Unemployed Ohioans wait, and wait, for checks from state

Nearly 700,000 people filed for unemployment in the past three weeks, the state Department of Job and Family Services said Thursday, almost double the 364,603 claims filed in all of 2019.

Posted: Apr 12, 2020 9:30 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — As Ohio fields record unemployment claims, many workers out of a job find themselves scrambling to make ends meet as they wait days or weeks for their claim to be processed and checks to be issued.

Nearly 700,000 people filed for unemployment in the past three weeks, the state Department of Job and Family Services said Thursday, almost double the 364,603 claims filed in all of 2019.

The 226,007 claims filed for the week ending April 4 marked the second consecutive week that claims topped 200,000.

Ohio has paid more than $124 million so far to more than 195,000 people with claims.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says hundreds have been added to the state call center to handle all the inquires, but he has repeatedly asked people to be patient.

People will receive checks for work lost from the day they were laid off, regardless of how long it takes to process the claim, he promised.

“We hear you. And we are acting. And we will get the benefits to you that you have earned,” Husted said Friday.

In Newark in central Ohio, information technology worker Stephen Kelty had a job offer on the table that was then rescinded because of the pandemic.

That made him eligible for unemployment insurance, and he endured hours of waiting before he spoke to someone about his claim.

Now, a week has passed without any updates. He and his husband, a psychotherapist currently working from home, have three children and are relying on his husband’s salary.

But they are also without health insurance, since that was to come from Kelty’s new job.

They are saving money by not driving or going out to eat, and have deferred student loans and mortgage payments.

They have also canceled streaming services just when they would come in handiest.

Kelty, 42, believes the state is doing everything it can, but says it’s also telling that many times when he calls, “most of the time their system can’t put you into a queue to wait to be able to talk to somebody.”

People laid off before the pandemic are also feeling the pinch of the backlog.

Carrie Barth, 29, of Marietta in southeastern Ohio, lost her job as an administrative assistant at an accounting firm in February.

Weeks later, she is still struggling to get information on the status of her claim.

She couldn’t find someone to tell her whether she was required to look for work to receive unemployment checks since her layoff came before COVID-19 hit.

She is not, said Bret Crow, a Job and Family Services spokesman.

“There are no work search requirements for anyone right now during the pandemic,” Crow said in an email to The Associated Press.

As of Saturday, 6,250 people in Ohio have tested positive for the virus, and 247 have died, the state health department reported.

Ten Ohio prisons are under full quarantines, with 38 inmates and 74 employees having tested positive. One prison guard died.

Other coronavirus developments:

Special Olympics Ohio announced Friday it had canceled its Summer Games, scheduled for late June at Ohio State University in Columbus. The organization said it was suspending all activities through July 6.

The ACLU of Ohio has sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on behalf of vulnerable immigrants who are medically at risk of being infected by COVID-19 at the Geauga and Seneca county jails.

The Wayne County Health Department said Friday that a nursing home in Wooster accounts for more than half the 37 people infected with COVID-19 and all five coronavirus-related deaths in the county, The Daily Record reported.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in Columbus said Saturday that two inmates at a corrections facility in Jackson Pike have tested positive for the irus and have been placed together in a “negative air flow” cell.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1106796

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284601459
Cuyahoga1155792204
Hamilton812751245
Montgomery524631040
Summit48327999
Lucas43289817
Butler38886603
Stark33275929
Lorain25631502
Warren24554303
Mahoning22327601
Lake21133385
Clermont20095252
Delaware18815135
Licking16643222
Fairfield16552204
Trumbull16520479
Medina15592270
Greene15246246
Clark14216306
Wood13276197
Portage13226214
Allen11904239
Richland11596211
Miami10832223
Wayne9112222
Columbiana9016230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8646122
Marion8633138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8049164
Ashtabula7136179
Hancock6995131
Ross6932161
Geauga6831150
Scioto6525104
Belmont6148174
Union583549
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5433125
Darke5414129
Seneca5342126
Washington5307109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443665
Ashland435097
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4031110
Brown401861
Logan387177
Preble3847103
Clinton378166
Ottawa372581
Highland359165
Williams347578
Champaign343558
Guernsey324153
Jackson317254
Perry297150
Morrow291240
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2697101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220062
Carroll196648
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135739
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
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Huntington
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Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Clear
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Feels Like: 62°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
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Feels Like: 66°
Mostly sunny skies dominate on Monday. A weak cold front may cause a handful of showers to pop up after noon.
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