Oregon Unemployment Eligibility
Oregon Unemployment Eligibility Calculator
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
If you are currently unemployed, you may be eligible for Oregon unemployment benefits. These benefits can provide financial assistance while you search for a new job. However, there are specific eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for unemployment insurance in the state of Oregon.
Monetary Eligibility Requirements
To meet the requirements for Oregon unemployment insurance, you must meet certain monetary requirements.
You must have earned a minimum of $1,000 in wages during the base year, in addition to having total base year wages that are at least one and a half times the amount earned in the highest quarter of the base year.
If you didn’t earn $1,000 during your base year, you might still qualify if you worked a minimum of 500 hours during the base year and received wages during that time.
What is a base year?
The base year is a one-year period used to calculate your eligibility for unemployment benefits. It consists of the first four of the last five completed quarters and is determined based on the date you file your claim application, rather than the date you became unemployed.
What is a calendar quarter?
Calendar quarters are the three-month periods ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31. Your earnings in these quarters determine your eligibility for unemployment insurance and are also used to calculate your weekly UI benefit.
In addition to meeting monetary requirements, several non-monetary requirements must be met to qualify for unemployment benefits.
To be eligible for Oregon unemployment compensation, you must:
- Be unemployed through no fault of your own
- Be physically and mentally able to work
- Be available and actively seeking work
- Be a United States citizen or be authorized to work in the state of Oregon
In Oregon, you must be out of work through no fault of your own to be eligible for benefits. However, if you resign from your job or were dismissed, you may still qualify for benefits. Losing your job due to quitting or being fired does not immediately disqualify you from collecting UI benefits.
Below are the descriptions of different types of work separations:
Lack of work – You were laid off by your employer as there was no work available for you to perform. This could be due to business closure, staff reduction, a holiday, or a temporary/maintenance shutdown.
Leave of absence – Your employer granted you time off from work, such as maternity leave, medical leave, or leave for personal reasons. If you are on a leave of absence from your employer, your work separation does not qualify as a lack of work.
If you choose to end the employment relationship while your employer still has work available, you have voluntarily left work. This includes quitting your job for another job.
Involuntary discharge (fired)
If you were fired by your employer, you must report this on your Oregon unemployment application and explain the situation.
You must report the reason for the job separation. Reporting the wrong type of work separation can result in overpayment and penalties, and may be considered Oregon unemployment fraud.
Paid Leave Oregon
Some reasons for not working may be covered under the Paid Leave Oregon program. If eligible, you can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a life event. Qualifying life events include the birth or adoption of a child, serious medical issues, and cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking/harassment.
Ongoing Eligibility Requirements
Once your initial claim is approved, you are entitled to receive regular UI benefits for up to 26 weeks. Currently, there are no extended benefits in Oregon, as CARES Act programs like Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expired in 2021.
Before you can collect your weekly UI benefit, you must meet certain ongoing eligibility requirements.
Each week, you must:
- Be physically and mentally able to work
- Be available for work
- Actively seeking work
- Register for work with your WorkSource Oregon unemployment office and the iMatchSkills system
- Perform 5 work search activities each week
- File your weekly claim, which includes:
- Reporting any school attendance or training
- Reporting any self-employment activities
- Reporting any change of address or phone number
- Reporting any refusal of job offers or referrals
- Reporting any earned income
To be considered available, you must be willing to accept full-time, part-time, or temporary work. You must also be willing and able to commute a reasonable distance and work the normal hours for the type of work you’re seeking.
When it comes to wages, the state of Oregon requires you to accept a job offer if it pays a normal wage for that type of work.
You must report any job offers that you refuse, even if they were not suitable job offers.
If you’re not available for work due to illness, injury, incarceration, school attendance, self-employment, or loss of childcare or transportation, you’re required to report this to avoid any issues with your benefits.
Work search requirement
To receive benefits, you must complete the Oregon UI work search requirements.
The OED asks that you perform at least 5 approved work search activities each week. Two of these activities must involve direct contact with employers, which can be done in person, by phone, by mail, or online. Approved work search activities include attending job placement meetings or workshops, networking, updating your resume, and making direct contact with employers about jobs.
WorkSource Oregon Registration
After completing your claim application, you are required to register for work in the iMatchSkills system and complete enrollment activities at your local unemployment office. However, you may be exempt from this requirement if you were temporarily laid off or are a member of a union. If you don’t have internet access, you can register in person at your local WorkSource Center.
iMatchSkills is Oregon’s online system to search for job opportunities. The system contains a large pool of qualified and job-ready candidates that you can match with your skills and desired occupations.
Why was I denied benefits?
There are several reasons why you may be disqualified from Oregon’s unemployment insurance program.
- Being unable to work: If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for disability benefits or vocational rehabilitation services.
- Being fired from a job: If you were fired from a job, you may not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if you were terminated for cause.
- Being self-employed: If you are self-employed, you may not be eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, but you may be eligible for other types of support, such as business loans or tax credits.
- Being out of the labor market: If you are not actively seeking work or are not available for work, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Failing to complete a full iMatchSkills registration: If you fail to complete this registration, you may not be able to access certain job search resources or training programs.
- Failing to complete enrollment activities: If you fail to complete required activities through your local WorkSource Oregon center, you may not be eligible for certain job search or training programs.
- Failing to participate in the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment interview: If you fail to participate in this interview, you may have your unemployment benefits suspended until you comply with this requirement.
- Missing an opportunity to work: If you turn down a job offer or fail to show up for an interview, you may have your eligibility for unemployment benefits affected.
- Turning down a job: If you turn down a job offer, you may have your eligibility for unemployment benefits affected.
- Attending school: If you are currently attending school, you may have limited availability for work, but you may still be eligible for certain types of employment or job training programs.
- Being incarcerated: If you are currently incarcerated, you may have limited job opportunities due to your criminal record and may not be able to work while serving your sentence.
- Receiving retirement pay: If you are receiving retirement pay, you may have your eligibility for unemployment benefits affected.
School or Training
Attending school or job training may affect your availability for work, so it’s important to report any such attendance to the UI Center. This includes unpaid training required by an employer. Failure to report school attendance or training could result in an overpayment and penalties.
Starting a business
If you are involved in self-employment, it could affect your availability for work, so it’s important to report any such activities to the UI Center, even if you didn’t earn any income from your self-employment.
Each week, claims are randomly selected for audits. During these audits, auditors carefully review everything that may affect your eligibility, including your work search, base year wages, the reason for job separation, school attendance, incarceration, and any earnings you may have had during the weeks claimed.
There can be consequences if your benefits are denied due to work separation, failure to apply for jobs, or refusal of a job offer. Your maximum benefit amount may be reduced by up to eight times your weekly benefit amount, and your benefits will be denied until you have worked and received payment of at least four times your weekly benefit amount in subject employment.
If your benefits are denied due to reasons such as school attendance, incarceration, sick leave, or hospitalization, the denial will last until the conditions that caused the denial no longer exist.
If benefits were previously paid for any week covered by a denying decision, you are required to repay any overpaid amount along with any associated penalties or fees.
If your unemployment benefits in Oregon are denied, it’s important to take action immediately. You have the right to file an appeal within 20 days from the date the notification was mailed.
When filing an appeal, you must provide information about why you believe the determination was incorrect, and any supporting documentation. You can present your case to an Administrative Law Judge and petition to have the decision overturned. During the appeal process, be sure to keep filing your weekly claim. If you don’t keep filing each week, you may lose back pay if you end up winning your appeal.