- Able to work: You are mentally and physically able to work.
- Actively looking for work: You made direct contact with at least two employers during the week, or you completed at least three work-seeking activities during the week. Examples of activities to show that you are seeking work include looking at job announcements, using job-search tools online, attending a career fair, or taking a class to further your interview skills.
- Available to work: You are able to work without restrictions that would prevent you from accepting work (for example: you do not have transportation issues, illness, vacations, or a lack of family care or childcare that would prevent you from accepting work).
This is an additional review process for unemployment insurance claims that is required in certain cases to determine if someone is eligible for benefits. The Oregon Unemployment Department is legally required to investigate whether someone is eligible to receive benefits if doubts have been raised about their eligibility. Many issues can be resolved with quick follow-up questions, but other issues require a more thorough review through an adjudication process. Learn more about Administrative Decisions and Adjudication.
Your base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week you file your initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits.
- If you file your initial claim in January, February, or March 2022, your base year is Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.
- If you file your initial claim in April, May, or June 2022, your base year is Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021.
- If you file your initial claim in July, August, or September 2022, your base year is April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022.
- If you file your initial claim in October, November, or December 2022, your base year is July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.
Your benefit year is a 52-week period that begins the first week you file your initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Note that even though your benefit year is a 52-week period, you may only receive total benefits of up to 26 times your weekly benefit amount, and you can’t file a new Oregon unemployment insurance claim until your 52-week-long benefit year ends, even if you’ve received all of your benefits.
Extended benefits, high extended benefits
The extended benefits (EB) and high extended benefits (HEB) programs extend regular unemployment insurance benefits when a state is at high levels of unemployment. The average unemployment rate is federally reviewed over a three-month period to determine if the state will have extended benefits. When the average unemployment rate is 8% or higher, Oregon is in an HEB period, and up to 20 additional weeks of benefits are provided. If the rate is below 8% but above 6.5%, then Oregon is in an EB period, which provides up to 13 weeks of additional benefits.
Your unemployment insurance claim is exhausted when you've reached a $0 balance and no more funds are available for you from that benefit program.
Regular unemployment insurance claims expire after 52 weeks. That means you cannot claim any more weeks of benefits after your claim has expired, even if there is a positive balance in your account. You will need to file a new initial claim. Learn more about expired claims and when to file a new claim.
Unemployment insurance fraud occurs when someone provides wrong information or withholds facts on purpose to get benefits. If you hide or report wrong information on purpose, that is fraud. Fraud is a crime and can result in penalties including criminal prosecution. Learn more about unemployment insurance fraud, as well as unemployment identity theft.
These are your earnings before expenses, taxes, or any other deductions have been taken out. Gross earnings should be higher than net earnings.
People may file claims for unemployment benefits using names and personal information that they have illegally purchased or stolen in an online data breach, or when you share your personal information with others by accident or on purpose. When a person uses another person’s information to file an unemployment claim, this is a form of identity theft. Oregonians learn about the fraud when they get a notice from the Oregon Employment Department or their employer about their supposed application for benefits. If this happens to you, it means someone is misusing your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. Report unemployment identity theft to us as soon as possible. Learn more about unemployment identity theft and unemployment insurance fraud.
To prevent people from committing unemployment identity theft, we have made our security and ID verification process stronger. Before we share information about your claim, we need to make sure you’re you, and not someone pretending to be you. Learn more on our Verify Your Identity and Protect Yourself from Fraud pages.
This is the Oregon Employment Department’s online job-matching tool. It uses your skills and work history to find potential work. The more details you supply, the better iMatchSkills can help you. Register at imatchskills.org.
To find out if you qualify for unemployment benefits, you need to fill out an application. This is called filing an initial claim. You only file an initial claim once per benefit year.
Your net earnings are your total earnings minus expenses, taxes or other deductions. Net earnings should be lower than gross earnings.
The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is a state workforce agency. We promote employment for Oregonians by developing a diversified, multi-skilled workforce, and we provide support during periods of unemployment. Learn more about us.
Online Claim System (OCS)
The Oregon Employment Department’s Online Claim System (OCS) is available at Employment.Oregon.gov/ocs. You can use the system to:
- File an initial claim
- Claim a week of benefits
- Find the status of your claim and weekly reports
- Restart your claim
- Apply for electronic deposits
- Change your address
- Change or reset your pin
- Look into benefit payment options
- Make a payment
- Access your 1099G tax forms
An overpayment happens when you were paid benefits that you were not eligible for. Some overpayments happen when people give us inaccurate or partial information. Other overpayments can be caused if we make an error while processing your claim, and others may be caused when a decision we made is changed on appeal after we receive new information.
When there are overpayments, we have a legal obligation to try to recover them. If you did not cause the overpayment, we normally offset that debt by deducting the amount of money you owe from any future benefits you are eligible for. The U.S. Department of Labor allows us to waive some overpayments if the overpayments were not your fault and if repaying it would be an unreasonable hardship.
There are specific federal and state laws related to educational institutions and unemployment insurance. Educators may be eligible to get benefits during a school recess period, or break, if they have not been given “reasonable assurance” that they will return after the break. Generally, reasonable assurance means having an offer of work in the same or a similar capacity with the same rate of pay (or within 90% of the rate). The offer can be in writing, verbal or implied. However, we must review your claim to make that determination. Read more about unemployment insurance and school workers.
Benefits owed to a worker from a claim they filed at an earlier time.
If you are working for yourself rather than for an employer, you are self-employed.
Training Unemployment Insurance (TUI)
The Training Unemployment Insurance (TUI) program lets eligible dislocated workers, or people who are unlikely to return to their previous industry, attend school and receive regular unemployment insurance benefits at the same time so that they can continue to care for their families and obtain employment. The program does not pay for the training itself but instead removes the work-search requirements from your weekly claims while you attend school full time. Learn more about the Training Unemployment Insurance program.
Generally, you’re considered unemployed any week you work fewer than 40 hours and earn less than your weekly benefit amount.
Unemployment insurance (UI)
Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits replace part of your lost income when you become unemployed. It is not public assistance. Employers fund the UI program, and UI taxes are not withheld from employee paychecks.
U.S. Bank ReliaCard®
The Employment Department pays benefits electronically either by a U.S. Bank ReliaCard Visa debit card or by direct deposit. If you don’t apply for direct deposit, you will be sent a ReliaCard.
The waiting week is the first week you file a weekly claim and meet all eligibility requirements. Oregon law requires one waiting week per claim before you can start receiving benefits. You must claim the week to receive credit for it as a waiting week, but you won’t receive any money for this week.
Weekly benefit amount (WBA)
Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is 1.25% of your total base year gross earnings. Under Oregon law, it will not be less than the minimum benefit amount or more than the maximum benefit amount you can receive.
For example, a worker who earned $12.50 per hour, working 40 hours per week, for the past year would have base year gross earnings of $26,000 and would get $325 per week in unemployment benefits.
To get unemployment benefits, you must file a weekly claim. This is different from the initial claim. A weekly claim determines how much money we send you for the past week. Weekly claims are filed for the past week and start on Sundays and end on Saturdays. You must wait until Sunday to file your weekly claim for the week that ended on Saturday.
The Work Share program gives employers an alternative to laying off their workforce. Employers can keep skilled employees during slow times by reducing their work hours. Eligible staff whose hours are reduced will get a portion of unemployment insurance benefits to make up for lost wages. Learn more about Work Share Oregon.
WorkSource Oregon connects job seekers with thousands of available jobs and training opportunities and connects employers with qualified candidates. Services are free. WorkSource Oregon offers the following services:
- Job referrals
- Workshops covering subjects such as interview preparation, resume writing, and basic computer knowledge
- Career planning
- Education and training opportunities with scholarship help
WorkSource Oregon center
WorkSource Oregon centers around the state provide free employment services and training resources. Find your local WorkSource Oregon center.