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Resources for Economic Support
Resources for Economic Support

This page will be updated as additional resources and funding become available.

Introduction

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a great strain on the nation’s healthcare system, but it’s not come without it’s economic difficulties as well. State leaders are working to ensure resources are readily available to Ohio businesses and workers to ensure we all weather this difficult time, remembering we are all in this together.

The links here will connect you with local, state and federal resources and funds for the following impacted categories:

  • Individuals and families: unemployment resources, health insurance relief, school meals and more.
  • Small businesses and non-profits: economic disaster loan program, bar and restaurant relief, daycare ratio updates and more.

Individuals and Families

  • In demand jobs during the pandemic
    Many parts of our society are experiencing high demand during this pandemic and are seeking more employees; find available jobs now: https://jobseeker.ohiomeansjobs.monster.com/Account/UCClaimantsOverview.aspx
     
  • Unemployment
    Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on unemployment benefits can be found here: http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm
     
  • Food, cash and medical assistance
    The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides food, cash and medical assistance to individuals and families in need. To review eligibility requirements and apply for assistance, please visit:https://benefits.ohio.gov/
     
  • School meals
    Decisions on how free breakfast and lunches are distributed to students is being made by each district. Contact your local district. You may find additional information here: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/Coronavirus
     
  • Keep Ohio Connected (internet service availability)
    Learn what Internet Service providers are doing to keep Ohioans connected, including keeping service turned on during the pandemic and waiving late fees:
    https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/dewine-husted-praise-internet-providers-for-commitment-to-keep-americans-connected-pledge
     
  • Existing DSA Programs
    Access existing programs to find local non-profit resources available for those in need, to help maintain your small business, and reduce energy costs to your home.
    https://development.ohio.gov/indvservices.htm
     
  • Injured worker temporary telehealth policy
    Learn how the BWC is initiating temporary policy changes that will allow flexibility in the provision of care to injured workers: https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/PolicyAlert-TempTeleHealthCOVID-19.pdf
     
  • Medicaid provisions for uninsured
    Learn about how to qualify for Medicaid coverage:
    https://medicaid.ohio.gov/FOR-OHIOANS/Who-Qualifie
  • Maintaining Healthcare Coverage for Your Family
    Health insurers must allow employers to continue covering employees, even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible because of a decrease in hours worked per week. We know employees may be working a significantly reduced schedule right now, through no fault of their own, and we want to make sure they continue to have access to their health insurance if it’s feasible for the employer at this time.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

  • Assistance for Lost Insurance Coverage
    Those who do lose insurance coverage, are eligible for a special enrollment period to gain new coverage. Premium subsidies may be available for those who qualify by purchasing plans on the federal exchange.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

  • Access to Coverage During COVID-19 Emergency
    The Ohio Department of Insurance has requested that certain insurance companies ensure that members have access to needed healthcare services to test for and treat COVID-19. Specifically, health insurers have been asked to relax certain review measures, such as prior authorizations; allow longer prescription drug fills; encourage use of telehealth where possible; and be aware of their obligations under Ohio law for claim appeals and review.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-02_COVID-19.pdf
     
  • Coverage of COVID-19 Testing and Treatment
    The Ohio Department of Insurance has defined testing and treatment related to the COVID-19 virus as an emergency medical condition under Ohio law. Such services must be covered without preauthorization at the highest level among three rates: in-network, out-of-network, or Medicare. Health Insurance Corporations (HICs or HMOs) are required to pay for COVID-19 testing with no balance bill. Consumers with other health plans may receive an out-of-network bill that the insurer is not required to pay. If consumers receive bills for testing and treatment of COVID-19, they should reach out to the Ohio Department of Insurance at [insurance.ohio.gov]insurance.ohio.gov to ensure claims are being processed according to guidance.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-05.pdf
     
  • Travel Insurance and COVID-19
    Unless a specific exclusion applicable to COVID-19 applies, a travel insurance policy that covers sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel must cover such risks related to COVID-19. Many travel insurance policies also must cover cancellation or interruption of a trip or event, emergency transportation and/or costs of returning to the United States for further treatment pursuant to the terms of the policy.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-02_COVID-19.pdf
     
  • Auto Insurance and Expired Driver Licenses
    As a result of the closure of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles deputy registrar locations, some insured Ohioans will be unable to timely renew their driver licenses. Insurers have been notified that they must not cancel, non-renew, or refuse to issue an auto insurance policy, or deny a claim, solely because the driver license of the policy holder or other covered family member has expired.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-06.pdf
     
  • Property and Causality, Life, and Long-Term Care Premium Relief
    Property and causality, life, and long-term care insurers must provide a grace period of at least 60 days for the payment of insurance premiums so that insurance policies are not initially cancelled for nonpayment of premium during the state of emergency. Insurers may do this by offering payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments at no cost, extending payment due dates, or waiving late or reinstatement fees. Insurers are not required to waive any premiums and the insurer will be able to retroactively cancel the policy if premiums aren’t paid.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-07.pdf
  • Utility Assistance
    Ohio has received an extension of the Winter Crisis Program through May 1, and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) through June 1. The Winter Crisis Program helps income-eligible Ohioans maintain their utility service, while HEAP provides eligible Ohioans assistance with their home energy bills through a one-time benefit applied directly to their bill. You can now also apply for these programs over the phone, instead of needing to appear in person. Visit EnergyHelp.Ohio.gov for more information or call 1 (800) 282-0880 to begin your application.  

  • State Tax Filing and Payment Extensions
    The deadline to file and pay state income tax without interest or penalty has been extended to July 15 for individual income tax, school district income tax, pass-through entity and fiduciary income tax, and municipal net profit taxpayers that have opted into the state’s centralized filing system. For full details on tax changes, visit https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Coronavirus.aspx.
  • Wi-Fi HotSpots
    BroadbandOhio, the state’s office dedicated to improving access to high-speed internet, has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home. Providers not currently listed that are offering public wi-fi hotspots are encouraged to email together@governor.ohio.gov with contact information, and a representative from BroadbandOhio will follow-up. Check out Wi-Fi hotspot locations in Ohio at https://innovateohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/innovate/news/news-and-events/04042020.

Businesses & Nonprofits

  • Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
    Ohio small businesses and nonprofits are now eligible to apply for up to a $2 million, low-interest loan through the SBA. Apply online at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance, which is recommended, or call (800) 659-2955 to have an application mailed to you. 
     
  • Liquor buyback
    The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This is intended to aid those establishments that have stocked up on high proof liquor, but now are facing closure to in-house patrons. Bars and restaurants can return unopened, high proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. Questions about this program should be directed to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center at 1-877-812-0013 or OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.
     
  • Publicly-Funded Daycares
    An executive order issued last week increased the number of children allowed to be supervised by child care staff, depending on the type of program and ages of the children. The order also increased from 10 to 20 the number of paid absent days for providers serving children in the Publicly Funded Child Care program, and it provides child care programs with 21 paid pandemic days if they must close their programs because of the pandemic.  Read the Executive Order: ttps://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/OHOOD/2020/03/13/file_attachments/1400790/Executive%20Order%202020-02D.pdf
     
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) 
    The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is modifying the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. Generally, Ohio requires haulers with loads classified as "oversized" to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are legally allowed to travel in the state. Haulers carrying these essential goods can download and print the permit at transportation.ohio.gov.
     
  • Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC)
    Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) system is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers. To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing the deferment of insurance premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. For more information, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
     
  • Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums
    All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf
     
  • Keeping Essential Goods Moving
    The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has modified the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. Generally, the state requires haulers with loads classified as “oversized” to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are permitted to travel in and through the state. Haulers carrying essential goods can download and print the permit at Transportation.Ohio.gov. The federal government has also cut red tape around obtaining or renewing Commercial Drivers’ Licenses (CDLs) and other licenses to prevent interruption of essential shipping. The Ohio Departments of Public Safety (ODPS) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) have adjusted their enforcement practices to avoid confusion.
     
  • Learn new tech skills
    TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these trainings can be completed online. For more information: https://techcred.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/techcred/about
  • Suspension of Pharmacy Audits
    Third party administrators, including Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are required to suspend pharmacy audits during the state of emergency.  Conducting or attempting to conduct pharmacy audits during the state of emergency may be considered a fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practice, and may subject a third party administrator to legal action, including but not limited to, license suspension and/or monetary fines. This ensures that pharmacies can focus their resources on helping during this crisis as opposed to spending time on the paperwork associated with these types of audits.
    https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-04.pdf

  • Commercial Property, Rent Evictions and Foreclosures
    Governor Mike DeWine has issued an executive order that requests that landlords suspend, for at least 90 days, rent payments for small business commercial tenants facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; landlords place a moratorium on evictions of small business commercial tenants for at least 90 days; lenders provide commercial real estate borrowers with mortgage loans an opportunity for a forbearance of at least 90 days as a result of a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Wi-Fi HotSpots
    BroadbandOhio, the state’s office dedicated to improving access to high-speed internet, has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home. Providers not currently listed that are offering public wi-fi hotspots are encouraged to email together@governor.ohio.gov with contact information, and a representative from BroadbandOhio will follow-up. Check out Wi-Fi hotspot locations in Ohio at https://innovateohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/innovate/news/news-and-events/04042020.

Layoff Alternatives

Is your company facing decisions about layoffs? Consider these options first.

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for assistance to keep employees on their payroll through the end of June. Through the federal CARES Act, small businesses are eligible for a variety of assistance options through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), including (SBA.Gov)
     
  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program
    • This program was designed by Congress to help businesses in need during the COVID crisis.
    • According to the SBA, loans can be fully forgiven if the funds are used for:
      • Payroll costs
      • Interest on mortgages
      • Rent
      • Utilities
    • No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

*For more information on this, you can visit SBA.gov/PaycheckProtection

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan – SBA offers loans for small businesses up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue during a declared disaster.
     
  • Businesses of all sizes that are closed or distressed are eligible for a fully refundable tax credit to help them keep workers on the payroll. The credit covers 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee. Different requirements apply depending on business size. For companies with more than 100 employees, only wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to COVID-19 qualify. For companies with less than 100 employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit. For the latest information about SBA incentives, refer to sba.gov.  Further details are forthcoming.
     
  • Ohio’s premier layoff aversion program, SharedWork Ohio, helps employers retain trained staff during times of business downturn.  Under a SharedWork plan, the employer reduces the employees’ hours in a uniform manner and JFS supplements eligible employees' income with a proportionate share of unemployment. Right now, the federal government is fully funding these benefits paid to employees. Learn more at jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/SharedWorkOhio/.
     
  • Rapid Response resources are available to assist companies proactively with talent needs or to minimize negative impacts of layoffs.  Rapid Response teams will work with your company to quickly maximize public and private resources to minimize the disruptions that are associated with job losses on your business, your workers, and the communities in which you do business and live. Rapid Response can provide customized services on-site at an affected your company, accommodate any work schedules, and assist company leadership and affected workers through the painful transitions associated with job loss. If you are looking to access skilled workers, are expecting a layoff or plant closing, or want to learn more, contact Ohio’s rapid response manager, Breeyn Handberg, at 614-466-9897 or breeyn.handberg@jfs.ohio.gov.
     
  • After reviewing the alternatives above, any employer still considering layoffs (full separation from their company) or a furlough (mandatory, temporary, unpaid leave) must carefully consider:
  • Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board
    The Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board will be extending the deadlines for the submission of Applications for Financial Assurance Fund Eligibility, Claim Reimbursement Applications and requests for cost pre-approval, and all related requests for additional information.  The extension of time took effect on March 14, 2020 and will remain in effect for 90 days.  Responsible parties with questions regarding the filing deadlines are advised to contact the Board’s office at 614-752-8963 or 800-224-4659.   Additional information can also be found at:  www.petroboard.org
    ​​​​​​​
  • ​​​​​​​State Tax Filing and Payment Extensions
    The deadline to file and pay state income tax without interest or penalty has been extended to July 15 for individual income tax, school district income tax, pass-through entity and fiduciary income tax, and municipal net profit taxpayers that have opted into the state’s centralized filing system. For full details on tax changes, visit https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Coronavirus.aspx.

Banking Updates

The DeWine-Husted Administration has worked with representatives from Ohio’s banking community. These companies recognize the hardships that many Ohioans are facing, and they have committed to working through creative ways to help. Ohioans can be confident that banks, both big and small, will be there for them as we move through the crisis and are offering a number of measures to help customers.

  • Banks across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes.
     
  • Banks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance.
     
  • Banks and credit unions across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give our financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes. 
     
  • Learn more at ohiobankersleague.com/customers and ohiocreditunions.org.