COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is offering extended unemployment benefits to people who have exhausted their claims, according to a statement from the agency.

The 20 weeks of extended benefits will be available to Ohioans who have exhausted their 26 weeks of traditional unemployment, and 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, according to ODJFS.

“We will soon begin notifying individuals who may qualify for this additional assistance to instruct them how to apply,” ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said in a statement.

“Although high unemployment rates are never welcome news, we are happy that we can offer this extra support for Ohioans who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are having difficulty finding work.”

If workers exhaust the extended benefits, they may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was created by the Federal CARES Act, according to ODJFS. The program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment for people who normally would not qualify for unemployment.

There have been 1.4 million new unemployment claims in Ohio in the last 15 weeks, more than total number of new unemployment filings in the last three years, according to ODJFS.

For the week ending in June 27, there were 2,950 continuing unemployment claims in Ashtabula County, and 264 new claims, according to ODJFS. That is still well above the number of unemployment claims from before the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak. In the week ending in March 14, there were 724 continuing claims and 57 new claims, according to ODJFS.

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