There are some changes coming related to unemployment benefits for independent contractors and self employed individuals. Until recently, the information we were getting was that independent contractors / self-employed’s were not eligible for Ohio unemployment since they did not pay unemployment tax to the state. However, per the information at the link below, it looks as though independent contractors will be able to take advantage of the new unemployment laws. 

Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) FAQ Page

Here are a few key items from the FAQ page that we wanted to point out:

Question 12:  When will independent contractors be able to take advantage of the new unemployment laws? My finance is a hair stylist who works for herself and hasn’t been able to collect any money in 3+ weeks.

Answer: The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, and some other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment benefits. The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600. The program’s effective date is Jan. 27 through Dec. 31.

This is a new program, which we look forward to implementing. Like other states, Ohio is waiting for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to operationalize it. Once it is up and running, retroactive benefits will be provided. We will share more information as soon as we have it.

Question 14:  I am a manager at a hair salon and fortunately have signed up for unemployment but some of my girls don’t meet the $269 per week qualification. What are their other options?

Answer: The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, creates a new program that provides benefits to individuals who historically have not qualified for unemployment compensation. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program authorizes benefits for individuals who have been partially or totally unemployed due to COVID-19. The benefit amount will be similar to traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600. This new program is being built. Once it is up and running, benefits for eligible individuals will be retroactive to Jan. 27, for a period of up to 39 weeks.