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The CARES Act provides guidelines for unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through to July 31, 2020, all regular unemployment insurance and pandemic unemployment assistance (PUC) claimants will receive their calculated benefit plus an additional $600 per week in compensation.
- This is a flat amount to everyone currently on unemployment insurance, and includes anyone receiving a partial unemployment payment.
- PUC income will NOT impact Medicaid or CHIP eligibility.
- PUC will be paid an additional 13 weeks after state unemployment benefits expire.
- Workers must be “actively engaged” in searching for work. The Act says “a State shall provide flexibility in meeting such requirements in case of individuals unable to search for work because of COVID-19, including because of illness, quarantine, or movement restriction.”
- The traditional waiting week is waived.
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
For more information about unemployment in Oregon, visit the Employment Department's COVID-19 web page.
This article has information on The Best Way to Reach Oregon’s Employment Department.If you would like assistance finding unemployment resources, contact us.