What unemployment assistance is available?

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The Oregon Employment Department has a new means to contact unemployment 

The CARES Act provides guidelines for unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic.   In light of COVID-19, several new forms of unemployment are available, including:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: provides benefits for gig workers, self employed or contract workers and people who did not work sufficient hours in the year to qualify for regular unemployment

Pandemic Emergenecy Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides benefit extension if a regular unemployment claim has expired or has a $0 balance

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA): provides an additional $300 benefit for people with open unemployment claims from July 26, 2020- Sept 5, 2020.  This program may provide the additional benefit from 3-5 weeks.  

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: For workers who are not eligible for traditional state unemployment insurance benefits, pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) is available. Those eligible for PUA include self-employed workers, freelancers, people seeking part-time work, and those who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers are not eligible for PUA if they can either telework with pay or are receiving paid sick days or paid leave. Undocumented workers will not qualify.

Applicants will need to provide self-certification that they are (1) partially or fully unemployed, OR (2) unable and unavailable to work because of one of the following circumstances:

    • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of it and are seeking diagnosis

    • A member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19

    • They are providing care for someone diagnosed with COVID-19

    • They are providing care for a child or other household member who can’t attend school or work because it is closed due to COVID-19

    • They are quarantined or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine

    • They were scheduled to start employment and do not have a job or cannot reach their place of employment as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak

    • They have become the breadwinner for a household because the head of household has died as a direct result of COVID-19

    • They had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19

    • Their place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation may be able to extend your benefits by up to 13 weeks.  This type of unemployment is available to people who have a regular unemployment claim that has $0 balance in unemployment or whose claim has expired.  PEUC is separate from extended benefits and must be used prior to extended benefits.  This benefit is not available on PUA claims. PEUC claims cannot be accepted until AFTER your claim has run out of benefit or expired.  The PEUC benefit will be the same amount as your regular unemployment and should include any extra federal monies approved during your claim period (for example, the extra $600 PUC from the federal government).  Click here to learn more or apply.

Lost Wages Assistance: This benefit marks unemployment benefits for an additional $300 a week for those unemployed due to COVID-19  from July 26, 2020 through Sept 5, 2020.  To receive the benefit you must self-certify.  Individuals receiving PUA will not need to certify as that was already a condition of their form of unemployment. You can self-certify using the Online Claim System.  Scroll down to Lost Wages Assistance.  You only need to certify once and continue filing your weekly claims. 

For more information about unemployment in Oregon, visit the Employment Department's COVID-19 web page.

See the Employment's Department's chart of Scenarios and Benefits

This article has information on The Best Way to Reach Oregon’s Employment Department.

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