MEDFORD, Ore. — The Oregon Employment Department is federally funded. So far, everything is still running smoothly, despite the shutdown, but the clock is ticking.
The Oregon Employment Department says they do have the funds to continue operating for the time being, but they are unsure when those funds will run out. They are working on putting a contingency plan in place just to be on the safe side.
Currently, more than 50,000 Oregonians are on unemployment and rely on their monthly unemployment check to pay bills and buy food. The Oregon Employment Department says their highest priority is to keep mailing those checks to the people who need them. If the benefits stop being sent, recipients will feel the pain of the shutdown.
“It’s going to put a lot of people out of housing, a lot of people aren’t going to have money to eat. I mean they aren’t going to pay their power bill, so it’s going to affect us in the long run more than just putting the government back in order,” said Olivia Fletcher, a former unemployment benefits recipient.
More than 12 million federal dollars a week goes towards unemployed Oregonians. The Oregon Employment Department is expecting to receive more information from the Department Of Administration Services later this week. They are hoping that information reveals their financial status.