Can You Collect Unemployment If You Get Severance in Ohio?
If you are laid off from work, your employer might offer you severance pay. Typically, severance pay is part of a termination package or even included in your initial employment contract. Navigating severance pay can be challenging, especially when considering how it interacts with unemployment benefits.
As of July 2023, Ohio boasts a relatively low unemployment rate as of July 2023 at 3.4%. However, concerns about severance pay and unemployment benefits persist, regardless of whether you anticipate a job loss in the near future.
Below, we address common questions about severance and unemployment benefits in Ohio.
Can You Collect Unemployment If You Get Severance in Ohio?
In most situations, you can claim unemployment even if you’ve been given severance pay in Ohio. It’s crucial to understand that in some circumstances, severance pay is considered deductible income. This means if your employer allocates the severance to a specific week or weeks following your separation, it might be deducted from your unemployment benefits.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), responsible for Ohio’s unemployment insurance program, will decide if your severance pay qualifies as deductible income. The determination hinges on how the severance is disbursed by your employer.
For instance, if you get a lump sum without it being assigned to a particular week, it may reduce your unemployment benefits for the week it’s received.
Conversely, if the lump sum is for a designated week or if the severance is paid out weekly over a certain period, your benefits may be reduced accordingly.
Should I Wait Until Severance Pay Ends to File Unemployment in Ohio?
NO! File for unemployment in Ohio as soon as you’re aware of your job loss.
You can visit the ODJFS website to review the complete list of eligibility criteria.
What Disqualifies You from Unemployment in Ohio?
Some factors that may impact your eligibility for unemployment in Ohio include:
- Utilizing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Receiving sick leave pay or vacation pay from your previous employer
- Already having claimed benefits for 26 weeks in your current benefit year
The ODJFS will consider all these elements when assessing your eligibility for unemployment benefits.
How Does Severance and Vacation Pay Affect Unemployment in Ohio?
In Ohio, both severance and vacation pay can influence the amount and duration of unemployment benefits. The effects of severance pay are largely based on the employer’s method of payment. It can potentially reduce your unemployment benefits for a specified period and may be viewed as deductible income under certain conditions.
Similarly, vacation pay might be deemed deductible income. Any weekly income, including vacation pay, must be reported. If this income is deducted and is less than your weekly unemployment benefit, the ODJFS will adjust your weekly payment.
Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer Today
Navigating the complexities of severance pay and unemployment benefits can be daunting. You might be uncertain about how a severance agreement affects you, the best time to file for unemployment, or if you even qualify for benefits. Whether you are about to enter into a severance agreement or need advice following a job termination, clarity as to your rights is essential.
The period post-layoff can be overwhelming. At The Friedmann Firm, our dedicated team of Columbus employment lawyers is here to assist you. We handle various employment and labor law cases, including those pertaining to severance agreements. We aim to enlighten our clients about their rights and the applicable laws tailored to their circumstances.
If you are grappling with issues related to severance pay or unemployment, please reach out to our team for a confidential and complimentary phone consultation at 614-610-9755 or through our online form.
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