Job & Family Services Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations
Pandemic Unemployment Program Updates

The federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed on March 11, 2021, extends many of the pandemic unemployment programs and benefits created by the federal CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. For summaries and implementation updates, please see below. For frequently asked questions regarding these programs, please visit unemployment.ohio.govClick here to view an infographic overview of the federal pandemic unemployment programs.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The PUA program supports self-employed individuals, independent contractors and others who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits. Individuals not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits may be eligible for PUA. This includes those whose earnings in their previous wages averaged less than $280 per week. Click here to view the full list of circumstances in which individuals may be eligible. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 makes it possible to receive PUA for up to 79 weeks through September 4, 2021. Previously, it was possible to receive PUA for up to 50 weeks.

Update:  Programming to make the additional 29 weeks of PUA available to all eligible claimants is now complete. Individuals were notified via email when the additional weeks were added to their accounts.   

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – 3 New Groups

PUA applicants are required to self-certify that they meet a COVID-19-related reason for their unemployment. The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued guidance expanding PUA eligibility to the three groups of people listed below:

  • Those previously receiving traditional unemployment benefits who refuse to return to work or refuse an offer of work because the workplace is not in compliance with local, state, or national health and safety standards directly related to COVID-19.
  • Those who provide services to an educational institution or educational service agency and are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • Those who are laid off or had their work hours reduced as a direct result of COVID-19.

Update: Individuals filing new applications for PUA benefits may now select the expanded reasons above when they apply for PUA benefits.  

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

PEUC benefits are extension of traditional unemployment benefits. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 makes it possible to receive PEUC for up to 53 weeks through September 4, 2021.

Update: The additional weeks of PEUC are now available to eligible claimants. 

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

FPUC provides an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants in multiple programs, including but not limited to those receiving traditional unemployment benefits, PEUC, SharedWork Ohio, and PUA. This supplement is available in Ohio through the week ending June 26, 2021. However, if your claim is under appeal or pending approval, you may be eligible for retroactive payments.  

Employer Benefits

The most recent federal legislation continues the following:

  • Extends full federal funding for Ohio’s SharedWork program.
  • Authorizes 75% credits to reimbursing employers for traditional unemployment benefit charges.
  • Authorizes full federal funding of the first week of traditional unemployment benefits, instead of 50%.
  • Extends the waiver of interest to states whose Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds require federal borrowing.

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program for eligible traditional unemployment claimants who also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment wages during the taxable year immediately before their approved unemployment application. The program provides a supplemental benefit of $100 per week, in addition to the FPUC supplement, for qualifying weeks of unemployment claimed after December 26, 2020. Because this program is authorized under the same federal law section as FPUC, all applications for MEUC must be submitted by June 26. Applications may be submitted by email to jfs.ui_respond@jfs.ohio.gov or by mail at P.O. Box 182212, Columbus, Ohio 43218. Pending MEUC claims may be reviewed, processed and, if eligible, paid after June 26.

Last Updated: June 14, 2021   

American Rescue Plan Act / Consolidated Appropriations Act
ProgramDate of EnactmentDate of DOL GuidanceDate of Production
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Up to 53 weeks
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Up to 79 weeks, including 50 + 29 additional
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • 3 new groups
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • $300 supplement
  • Traditional Unemployment: 03/22/2021
  • PEUC: 03/22/2021
  • Additional 29 weeks of PUA: 04/09/2021
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)12/27/202001/05/2021
  • Automation: TBD
  • Paper application: ongoing

Last Updated: June 28, 2021