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Oregon unemployment struggles to keep up with demand amid COVID-19 pandemic

As of April 9, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) has received 269,900 initial claims for unemployment benefits.

Posted: Apr 13, 2020 6:18 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:25 AM

As of April 9, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) has received 269,900 initial claims for unemployment benefits. By comparison, net job losses in Oregon totaled 147,800 for the duration of the Great Recession.

Workers laid off because of COVID-19 can receive unemployment benefits without actively seeking work with other employers, according to the Oregon Employment Department; they do need to stay actively engaged with their current employer and return to work when called back.

People who are under quarantine, as directed by a health care or government official qualify and so do people who can’t work because they have to take care of children; this can be due to school closures or lack of available childcare.

Thousands of Oregonians are now applying for unemployment and the system can’t keep up, even though the OED more than quadrupled the number of staff dedicated to taking claims.

According to the OED, those staff continue to process record numbers of claims week after week. The OED processed more claims during the first quarter of 2020 than the total for all of 2019.

According to a statement from OED, those who have completed their initial claim and continued to file weekly claims, their re-start error has been identified and fixed. If they tried yesterday (Sunday) and got the re-start error for the first time, they can re-try now and it should work. They should not need to contact OED for their claims to continue to work online.

For those who filed an initial claim, then didn’t file a weekly claim for a week, would get a re-start error and they need to re-start a claim.

They will not lose out on a week of benefits they were eligible to receive because of a difficulty either getting through on our phone, or because of an online claim error, according to OED.

Claim information can be submitted at OED_UI_Info@oregon.gov. OED officials say it will take at least a few days for someone to get respond. OED's unemployment insurance team will reach out and provide assistance, once contacted current and previous claims will be adjusted as needed.

The OED has created a web page dedicated specifically to COVID-19 resources and questions.

Even with these adjustments and changes, more than half of all calls that the OED receives in a day aren’t answered and nearly half of all filed claims have yet to be processed.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206777

Reported Deaths: 2754
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40354614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18925235
Lane13896164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001582
Umatilla859387
Linn560380
Yamhill477879
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas387982
Malheur361463
Josephine359872
Benton326422
Jefferson236839
Coos216637
Columbia191929
Union149824
Wasco144330
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10559
Baker101115
Curry70811
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3808258

Reported Deaths: 63335
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124761824454
Riverside3016034627
San Bernardino2992894844
San Diego2817493771
Orange2729225112
Santa Clara1201102188
Kern1107821404
Sacramento1076381731
Fresno1029221724
Alameda895921273
Ventura816381031
San Joaquin746861438
Contra Costa70561813
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49814849
Monterey43831427
San Mateo42646581
San Francisco37256556
Santa Barbara34596455
Solano33707266
Merced32291478
Sonoma30868317
Imperial28813741
Placer23537299
Kings23189247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16632245
Santa Cruz16235208
Marin14200230
Yolo14156212
Butte12659194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10371116
Napa1002580
Sutter9656113
Yuba648551
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573163
Nevada491075
Humboldt446348
Mendocino432150
Tuolumne420771
Amador373947
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239437
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14568
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1150
Alpine890
Unassigned330
Medford
Clear
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Brookings
Partly Cloudy
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Feels Like: 50°
Crater Lake
Clear
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
Clear
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Feels Like: 71°
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