Question: I was laid off, out of seniority, and my union is fighting it, which may take some time. In the meantime, I am being offered six weeks of severance.

Will I be permitted to collect my unemployment benefits if my state unemployment department finds out about the severance?

Zach
Minerva, Ohio

 Answer:  Zach, while I am not admitted to practice law in Ohio, I have reviewed Ohio’s laws on this subject, as well as literature prepared by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (called the ODJFS). This is what I’ve found: 

Ohio Revised Code Section 4141.31 says that your unemployment payments will be delayed by the six weeks you are collecting unemployment. This is the case whether the six weeks is paid once a week for six weeks, or paid to you in one lump sum.

This same information can be found in the ODJFS “Unemployment Compensation Guide for Employees,” which you can receive by contacting your local ODJFS office.

From my experience, this is unusual. Most states do not reduce or delay employees’ unemployment benefits due to their collecting severance, whether the severance is paid in one lump sum, or over time.

My best to you.

Best, Al Sklover

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