Oregon Unemployment Extension
When you apply for Oregon unemployment, you can typically receive benefits for 26 weeks. But what happens if you still don’t have a job? Individuals who have exhausted their regular Oregon unemployment benefits may be eligible for additional benefits through various extension programs. These programs provide financial support to those who continue to face challenges finding work, or whose unemployment has been prolonged due to economic or other factors. The Oregon Employment Department offers several types of unemployment extensions, each with its own eligibility requirements and duration.
These programs allow claimants to receive financial support for an extended period as they search for new employment opportunities.
Extended Benefits (EB)
Extended Benefits (EB) provide an additional extension to regular unemployment claims during periods of very high unemployment. When activated, this Oregon Employment Department (OED) provides an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Currently, there are no Extended Benefits available in Oregon.
During the COVID pandemic, the Extended Benefits program assisted individuals who had already exhausted their Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) eligibility. The EB offered up to 20 extra weeks of benefits beyond the maximum number of weeks payable under the regular Unemployment Insurance claim. The number of weeks that were available for EB payments depended upon Oregon’s unemployment rate.
The standard EB provided up to 13 weeks of additional benefits to eligible individuals. Additionally, the High Extended Benefits (HEB) program offered an additional seven weeks of payments. However, the HEB program was available for a limited period and ended on December 12, 2020.
The availability of the EB program in Oregon ended on February 20, 2021. You can contact the OED for more information.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a program funded by FEMA and administered by the Employment Department. Benefits become payable in the first week following the declaration of a major disaster by the President. The declaration will specify which counties are eligible, and it must specifically grant Individual Assistance.
To qualify, your unemployment must be a direct consequence of a major disaster under any of the following five circumstances:
- Loss of employment due to the major disaster
- Incapacity to reach the workplace as a direct result of the disaster
- Failure to begin work or inability to reach the workplace due to the disaster
- Inability to work due to the death of the household head as a direct result of the disaster
- Incapacity to work due to an injury resulting directly from the disaster
In addition to these conditions, you must meet the standard eligibility requirements for an Oregon unemployment insurance claim. Self-employed individuals may also be eligible for benefits, which is not the case for regular unemployment.
The application must be submitted within 30 days of the announcement of the disaster, with provisions for good cause if the application is late.
CARES Act / Continued Assistance Act
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act created several unemployment programs to help support individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs included PUA, PEUC, FPUC, MEUC, and LWA.
These programs helped to stabilize household incomes and provided a crucial lifeline to many families during the pandemic.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provided an additional weekly benefit to eligible individuals on top of their regular or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. The FPUC was introduced during the COVID pandemic.
The FPUC program paid an extra $600 benefit amount per week from March 29, 2020, to July 25, 2020. Additionally, from December 27, 2020, through September 4, 2021, eligible individuals received an extra $300 benefit amount per week. Wonder what that adds up to? The Oregon unemployment calculator can help you estimate your weekly benefit amount.
The FPUC payment was issued separately and in the same week as other unemployment benefits. FPUC benefits ended in Oregon on Sept. 4, 2021.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
PEUC provided eligible claimants with up to 13 weeks of additional benefits. These benefits were available from March 2020 until September 2021.
To qualify for PEUC in Oregon, individuals must have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits and have no other unemployment benefits available.
Claimants did not need to apply for PEUC separately. Instead, they were automatically enrolled in the program once they had exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits. The PEUC program ended on September 4, 2021.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA benefits were available during the pandemic to Oregon workers who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. This includes self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others who do not typically qualify for unemployment compensation.
PUA also covered people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 or were caring for a family member who had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The PUA program provided eligible individuals with up to 39 weeks of benefits, and it ended on Sept. 4, 2021.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) provided additional support to individuals who had both traditional employment and self-employment income and were struggling to make ends meet due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was created as part of the Continued Assistance Act, which extended unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.
MEUC provided an additional $100 per week to eligible individuals, in addition to their regular unemployment compensation or PEUC weekly claim. The program was effective from December 2020 through September 4, 2021.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) was a temporary program in Oregon that provided additional weekly benefits to eligible individuals who were unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was funded by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and was available to individuals who were receiving regular unemployment compensation, PEUC, EB (Extended Benefits), or PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance).
Eligible individuals received an additional $300 per week in addition to their regular benefits. The program was effective from July 2020 through September 2020.
To qualify for LWA in Oregon, claimants had to self-certify that they were unemployed or working reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also had to meet the eligibility requirements for regular unemployment benefits, PEUC, EB, or PUA. This means that they were able and willing to work, file weekly claims, and meet Oregon job search requirements while collecting compensation.