Jobless aid for self-employed, part-time workers


By John Seewer - Associated Press



TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Self-employed and part-time workers in Ohio can now apply for unemployment through the federal stimulus package, state officials said Wednesday.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services began accepting applications on Tuesday and some payments will begin going out by the end of the week, said Kimberly Hall, the department’s director.

Many who were denied regular unemployment benefits may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which allows for up to 39 weeks of benefits to those who are self-employed, part-time workers or 1099 tax filers.

“We encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible to apply. Even after you return to work, you still may be eligible to receive retroactive benefits, dating from as early as Feb. 2,” Hall said.

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PLAY BALL

Ohio’s Republican U.S. senator is encouraged that Major League Baseball leaders are working out a plan to salvage some of the 2020 baseball season for the state’s teams in Cleveland and Cincinnati. MLB owners are reportedly proposing a plan to start games around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans. “It’s America’s pastime; it’s the game that brings us all together,” Rob Portman told Ohio reporters in a conference call Tuesday. He said even playing without fans to have games on radio and television is “better than nothing.” Portman, who usually takes part in the annual Opening Day parade in Cincinnati scrubbed this year, said there have been suggestions of games with fans in the stands wearing masks and distancing from each other, but he’ll leave how it’s done “to the experts.”

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CANCELLATIONS

Cincinnati-based Pure Romance, which sells adult toys and lingerie, has turned off its annual in-person conference for its 3,000 sales consultants who market products through at-home parties. The conference was expected to bring roughly $3.5 million to the city.

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WELL-BEING CHECKS

Ohio’s Department of Aging has a new program to check on the well-being of residents who are 60 and older during the pandemic. “Staying Connected” will provide check-ins by phone. The free service is open to those who have a valid phone number. Those taking part will be called each day during a one-hour window, the department said. If no one answers after three tries, calls will be made to an alternate contact and then to the local sheriff’s office.

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CASES

The number of confirmed and probable deaths associated with the coronavirus in Ohio has reached 1,483, an increase of 47 from a day earlier, state health officials said Wednesday. The number of confirmed and probable cases neared 26,000 and hospitalizations topped 4,600, the Ohio Department of Health said. For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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By John Seewer

Associated Press