Strategies that work
We know many are struggling to reach our Contact Center to get questions answered. You rely on benefits for housing, food, and other basic expenses. We understand that not knowing when we’ll get back to you can be stressful.
The good news is that answers to most people’s questions can be found on our website or in our Frequently Asked Questions. Our virtual agent, Jesse, is also available to help you find what you need. Just click on the orange cube in the lower right side of your screen to get started.
If your question can be answered online, please do not call our Contact Center. Although we’ve added phone lines and more employees since the start of the pandemic, our call volume remains high. We need lines open to help people who can’t use online resources or have very complex situations that require our direct support.
Are you filing an initial or weekly claim?
We process hundreds of thousands of claims each week. Here’s what you can do to get the help you need:
- Be prepared: Before you apply, take our Eligibility Quiz, read these instructions, and review our step-by-guides and videos. This will help you complete your application and speed up processing times. Our checklist will help you gather documents before starting your application.
- Apply online: The best way to file your initial claim is by using our Online Claim System. If you are unable to file a claim online, you can claim a week of benefits for unemployment insurance (UI) using our automated phone system at 800-982-8920.
- Search the website: Use our website and Jesse, the virtual agent, to find answers to your questions.
- You will get paid: If your application is approved, you will get paid for all of the time you have filed and qualify for. When you apply, start your claim from the time you lost your job or had your hours reduced. Be sure to file weekly claims after each week ends because that protects your rights to benefits.
- Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Submit a ticket through our Contact Us form to get your questions answered.
The Employment Department provides free interpretation through our hotlines. We also provide the following language assistance options:
- Send your name, requested language, and phone number to OED_LanguageAccess@employ.oregon.gov to receive a call back in your language.
- Call the Unemployment Insurance Contact Center at 1-877-345-3484 and request an interpreter in your language.
Phone strategies that work
If you don’t have access to the internet or have a complex issue that requires our help, here are some tips:
- Call throughout the day. The phones are extremely busy, so keep trying if you can’t get through. Early morning and early afternoon are the best times to call. Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule callbacks due to the very high call volume. Generally speaking, if you are not in the phone queue by 3 p.m., you may not have your call answered before the phone lines close for the day.
- Call throughout the week. Call volumes are highest on Mondays and Fridays, and can be high on Wednesday if a bank or federal holiday falls on a Monday.
- Contact Center hours. Our Contact Center is open 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 877-345-3484.
- Listen to the menu. Selecting the correct option upfront helps route your call to the right claims specialist to help you, and can help avoid additional wait times while your call is transferred.
- Use our Contact Us form. If you are unable to get through, or you don’t want to wait on hold, please submit a ticket through our Contact Us form and a claims specialist will reach out to you. Please know that we will call from a blocked line and it may be several weeks before you receive a call back. Make sure your phone accepts blocked calls and that there is room on your voicemail for us to leave you a message.
Pages that help
- Quick Links: Our main unemployment website has helpful links along the left side of the page under Quick Links. Mobile users can click on the yellow Quick Links box in the middle of the home page.
- Technical assistance: Use our step-by-step guides and webinars for help with filing and restarting claims, creating and resetting PINS, and more.
- FAQs: Our robust FAQ can answer most questions about receiving benefits.
- 211info.org: 211info connects people with health and social service organizations. They may be able to provide additional assistance with transportation, rental assistance, childcare, utilities and so much more!
- Healthcare.oregon.gov: If you have lost or don’t have health coverage, you may qualify for a free or low-cost healthcare plan.