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Billions paid in Oregon unemployment and new spike in claims

OED says it paid about $144 million in benefits just last week to approximately 119,000 people.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 5:05 PM

The Oregon Employment Department says today it has paid $8.5 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 577,000 people since March 15, 2020.

Despite issuing those benefits for income relief during a year of coronavirus pandemic, OED says it paid about $144 million in benefits just last week to approximately 119,000 people.

The Department says it is experiencing a “Dramatic increase in new claims. We are seeing a spike in new claims now that we have reached the one-year anniversary of the initial huge increase in UI claims. We expect this increase in new claims, and the resulting increase in workload, to continue for the next few weeks as we process and review them for eligibility.”

OED says along with the increase of new claims, it also is getting an increase in incoming calls. It says during the past two weeks its call volumes for incoming calls and answered calls “have mirrored the highest call volumes we have seen since the original Stay Home, Save Lives order.”

OED says many people have reached or will soon reach the one-year mark on their unemployment claims. It advises, “When a person's Regular UI claim reaches the one-year mark, they must file a new claim to continue receiving benefits. Federal rules require us to review the new and old claims to determine which one to pay benefits on.”

It says though some people are experiencing delays after filing new claims, “If a person did NOT file a claim for benefits during the pandemic and is filing now for the first time, almost all of those claims are processed within seven days.”

For other people with expired claims, OED estimates the refiling process could take up to six weeks for OED to manually get some people into the program they were on when their claims expired. It advises, “People in this situation do NOT need to call us to have their benefits paid. We know that any delay in receiving benefits is a hardship, and we are working as quickly as we can to get people paid, starting with the oldest of the newly filed claims first.”

It says, “We may have to move a person's claim to avoid a dramatic decrease in their weekly benefit amount (WBA). This may include situations where a person does not qualify for a new claim, or when a person's new WBA is a decrease of $25 or more from their previous WBA.”

OED also is offering guidance about school reopenings after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order to reopen schools by the middle of this month. OED says, “This change could affect unemployment benefit eligibility for some Oregonians. That's because of federal rules limiting unemployment benefits when schools are open. This is important if anyone in the home has a medical issue or if their children's school is offering in-person, online, or hybrid learning.”

The State’s employment department says it is starting to ask new federal personal unemployment assistance (PUA) certification questions after the U.S. Department of Labor recently released rule changes that expand the reasons a person may qualify for PUA benefits. “USDOL is requiring us to ask new questions on the PUA initial claim AND weekly PUA certifications so that we can give more benefits to more people.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320990

Reported Deaths: 3682
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah52083644
Washington35615280
Marion33366399
Clackamas27185275
Lane24597256
Jackson21336267
Deschutes17215104
Umatilla13006129
Douglas10969202
Linn1083488
Josephine8772173
Yamhill7704101
Klamath666493
Polk642172
Malheur494667
Benton474228
Coos436272
Columbia333539
Jefferson325747
Lincoln283430
Union280938
Wasco248139
Crook220639
Clatsop217526
Tillamook185123
Baker180524
Morrow170721
Curry168617
Hood River165835
Harney88318
Grant8678
Lake7418
Wallowa54012
Gilliam1404
Sherman1333
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4680552

Reported Deaths: 68599
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles145417226013
Riverside3600584843
San Diego3543914051
San Bernardino3490475540
Orange3162215384
Sacramento1516592138
Santa Clara1411661844
Fresno1373871927
Kern1369321532
Alameda1168001333
San Joaquin983511628
Ventura982921134
Contra Costa96331924
Stanislaus814771256
Tulare74142898
San Mateo52540612
San Francisco52328615
Monterey49733567
Solano44452312
Santa Barbara43353505
Merced39734546
Sonoma39609384
Placer37033367
Imperial34462755
Kings30419293
San Luis Obispo28582318
Madera22042263
Butte21781236
Shasta21374290
Santa Cruz20255214
Yolo19359239
Marin17200242
El Dorado16194130
Sutter13228154
Napa1235295
Yuba937161
Nevada856885
Tehama843786
Humboldt843093
San Benito711470
Mendocino698476
Lassen653027
Tuolumne623393
Lake613592
Amador498859
Glenn407530
Siskiyou406241
Calaveras351170
Del Norte342035
Colusa293918
Inyo168539
Mono15145
Plumas12676
Mariposa102713
Trinity74310
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1370
Alpine1010
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