Lt. Gov. Husted working to ease economic anxiety amid COVID-19 crisis

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tried to ease some of the economic anxiety people may be feeling during Ohio’s COVID-19 coronavirus stay at home order.

Husted said people who have applied for benefits may see a message that they would also have to apply for work in order to receive unemployment benefits. He said the requirement has been waived.

Husted said that while the relief package passed by Congress will help fund the state through the economic storm, Ohio has yet to receive guidance from the federal level about how 1099 and independent contractors are to go about applying for unemployment benefits.

However, Husted added that hasn’t stopped the state from working on getting those workers aid.

“We have already engaged the private sector, some tech companies that we have built relationships with through our Innovate Ohio team to engage in building, getting built that system so that you can get access to those resources,” he said.

For those under the “traditional” unemployment banner, Husted said he is aware the process to apply for benefits hasn’t been a smooth one.

“You’re not going to miss the opportunity to apply. If you’re worried about that, know that it will be backdated and it will be backdated to the point that you were eligible,” he said. “You will get your benefits.”

Husted added that the deadlines some applying for benefits are seeing are not going to be adhered to, telling people to apply when they can get access to the site.

Husted said the site was running “pretty efficiently” Friday, but also said users may see issues depending on their internet service.

The state is also encouraging those who are applying to resist the urge to continually clicking when they have the “spinning circle” on the site.

“In a tech sense, you’re sending yourself back to the end of the line when you do that,” Husted said, adding that the repeated clicking overloads and slows the system.

Husted also encouraged all banks and commercial lenders to extend commercial real estate payment deadlines, something he said many banks have already done, which helps businesses maintain their cash flow.

“If everybody does this, if banks and loan servicers put that 90-day deferral out there, what will happen is then the commercial realtors then don’t feel the pressure to pay the bank,” Husted said. “Then they can extend that grace to the businesses who are leaseholders or who have obligations to them.”

Husted believes this will help small businesses maintain their cash flow and help keep employees on the job as well as recover faster once the stay at home order is lifted.

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