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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: 207558

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40446614
Washington26850249
Marion23497324
Clackamas18981235
Lane13944166
Jackson11581146
Deschutes1005582
Umatilla862787
Linn565381
Yamhill479479
Klamath478278
Polk402056
Douglas391683
Josephine363872
Malheur362063
Benton327522
Jefferson237839
Coos217737
Columbia193029
Union150224
Wasco145630
Lincoln144021
Crook129523
Hood River121933
Morrow115816
Clatsop10639
Baker103115
Curry73211
Tillamook6614
Grant5527
Lake4698
Harney4369
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3812825

Reported Deaths: 63501
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124841524472
Riverside3017994627
San Bernardino2994254886
San Diego2820523778
Orange2731705116
Santa Clara1202332199
Kern1108471405
Sacramento1080131738
Fresno1030201724
Alameda898911286
Ventura817271032
San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70882813
Stanislaus635861071
Tulare49823850
Monterey43858456
San Mateo42756581
San Francisco37304559
Santa Barbara34631455
Solano33797267
Merced32325481
Sonoma31026317
Imperial28908741
Placer23656300
Kings23214247
San Luis Obispo21448261
Madera16660245
Santa Cruz16262209
Marin14212230
Yolo14161212
Butte12666198
Shasta12615235
El Dorado10423117
Napa1003280
Sutter9676113
Yuba652151
San Benito611163
Lassen580825
Tehama574263
Nevada493675
Humboldt452849
Mendocino435750
Tuolumne422271
Amador374347
Lake356653
Glenn243727
Siskiyou239938
Colusa228818
Calaveras221056
Del Norte14688
Inyo143438
Mono12984
Plumas7426
Modoc5645
Mariposa4667
Trinity4246
Sierra1180
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
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