ODJFS Changes Policies To
Assist Dislocated Workers
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) recently
amended trade assistance and unemployment compensation benefit
eligibility policies to include clearer definitions of "lack of
work." By broadening the definition of lack of work, workers
accepting buyouts offered under voluntary workforce reduction
programs could be eligible for trade unemployment benefits.
"We are committed to ensuring that Ohio workers are equipped
with all available resources to assist them in a quick transition
back into the workforce," Helen Jones-Kelley, ODJFS Director said.
"As companies introduce innovative streamlining programs we must
make sure our policies address those changes so workers who are
dislocated due to a lack of work are eligible for the programs
intended to help them."
Under previous policy, some workers who voluntarily accepted
employer-approved separation plans were viewed as choosing to leave
and not considered eligible for trade benefits. In the new policy,
effective May 17, 2007, lack of work now includes any job loss,
including retirements, occurring as the result of an employer
approved staff reduction effort due to lack of work. Adversely
affected workers must still meet other eligibility requirements to
receive trade or unemployment benefits. The change in policy comes
in response to the employer approved separation plan accepted by
numerous Delphi/GM autoworkers last year as part of a major
workforce reduction effort in the auto industry.
The federally-funded Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program
provides additional benefits to individuals whose jobs have been
lost as a result of foreign trade as determined by the U.S.
Department of Labor. These benefits include training allowances,
job search assistance and relocation expense reimbursement. Other
trade assistance which may be available include extended
unemployment benefits, also known as Trade Readjustment Allowances
(TRA), and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, a wage
supplement for workers over age 50 who become re-employed within 26
weeks of separation.
Unemployment compensation benefits provide temporary and partial
wage replacement to eligible workers who have become unemployed
through no fault of their own. Ohio employers fund the unemployment
compensation benefits system through insurance taxes paid into the
Ohio Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. More than $1 billion in
unemployment benefits were paid to Ohio workers during the past
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For more information, contact ODJFS Communications, (614)