Ohio Restores Unemployment Benefits Weekly Work-Search Requirement

Beginning the week of May 23, Ohioans will be required to resume weekly work-search activities as part of future applications for unemployment payments, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Interim Director Matt Damschroder announced today.

“Now that Ohioans have had the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and can safely return to work, it only makes sense that we restore work-search requirements for everyone,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

“Ohio business owners are creating jobs faster than people are returning to the workforce,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Now that all Ohio adults have access to the vaccine, it’s time to return to the traditional work requirements.”

At the height of the pandemic from mid-March through Dec. 1, 2020, the federal government authorized states to waive work-search requirements. On Dec. 6, ODJFS resumed the work-search requirement for new unemployment claims, while exempting existing claims.

Allowable work-search activities include applying for a job, attending a resume-writing course, or creating and maintaining a reemployment plan on OhioMeansJobs.com [ https://ohiomeansjobs.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/omj/ ]. Under Ohio law, some individuals will be exempt from conducting work-search activities, including employees on a temporary layoff of 45 days or less, and individuals in approved training. Additionally, individuals will meet their weekly work-search requirement if they are members in good standing with a union hiring hall that refers its members to jobs. For those in approved school or training, their work-search requirement may be considered met if they are attending all classes and making satisfactory progress.

ODJFS will notify unemployed Ohioans impacted by this change directly, to allow plenty of time to understand the requirements and begin their process of weekly work-search activities.