your eligibility is determined, you will receive paperwork with important benefit information. You may choose direct deposit and agree to receive all notices electronically. The direct-deposit option allows you to receive your benefit payments weekly. If you do not choose direct deposit, the State of Ohio will issue a Visa debit card for payments.

Filing Weekly Claims

The benefit week begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday, and you may file weekly claims online or by phone anytime beginning on Sunday for the prior week. You must be available for work and actively seeking work, and you must report all earned income to remain eligible for benefits. You must answer all questions honestly as they will become part of your permanent record. There are serious penalties for unemployment fraud.

There are over 15 ODJFS processing centers in the State of Ohio to assist you with Ohio unemployment benefits. Being without a job can be devastating financially and emotionally, and finding suitable employment as quickly as possible is the goal. The Ohio unemployment insurance benefit provides an economical safety net to help you rebuild your life.

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