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COVID-19 Financial Assistance Programs

The coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency has created uncertainty regarding unemployment, loss of benefits, and other assistance programs. Here are some resources and information that could be beneficial for family members, direct support professionals (DSPs), and agency providers. 

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Benefits that could be available to you:

  • Unemployment
    • Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits
      • If a person removes themselves from employment, as opposed to an employer or medical professional, they would not be eligible for benefits. Cases are fact-specific and thee Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) makes the final determination.
      • Unemployment benefits are available only if you are unemployed. Employees on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) assistance through their employer are not considered unemployed.
    • Unemployment How-To Videos
    • Ohio has two ways to apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits: 
      • Online
        • File online at unemployment.ohio.gov, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Service may be limited during nightly system updating. Check the website for available services. Please be sure to follow the instructions. If you do not have access to a computer, visit your local library where computers are available for public use. Please note that your local library may be closed or have reduced hours due to COVID-19. Learn more about public Wi-Fi hotspots.
      • Telephone
        • Call toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408 (excluding holidays). 
        • Extended Call Center Hours: Agents are available to assist with PIN resets and take initial applications:
          • Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM
          • Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
          • Sunday 9 AM to 1 PM
        • For any other calls, regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM.

If you or a loved one is underemployed or is seeking employment:

  • SharedWork Ohio
    • This is a voluntary layoff aversion program that allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business activity. The participating employee works a reduced number of hours each week, and ODJFS provides eligible people with unemployment insurance benefits proportionate to their reduced hours.
  • Office of Workforce Development
    • The Office of Workforce Development (OWD) offers a variety of services, provided by the county, state, and various partners to people seeking employment.
  • Ohio.gov Assistance Programs
    • Ohio offers assistance programs to help low-income Ohioans meet their basic needs.
    • Programs include Medicaid, food and cash assistance, publicly funded childcare, and more.
  • Ohio Benefits
    • People can apply through Ohio Benefits for many of the programs previously mentioned, but also for
      • special needs assistance,
      • long-term services and supports,
      • housing and utilities,
      • and mental health and addiction services.

Federal Programs

  • Paycheck Protection Program
    • This is a program through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    • This program is a loan designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the state of emergency.
    • These loans will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • Federal Stimulus Check – Economic Impact Payment Information Center
    • For most taxpayers, payments are automatic, and no further action is needed. This includes taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.
    • For those eligible, payments will be made by direct deposit. 
    • It is important to know that if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, you should consider providing this information to the IRS on its website.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
  • COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered with its stakeholders to create a guide that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the state of emergency.

Other Assistance Programs

Updated April 30*

This list is not all-inclusive.*

  • Inquire with local organizations that may offer food or financial assistance:
    • churches,
    • schools,
      • Schools are able to continue meal programs.
    • community centers,
    • YMCA,
    • and community shelters
  • Fundera Small Business Grants
    • This resource includes a list of small business grants from government entities and other businesses.
  • Salesforce Care Small Business Grants
    • Salesforce and Ureeka have partnered together to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Financial Resilience Center
    • The National Disability Institute offers resources and assistance to help people with disabilities and chronic health conditions navigate financially through the COVID-19 pandemic. The available resources and assistance are broken into six groups: COVID-19 Stimulus, Employment and Unemployment, Public Benefits, Managing Money, Housing Food and Healthcare, and Scams.
  • Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program

    • Provide grants to help businesses owned and operated by minorities and women in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses can apply for grants of $10,000 on first-come, first-served basis.