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Unemployed Ohioans lose extra $300 of pandemic assistance

CINCINNATI — The state of Ohio is pulling out of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. That means starting June 26, unemployed people have lost the extra $300 they were receiving during the global health crisis.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the plan to withdraw from the program last month. He said the extra $300 payments are ending because the economy is on a path back to normalcy.

"If you look at why jobs are not being filled -- I’m sure it’s multiple reasons -- but whenever you go in and the market is distorted in that sense, you have certain consequences," DeWine said during his May announcement.

Other Federal Unemployment Benefits, like those for people who don't ordinarily qualify or the ones that have been offered for an extended amount of time, aren't being disrupted.

Policy experts said Ohioans losing the extra $300 could spell problems for families and business owners.

Zach Schiller from Policy Matters Ohio called the change "shameful," noting that there are families still in severe financial distress because of the pandemic.

He said cutting off that money to those in need could hurt the economy in the long run.

"It's well known among economists that unemployment insurance has what's often called one of the biggest multiplier effects, in that that money is then not only spent, but it allows other people to be hired or for more for them to have more hours,” Schiller said. “And so we're basically giving up that billion dollars and kicking Ohio business people in the teeth by saying, ‘We don't want that money spent on your businesses.’"

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