Unemployment Compensation: You Must Make Even More to Qualify in 2006

December 22, 2005
   

An Ohio minimum-wage worker who works 37 hours a week every week during 2006 will not qualify for unemployment compensation. That will be the result of the eligibility requirements for 2006 released recently by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. Under a formula that ties eligibility to the state average weekly wage, workers will have to average at least $193 a week over a minimum of 20 weeks, up from $186 this year.

Ohio’s earnings test is among the highest of any state in the country. It means that a worker may earn as much as $10,000 next year and not be eligible for benefits.

A study released last year by National Employment Law Project and Policy Matters Ohio examined what would happen if Ohio’s requirements were changed so that those making at least $100 a week for 20 weeks would qualify for benefits. It found that an additional 352,000 individuals, or 6.8 percent of the state’s workforce, would potentially be eligible should they become unemployed (a copy of the study is available at http://www.policymattersohio.org/ucompohio.htm).

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