Senate District 20
Tim Schaffer
COVID-19: Tips for Applying For Unemployment Benefits
April 23, 2020
Helping my constituents in Ohio’s 20th Senate district is my top priority, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. I asked the Administration for the following details to help Ohioans get their benefits. Please remember that we are in unprecedented times; staff at the Unemployment Office in Columbus are overwhelmed with callers--150,000 per week more than an average year. Patience and persistence pay off--be patient, but call persistently if you have not yet connected. The local Job & Family Services (JFS) offices (numbers below) have also been very helpful in navigating this process.

For unemployment benefits:
• To apply for unemployment, visit
• You may also call 1-877-OHIO-JOB (877-644-6562) 
      o Monday-Friday 7:00am–7:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am–5:00pm and Sundays 9:00am–1:00pm.
• Beginning April 26, JFS is asking Ohioans to file their weekly claims on a specified day of the week according to their last name.
      o Those with last names beginning with A through H should call on Sunday. o Those with I through P should call on Monday.
      o Those with Q through Z should call on Tuesday.
      o Wednesday through Saturday is left available for all callers to file a claim.
• If your claim shows as “pending”, that means it is still being processed.
• If your claim is allowed but your weeks are showing as “denied”, call the number above again.
      o If your application for benefits was “denied” in error, you may file an appeal. Please read your determination letter for instructions on how to file an appeal.

For independent contractor “1099” benefits:
• Visit
• You may also call 1-877-OHIO-JOB (877-644-6562)
      o Monday-Friday 7:00am–7:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am–5:00pm and Sundays 9:00am–1:00pm.

If you are still having trouble getting through the application process, you may call your local JFS office:

Fairfield County - 740-652-7685
Hocking County - 855-726-5237
Pickaway County - 740-474-7588
Athens County - 740-797-2523
Morgan County - 740-962-4616
Muskingum County - 740-454-0161
Guernsey County - 740-432-2381

According to the Administration, claims are processed on a case-by-case basis. All eligible claims will be paid retroactively and delays will not affect the total amount of the payments. If you still are having problems, please contact me at 614-466-8076 or Please remember that staff and members of the senate are all required to work from home, and we will call you back as soon as we can.
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