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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

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.

Confirmed Cases: 11188

Reported Deaths: 230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah269472
Marion174353
Washington172020
Clackamas91427
Umatilla8867
Union3671
Lincoln3634
Lane2713
Malheur2661
Deschutes2290
Yamhill1719
Linn16810
Polk16812
Jackson1640
Jefferson1450
Morrow1321
Klamath1311
Wasco1021
Benton996
Hood River990
Douglas560
Clatsop550
Josephine541
Coos520
Columbia470
Lake240
Crook171
Tillamook150
Wallowa120
Curry90
Baker80
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 302484

Reported Deaths: 6859
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1249923690
Riverside23334533
Orange21517402
San Diego18402415
San Bernardino17414304
Imperial7654127
Fresno762787
Alameda7407146
San Joaquin606567
Kern597989
Santa Clara5678166
Tulare5509148
Sacramento493278
Stanislaus436450
Contra Costa435788
San Francisco414550
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3787111
Marin322730
Kings285539
Monterey234317
Solano198527
Merced179312
Sonoma151914
Placer99311
San Luis Obispo8774
Madera8578
Yolo80228
Santa Cruz5063
Napa4664
Sutter3374
Butte3194
San Benito3112
El Dorado2920
Lassen2690
Shasta1766
Yuba1633
Humboldt1614
Glenn1590
Nevada1591
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Lake1011
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Tuolumne600
Del Norte580
Mono491
Amador360
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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