According to the fact sheet provided by the State of Ohio, this can include self-employed workers, farmers and farm owners, those who lack sufficient weeks and wages in covered employment to be eligible for UC, and those with jobs that are not in covered employment, such as churches. DUA funds are made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are administered by states under the guidance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
To be eligible for this assistance, Governor Mike DeWine must request a Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the state. So far, New York, Washington, and California have requested and been granted these declarations by President Trump. However, the President has not yet approved their request for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
A number of other states have recently requested or are considering requesting this declaration. Those states include Iowa, which just days ago requested a declaration so they could obtain these funds.
While the State of Ohio has taken a number of important steps, they have not yet requested a Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster. They should do so quickly.
According to a 2016 study, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that just over 10 percent of all U.S. workers were self-employed. That same study found that Ohio’s total rate of self -employment was then 8.9 percent, just under the national average. Under our latest data, before the impact of the Chinese Virus, Ohio had approximately 5.8 million people in the labor force. If this percentage is still accurate, then over half a million workers in Ohio could be self-employed.
I’ve asked the Governor and Lt. Governor if they plan on taking this step. I have not yet received a response and will update this post if and when I receive one. UPDATED: On March 23, 2020 Governor DeWine signed onto a joint letter requesting the use of these funds for states that request them. He hasn't yet requested a disaster declaration for Ohio yet, but its a start. A copy of the letter can be read here.
Scott A. Pullins is an Ohio attorney, public affairs consultant, and writer. For more information, please visit www.scottpullins.com. Permission to reprint is granted with proper attribution.