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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: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
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