Oregon Unemployment Benefits
The Unemployment Insurance in Oregon is designed to compensate a part of the wages lost by the applicants for no fault of their own. You may apply for unemployment benefits if you were laid off from work or if your working hours.
Know more about the Unemployment Insurance (UI) policy in the state of Oregon and all the important information you need to know while filing for unemployment benefits.
Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Oregon
To be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in the state of Oregon, you must display qualifications in wages earned during the base period, the reason for separating from the previous organization and the manner in which eligibility is maintained throughout the benefit period.
In order to gain monetary eligibility in Oregon, you must have earned a sufficient amount of wages in the base period.
A base period is a one year period divided into the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. The calculation of the base period will depend on the date on which you file for unemployment benefits.
Also, a quarter is a three-month period, wherein a base-year will consist of four completed calendar quarters. A calendar quarter usually ends on March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.
To be qualified for unemployment benefits in Oregon, the following conditions must be met:
- You must have received a minimum of $1000 in subject wages during the base period. Subject wages are the earnings of the applicant on which your employer has paid UI taxes
- The total wages earned during the base period must be at least 1.5 times more than the wages earned during the quarter in which you earned the highest amount of wages
You worked for a minimum of 500 hours and received subject wages in your previous job.
The state of Oregon uses two approaches to calculate wages to find out if you are eligible for benefits or not. As per the standard base period, the wages you earned during the first four of the last five calendar quarters will be considered.
If you do not meet the requirements using the standard base period, your wages will automatically be calculated using the alternative base period. In this, the wages you earned in the previous four calendar quarters from the date of your application for benefits will be considered for qualification.
In the state of Oregon, the weekly benefit amount will be 1.25% of the total base year gross income you earned. The Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA), however, will not exceed the minimum and maximum limit set by the authorities. The maximum WBA provided in Oregon is $538, and the minimum WBA is $126.
It is important for the applicants to promptly disclose the reason for separating from the previous organization. The laws in Oregon dictate that you will only be eligible for unemployment benefits if you lost your previous job due to no fault of your own.
The state describes various types of work separations to help define the nature of job-separation clearly:
Lack of Work: You were laid-off from your employer due to a shortage of work, and that the employer had no work to give you. This may arise due to the closure of business, downsizing the staff, or temporary shutdown due to maintenance.
Leave of Absence: You are considered to be on a leave of absence if your employer is given you some time away from work, such as maternity leave, medical leave, or leaves granted for any other personal reasons.
Voluntary Leaving Work:You voluntarily decide to part ways from your previous employer without any good cause. This implies that there was no shortage or stoppage of work and that you were separated from work based on your own volition.
You were terminated or discharged from work if the employer did not face shortage or stoppage of work, but yet wouldn’t allow you to continue to work in your organization.
The primary rule in Oregon is that you must not have lost your job as a result of your own fault, and there must be a good cause attributable to the employer. Failing to meet this requirement may lead to your candidature for UI benefits being disqualified.
Also, providing false or misleading information regarding job-separation may lead to the stoppage of the benefits to you, and you may also have to pay the benefits received with interest and penalty. The state of Oregon considers such misleading attempts as a fraud.
You will gain eligibility for Oregon unemployment benefits once you establish that you’ve earned the stipulated amount of wages in the base period and you lost your last job for no fault of your own. Receiving your weekly benefit amount, however, will depend on you fulfilling the following conditions:
- You must be physically and mentally able to work throughout the benefit period
- You must be available for work in the entire duration of the benefit period. If at any time you become unavailable for work, you must intimate the concerned department promptly
- You should be actively seeking employment opportunities
- You must consult at least five prospective employers each week as a part of the job-search requirement
- You must submit a report on the job-search requirement exercise, whereby you inform about – date of contact, name of the company, contact details of the company, online job posting ID number (if applicable), type of work applied for, mode of contact (phone, email, online resume submission etc.), and the result of the contact
- You must not reject any job offers made to you with a ‘good cause’. You must explain the cause to the concerned department, which will make a decision if the reason for rejection is good or not
You must submit all this information every week when you apply for weekly benefits. Failure to submit any of the necessary documents will lead to discontinuation of the benefit amount. The concerned department will also conduct audits to verify if your documents and explanations are genuine. If it is found that you’ve submitted false or misleading information, you will face consequences ranging from non-payment of benefits to facing fraud charges.
How to Apply For UI Benefits in Oregon?
To apply for unemployment benefits in Oregon, you must possess the following documents:
- A valid social security number
- A driving license or any other ID provided by the state
- Recent paystubs received from your last employer during the base period to determine your WBA
- Name and contact details of your previous organization and your previous employer
- SF08 and SF50 along with your Federal Employee Identification Number if you were a federal employee
- DD-214 along with the start date and end date of employment if you were ex-military personnel
You may apply for benefits in Oregon through the following means:
Claiming for benefits on the Online Claims System is the most convenient way in the state of Oregon. This online portal not only allows you to claim for weekly benefits but also provides other services.
You can restart a previous claim, update your address, change/reset the PIN, view up to five years of your 1099G forms, and pay the overpayments if due using the Online Claims System. The Online Claims System is functional on all the seven days of the week. The service is available round the clock, except from 12:30 AM to 2:00 AM every day due to system maintenance.
If you are looking for another way to apply for benefits, you may do so by placing a phone call to connect with the Weekly Claim Line.
You may contact Weekly Claim Line centers that are closer to you from the following:
|Portland Area||(503) 224-0405|
|Greater Salem Area||(503) 375-7900|
|Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend||(541) 388-4066|
How to File Weekly Claims
Once you submit your application, you will receive The Wage and Potential Benefit Report through the mail. You must go through the document carefully and verify all the information provided in the document.
If there are any discrepancies in the report’s information, instructions regarding rectifying the mistake will be given within the form, which you will be expected to follow.
The report will also contain Customer Identification Number (CID), which is a unique number assigned to you. This number will be used on all the documents concerning your application to safeguard your identity. You will need CID while using both online and telephonic services.
You will also be asked to create a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the time you file a claim application. You will need to sue the PIN when you make use of any automated systems.
UI Benefits Amount
The Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator assists you to find out the approximate UI Benefits amount that you may receive in the state of Oregon.
Things to Know After Filing An Application
You must be aware of certain information as they begin to receive their weekly benefits every week. Lack of information may sometimes lead you to situations where break rules inadvertently or miss opportunities that may have helped you in your career.
Overpayments and Fraud
The state of Oregon stresses on distributing the resources among the applicants fairly and without any malpractice. If you happen to receive benefits amount that wasn’t intended for you, you will be affecting the fair distribution of the funds.
When you receive a share of benefits that was not intended to you, this will be considered as an overpayment. Note that if you receive an overpayment, you are liable to pay the excessive amount back.
When you receive an overpayment, you will receive a notice from the concerned department, which will contain repayment details and your right to appeal. The notice will also contain the administrative decision ascertaining the reason for the overpayment.
Some of the reasons that can result in an overpayment:
- Incorrectly reporting the wages you’ve earned during the base period
- Providing a false reason for job-separation
- A decision reversed by an appeal
- Payments made by the department to you prior to coming across an issue with your application
- Your WBA is reduced due to a correction imposed on your base period based on your base period wages
In the case of overpayment, you may choose the following ways to pay back the excessive amount in Oregon:
- Wage garnishment
- Property liens
- Interception of state and federal income tax refunds
If an applicant willfully provides false information or misrepresents facts in order to get UI benefits, it will be considered as fraud. The state of Oregon takes the cases of fraud seriously, and it will be dealt with severely, where the repercussions range from paying high penalties to facing prosecution.
Some of the examples of fraud are:
- Presenting false/fake documents to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits in Oregon
- Providing false information or withholding information on turning down jobs during the benefits weeks
- Misquoting the wages you’ve earned during your base period
- Providing false/misleading reasons for job-separations
- Filing for benefits when you were not able to or available to work
- Filing for benefits when you were in jail
The state offers benefits extension only when the unemployment rate is high. Visit or call the concerned authorities to know more about the current available Oregon Reemployment Assistance plans.
Job Training Assistance
The state of Oregon provides various avenues to look for jobs and apprenticeship programs to help applicants land on their feet at the earliest. The state also provides opportunities for the applicants to improve their skill sets through various training programs to make them better in their area of expertise.
WorkSource Oregon (WSO) is a network of local and state service providers which helps those who are looking for jobs by helping them find appropriate jobs or by providing training services.
The WorkSource Oregon does not charge any fee and all services are provided free of cost. Some of the services provided by WSO are:
- WSO provides assistance for military veterans
- WSO provides resume and cover letter resources
- You can also prepare for future interviews in a WSO center
- You can receive regularly updated job-opening information
- WSO provides skill and career assessment services
- You can seek help with WSO if you lost your job due to foreign trade
- The centers also provide specialized services for migrant workers, seasonal workers, and people with disabilities
- You can also access materials such as books, self-help guides, and videos relating to career building activities
- The WSO center also hosts local training providers, which includes skill building and job training
The state of Oregon also provides services such as the Career Information System (CIS), which allows you to take assessments to let you know what occupation suits you best.
You can also log in to www.QualityInfo.org to get more information on wages, occupation and industry information, and workforce and economic research publications.
The state of Oregon also provides an online tool called iMatchSkills, wherein you can use this tool to find out which potential occupation will suit you best. The tool uses your skills and work history to determine what kind of job will be more suitable for you.