Since the pandemic began in March, Ohio paid 821,000 regular unemployment claims and 608,000 for federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to people who don’t normally qualify for jobless benefits. At times, filers have experienced frustration over not being able to file or get questions answered. But leaders of the state agency that handles unemployment says changes are being made to make it more user friendly.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kim Hall says the agency has added more employees to help unemployed Ohioans.
“We recently added 300 call center agents and adjudicators to our team to help with the historic volume of calls and claims and we are in the process of bringing on 300 more," Hall says.
Hall says more than 4,000 Ohioans have used the new service that allows them to text weekly claims to the department. A law signed earlier this month would allow Ohio Auditor Keith Faber to review the unemployment application system and recommend changes to the process. Hall says her agency is cooperating with those efforts to further improve services for Ohioans.