Statement from Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld on expiration of federal program providing extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits
July 24, 2020 (Salem, Ore.) – The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was created through the passage of the federal CARES Act signed March 27, 2020 and provides an extra $600 per week to Oregonians eligible for unemployment benefits, is set to end on Saturday, July 25. Following is a statement from Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld:
“We know that many Oregonians have been counting on the extra $600 per week through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Since the program began on March 29, we have paid out more than $2 billion in FPUC benefits, so this is going to have a significant impact on Oregon families and communities. Just last week, the Department paid the extra $600 to more than 130,000 Oregonians, and that doesn’t include some Oregonians whose claims have not yet been processed.
We want to be sure Oregonians know what to expect, and also want them to know about additional resources available to them to supplement the $600 weekly loss in benefits. Here is what you need to know if you have already been receiving those benefits or are waiting for your benefits to be paid:
- Every Oregonian who was eligible for regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits between March 29 and July 25 is also eligible for the extra $600 per week during that period.
- When you file a claim after July 25, you will still get your regular unemployment benefits or PUA benefits for each week you are eligible, and if you file a weekly claim. You will no longer get the extra $600 each week.
- If you haven’t yet been paid for weeks between March 29 and July 25, you will still get the extra $600 per week for those weeks once your claim is processed, for all weeks you were eligible.
We want every Oregonian to know about all benefits available to them. Unemployed Oregonians may also qualify for help paying for rent, utilities, food, healthcare, and more— especially now that the extra $600 per week is ending. We encourage you to visit 211info.org or call 211 to learn what benefits might be available to you. Free interpretation is provided.
We are grateful to our Congressional delegation for pushing hard to bring this extra relief to so many Oregonians. We know it has helped thousands of Oregon families who haven’t been able to return to work. We are frustrated that getting Oregonians the benefits they deserve has not been easy. We are making progress, and we know there’s a lot more work to do.
We hope that Congress will quickly pass additional measures to extend the program or come up with a solution that is able to be easily implemented so Oregonians can get more relief—and quickly. If they do, we will see how the legislation will impact Oregonians and share that information with you as quickly as we can.”
For more information on unemployment benefits in Oregon, visit unemployment.oregon.gov. Oregonians can also call 211 or go to 211info.org to find additional resources to help cover the cost of housing, health care, food, utility bills and other costs.