The state of Ohio has not been denying anyone jobless benefits for COVID-19 related reasons, such as concerns about contracting coronavirus on the job or being ordered to quarantine. But that is changing for people who can’t find child care.
Nearly 33,000 people filed for unemployment in the last week, bringing the total to well above 1.3 million jobless claims. More than $4.1 billion in jobless benefits have been paid out – more than has ever been paid out in a year.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kim Hall said an executive order allows for benefits to continue for people who can’t telework and are in a high risk category, are over 65, those who have evidence of a health or safety violation by their employer, and those who have proof that they had to quarantine or are caring for a family member with COVID-19.
But she adds: “Refusing to return to work because of a child care issue was not included in the executive order.”
The refusal is appealable.
And Hall said those workers can apply for the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program for people who don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits. Ohio has paid out more than $2.1 billion in federal pandemic unemployment assistance to over 262,000 people who don't qualify for traditional unemployment.
Child care facilities were allowed to reopen May 31, but with limits on total number of kids and strict rules on health.