Qualifying for unemployment benefits in Ohio generally requires
- Losing your job without just cause,
- Working for a company or agency that pays into the state unemployment insurance program,
- Working at least half-time for the preceding 18 months,
- Submitting an initial application with the state’s Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), and
- Filing weekly applications for payments to direct deposit or debit card account while continuing to look for a new job.
Certain exemptions apply in specific cases, and you can consult with a Columbus employment benefits attorney to discuss whether you are eligible for receiving benefits even if you do not meet all of the listed criteria.
What to Do if Unemployment Benefits Get Denied
While everything about receiving unemployment benefits seems straightforward, it often becomes necessary to seek advice and representation from an unemployment benefits lawyer in Columbus or elsewhere. The biggest sticking point is that both the ODJFS and an applicant’s employer can contest the reason given for losing one’s job.
People who voluntarily quit their jobs or who get fired for what ODJFS calls “misconduct” generally have their unemployment applications rejected automatically. When an employer steps in after the ODJFS has already approved unemployment benefits, the agency can cancel weekly payments and request reimbursement.
An applicant has 21 days to appeal an application rejection or benefits revocation. The unemployment office then schedules an administrative hearing at which the applicant can present evidence like a termination letter or testimony from a co-worker who witnessed the firing.
If the administrative hearing officer upholds the decision to deny or revoke unemployment benefits, the applicant can pursue a further appeal by filing a lawsuit with the nearest state Court of Common Pleas. At no point during the application or appeals process can a person be denied access to an unemployment attorney.
How Unemployment and Wrongful Termination Are Related
Many of the unemployment appeals that Coffman Legal handles involve Columbus and Franklin County residents who lost their jobs due to discrimination or in retaliation for reporting problems related to discrimination, illegal pay practices, or safety. Employers will tell the unemployment office that these individuals did their work poorly, missed shifts without permission, or mistreated co-workers. What the employers are really doing is providing excuses for violating their former employees’ rights.
If you think you could qualify for such unemployment benefits compensation, call Coffman Legal at (614) 949-1181 or connect with us online to set up a free, no-pressure appointment with a Columbus-based unemployment and wrongful termination attorney.