Oregon Unemployment Claim A Complete Guide For You

Can’t figure out how to file for an Oregon Unemployment Claim? Read this article to find out all you need to know about Oregon Unemployment Claim.

Unemployment benefit programs play an essential role in the economy by protecting workers’ incomes after layoffs, improving their long-run labor market productivity, and stimulating the economy during recessions. It provides an allowance to individuals when they are removed from their job due to lack of work or circumstances that are no fault of their own. This policy is designed to immediately tackle the risk of out-of-work poverty while at the same time creating incentives for individuals to look for a job and increase their employability.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, roughly 9.6 million U.S  workers lost their jobs. It is safe to say that people are lacking in job security. For this purpose, the federal government has established provisions designed to help unemployed Americans in such uncertain circumstances.

Each state has an unemployment insurance program, but all states are required by federal law to follow specific guidelines. Federal law makes unemployment benefits available across state lines.

Oregon provides unemployment insurance to its residents. Read this for a complete guide on the Oregon Unemployment Claim and find out if you’re eligible to claim it.

What is the Oregon unemployment claim?

Unemployment insurance benefits are an employer-paid program that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet Oregon’s eligibility requirements.

Documents required for the claim

Before you apply, gather the documents and information that you will require to file for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. You will need:

  • Your name, birth date, and contact information.
  • Your complete work history for the past 18 months includes:
    • employer name(s)
    • address(es)
    • phone number(s)
    • start and end dates of employment for each employer
  • Your bank account and routing number, if you want to sign up for a direct deposit.
  • recent pay stubs and other wage records, such as the W-2 form on which your employer reports your income to the Internal Revenue Service
  • your Social Security card, or another document that shows your Social Security number, and
  • any documentation you have that proves you are unemployed, such as a layoff or dismissal notice from your employer, and your employer’s unemployment insurance account number if you know it.

Be sure you enter your information correctly on your application. Your money will be delayed by days or even weeks if you make a mistake. Be extra careful with your Social Security Number (SSN) and your address.

Eligibility requirements for Oregon unemployment benefits

In Oregon, the Employment Department handles unemployment benefits and determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must meet the following three eligibility requirements to collect unemployment benefits in Oregon:

  • Your past earnings must meet certain minimum thresholds.
  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by Oregon law.
  • You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.

Do you meet the minimum earnings requirement?

Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment. In Oregon, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. For example, if you filed your claim in October of 2020, the base period would be from June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020.

During the base period, you must meet at least one of the following prerequisites to be eligible for unemployment:

  • You must have earned at least $1,000 in wages during the base period, and your total wages in the base period must be at least 1.5 times the wages in the highest quarter in your base period, or
  • You must have worked at least 500 hours during the base period.

Are you out of work through no fault of your own?

You must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits. The NYS unemployment policy deems people who are laid off, lose their job in a reduction-in-force (RIF), or get “downsized” for economic reasons to be eligible for unemployment issuance. If you are fired because your employer assumes that you are unqualified for the job, or perhaps you fail to meet the employer’s performance or productivity standards, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Following the policy, you must not be out of work due to any fault of your own.

In Oregon, employees who are fired for work-related misconduct may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Violations of company policy or rules, such as those prohibiting absenteeism or insubordination, are examples of work-related misconduct. If you are fired for being convicted of a felony (or admitting to committing one), you will also be ineligible for benefits. If you quit your job, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits unless you had a good reason to do so.

If you were fired because you lacked the skills to perform the job or simply weren’t a good fit, you won’t necessarily be barred from receiving benefits. However, if you engage in “misconduct,” you will not be eligible to receive unemployment. In Oregon, among other things, misconduct means an intentional violation of the employer’s rules, the failure to conform to standards which an employer can reasonably expect from an employee or careless behavior that is so frequent or severe that it shows a disregard for the employer’s interests. For example, showing up to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs or having several unexcused absences after a written warning would typically qualify as misconduct. If you are fired for being convicted of a felony (or admitting to committing one), you will also be ineligible for benefits. If you quit your job, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits unless you had a good reason to do so.

In general, the good cause requirement will be satisfied if the average person in your situation would have had no other choice but to leave the job. For example, if your working conditions posed a threat to your health and safety and your employer refused to do anything about it, this would likely qualify as a good cause. On the other hand, quitting because you weren’t happy with the pay would not qualify as a good cause.

Are you available and actively searching for work?

To maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for employment. If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. For the initial unemployment period, whether a position is suitable depends on several factors, including the level of skill and training required, the similarity between the work and your previous employment, how much the position pays, and the distance between the job site and your residence. However, as time goes on, you will be expected to modify your standards and consider accepting work that requires less skill or that pays lower wages.

You must conduct a reasonable search for work, which includes contacting new employers each week. You should keep a record of your job search efforts, including the employers you have contacted, the dates you made contact, and the outcome. The ED may contact you or your employer contacts to verify your efforts.

Amount and duration of unemployment benefits in Oregon

Your weekly benefit amount will be 1.25% of the total wages in your base period, subject to a weekly minimum of $151 and a maximum of $648.  Under Oregon law, it will not be less than the minimum or more than the maximum amounts you can receive.

Your benefit year is a 52 week period that begins the first week you file. You may receive total benefits up to 26 times your weekly benefit amount. You can’t file a new Oregon claim until your benefit year is up, even if you’ve received all of your benefits. Benefits are generally available for up to 26 weeks. For an estimate of your weekly benefit, use the Oregon Unemployment Insurance Estimator. You can’t file a new Oregon claim until your benefit year is up, even if you’ve received all of your benefits.

How to file a claim for unemployment benefits in Oregon

For regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits there are two ways to apply:

  • The fastest way to apply is through our Online Claim System​. For regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, you will fill out an online form.
  • By phone. If you are attempting to file an Initial Claim on Saturday between 8:00 pm and 11:59 pm, please call 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484) to begin the claim filing process and establish your effective week.

You can find online filing information and contact information on the state of Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance page. Once you file, you must continue to file weekly claims with the ED for each week for which you are claiming benefits.

Once it receives your application, the ED will send you some documents, including a Wage and Potential Benefit Report indicating your potential benefit amount and duration.

How do I know my claim was processed?

UI will mail a Wage and Potential Benefit Report at the time we process your claim application. This report includes the wages reported by your base-year employer(s) and the weekly benefit amount you may receive if you’re eligible. Carefully review the wages and employers reported on the Wage and Potential Benefit Report. If wages are missing or incorrect, follow the instructions on the form. If your benefit amount is based on any wages that are not yours, you will be responsible for repaying the money paid to you. Some wages don’t automatically show on your Wage and Potential Benefit Report such as:

  • Work in another state
  • Work for the federal government
  • Active duty military service

The Employment Department must request these wages before they can be added to your claim. Continue filing for weekly benefits. If the hours and wages on the form are correct, but you still don’t qualify, it could be for these reasons:

  • You didn’t have $1000 and total earnings of one and one-half times the wages in the highest quarter of your base year,
  • You didn’t work 500 hours or more during your base year, or
  • If you received benefits on an earlier claim, you must have worked and earned six times the weekly benefit amount of your new claim.

Filing weekly benefits

Filing a claim application and filing for a week of benefits are two separate things. If you have filed a claim application, you still need to submit a weekly claim to request benefits or credit for your waiting week. The waiting week is the first week you file a weekly claim and meet all requirements. Before you can start receiving benefits, Oregon law requires that you serve one waiting week per claim. You won’t be paid any money for the waiting week but serving and claiming it is required.

You will NOT qualify for waiting week credit if:

  • You didn’t meet all eligibility requirements,
  • You worked full time,
  • You earned more than your weekly benefit amount, or
  • You didn’t claim the week timely.

After filing your claim application, you must file a weekly claim to receive benefits. To request waiting week credit, wait until the Sunday after you submit your claim application. Use the Oregon Employment Department’s website or phone system to file your weekly claim for benefits between midnight on Sunday and 11:59 PM on Saturday. Continue to file for weekly benefits every week that you’re unemployed to request payment

How and when do I file for weekly benefits?

To claim each week:

  • Use our Online Claims System and select the option “Claim a week of benefits”
  • Claim by phone with the Weekly Claim Line

You must file a claim for benefits after the week is over as benefits are not automatically paid. The Employment Department uses a calendar week of Sunday midnight through Saturday 11:59 PM

The telephone Weekly Claim Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Online Claims System is available seven days a week. If you’re unable to use the Online Claim System due to routine maintenance you can still file your weekly claim by phone. For each week you want to file for weekly benefits, you must certify that you meet the eligibility requirements. You do this by answering questions about your eligibility for that entire week. Until you claim at least one week of benefits, NO payments or decisions will be made on your claim, and you won’t satisfy your waiting week. base-year


For what reasons can unemployment be denied?

If your unemployment claim is denied, you will receive a Notice of Determination from the Department of Labor. The determination will explain why your claim was denied and provide information on the appeals process.

Common reasons why unemployment claims are denied include:

1. Voluntary quit and discharge:

You may be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits if we determine that:

  • You quit a job without good cause, or
  • You were discharged (fired) for misconduct

A disqualification for these reasons lasts until you work again and earn at least ten times the benefit rate we calculated when you filed your claim. Earnings from self-employment will not count. Once you have earned enough from employment to end the disqualification, you must also be out of work again through no fault of your own. If you left your job for good cause, you will not be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Examples of good causes include:

  • A domestic violence situation where your safety, or the safety of your immediate family, would be at risk if you stayed in the job
  • If a member of your immediate family has an illness or disability that requires you to take care of them for longer than your employer is willing to grant time off (paid or unpaid)
  • If your spouse’s employment location changes and you must move with them to a place where you cannot easily commute to your job
  • The Department of Labor determines that your pay and/or hours of work were reduced substantially

2. Job refusal:

You can also be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits if, after applying, you refuse to take a job that meets the qualifications:

Examples of good causes include:

  • The job would interfere with your right to join or retain membership in a labor organization, or interfere with or violate a collective bargaining agreement
  • There is a strike, lockout, or another industrial controversy in the establishment where the employment is offered
  • The employment is an unreasonable distance from your residence or travel to and from the employment is substantially more expensive than that required in your former employment
  • The wages, compensation, hours, or conditions are substantially less favorable than those prevailing for similar work in the locality or are such that they depress wages or working conditions
  • You customarily worked part-time in the 18 months before you filed your claim, and the offer of employment is not comparable to your part-time work

3. Strike and another industrial controversy, except lockouts:

If you lose your job due to a labor dispute, such as a strike, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Normally, the strike must last for 14 days before you are eligible to receive benefits. This is called a suspension period. The suspension period does not apply if you are locked out of your workplace due to a labor dispute. You may be eligible sooner if:

  • The labor dispute ends and you are still unemployed, or
  • Your employer hires permanent replacement workers

4. Availability, capability, and word search. You will be denied benefits if you are:

  • Not ready, willing, and able to work
  • Not prepared to take a job immediately
  • Not physically or mentally capable of employment
  • Not actively seeking work and keeping a record of your work search activities (online or written) for

each week that you claim benefits

If you are not eligible for benefits because you are not available for or capable of work, you

can become eligible when you show the Department of Labor that you are again available for

employment, capable of working and actively seeking work, and keeping a record of your work

search activities. You must attend required appointments at your local Career Center. If you do not go to your required appointment, your benefits will be stopped immediately. The first thing you need to do is immediately go, in person, to the New York State Career Center listed on your appointment notice during their business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Monday through Friday.

5. Criminal acts:

You will be disqualified from receiving benefits for 12 months after you lose employment, whether you quit or are fired, if you:

  • Lost your job for committing a felony in connection with your employment, AND
  • You admitted guilt in a signed statement or were convicted of the felony In addition, wages paid to you for employment that ended in criminal acts cannot be used to establish a claim.

6. Incarceration:

If you are in jail or prison, you are not available to accept work immediately. Therefore, you are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Also, it is against the law for you to allow or direct anyone else to claim weekly benefits for you while you are incarcerated. There may be other, less common circumstances that can prevent you from being eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

How to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits in Oregon

If your unemployment claim is denied, you have 20 days to appeal the decision with the Office of Administrative Hearings. You can request a hearing by sending a letter or fax to the Office of Administrative Hearings. After receiving your appeal request, a hearing will be scheduled to receive evidence from both you and your employer. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will conduct the hearing by telephone and issue a written decision. If you differ with the ALJ’s decision, you may appeal to the Employment Appeals Board by the date stated in the ALJ’s notice of the judgment. And, if you oppose the Board’s decision, you may file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals To unemployment


Now that you’ve read the article, you must be familiar with the Oregon Unemployment claim. The Oregon unemployment claim program has managed to help a tremendous amount of people. Especially in covid, approximately 9.6 million people have lost their jobs, they need unemployment insurance now more than ever. If you have lost your job too, apply for your unemployment benefit today so that you can receive your due benefits.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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