Q: My employer has had to temporarily close due to the wildfires. Can I get unemployment insurance benefits?
A: If you are an employee and your work has closed because of the wildfires, you may be eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if you are temporarily laid off or out of work. The waiver of the waiting week is still in effect through Sept. 4 so there will not be a delay in receiving benefits.
The only way to know if you qualify for benefits is to apply. The fastest way to apply is through our Online Claim System.
Q: What if I need to restart my claim because I was laid off due to the wildfires?
A: If you already have an existing regular UI claim, you may only need to restart your claim. You can restart your claim through our Online Claim System.
Unfortunately, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits cannot be paid to self-employed people who are out of work due to the wildfires. PUA benefits are only available for COVID-19 related reasons.
Q: My work is primarily outdoors, and I have been temporarily laid off or had my hours significantly reduced due to the wildfires. Is there an unemployment program that can help me during this time?
A: If you have had your hours reduced or have been laid off from work due to the wildfires, you may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. To file an initial claim for regular UI, log on to the Online Claim System and select “Regular UI Initial Claim.” You can also contact us by phone at 1-877-345-3484, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. for help with your claim.
Q: Am I eligible for unemployment if I lost my job due to the wildfires?
A: Maybe. You can take the eligibility quiz to help determine which program you may qualify for.
Q: How can I apply for benefits in a language other than English?
People who would like to file a claim in a language other than English can email us at OED_LanguageAccess@oregon.gov or call our backup language assistance line at 503-606-6969.
Already claiming benefits and affected by the wildfires?
Q: What do I do if I lost my ReliaCard?
A: If you have been evacuated due to the wildfires and need to replace a lost ReliaCard, the quickest way to get in contact with us is to fill out our Contact Us Form and in the description, write “Wildfires.” A claims specialist will contact you to assist with ordering a new ReliaCard or setting up direct deposit. You can also contact us by phone at 1-877-345-3484, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Q: How do I change my mailing address?
A: If you need to update your mailing address due to the wildfires, log on to the Online Claim System and select “Change Your Address,” or you can contact us by phone at 1-877-345-3484, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Since we send important notices by mail, we recommend updating your address even if you use direct deposit or ReliaCard.
Q: What if I can’t file my weekly claim in time because of the wildfires?
A: File your weekly claims using the Online Claim System as soon as you can. If you can’t file your weekly claim within a week (by Saturday), you will be able to backdate your claim. However, please be aware that this will likely cause a delay in processing and payment.
Q: Will my unemployment checks be returned if they cannot be delivered?
A: Yes, if we mailed you benefit checks and they cannot be delivered to the address we have on file for you, the post office will return them to us and we will reissue them. If your benefit checks were already delivered and lost due to the wildfires, fill out the Contact Us Form and select, “I evacuated due to the fires, and I need help on my claim.” A claims specialist will contact you to help with reissuing your payments.
Q: How long do I have to wait to have my checks reissued to me?
A: It can take up to 14 days from the day you contact us until we reissue your checks.
Q: Can I get help from other community resources?
A: If you have been impacted by the wildfires, visit wildfire.oregon.gov for the most up-to-date resources available in your local area. Here is a list of additional resources that may be available to you:
- Help paying rent or finding housing
- Help paying utility bills
- Help getting groceries or other food, like food boxes or food pantries
- Help finding and paying for childcare
- Cash benefits
- Immediate help for people in a domestic violence situation
- General information about COVID-19
- Transportation help
- Resources for immigrant and undocumented communities
- Other resources available in your community
211info can help you identify, navigate and connect with local resources.
Call: 2-1-1 or 1-866-698-6155 (free language interpreters available by phone)
TTY: dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
Text: your zip code to 898211 (TXT211) (English and Spanish)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (English and Spanish)
If you lost or don’t have health coverage, you may qualify for a free or low-cost health plan.
If you have to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19, but do not have paid time off from work, you may be eligible for the Temporary Paid Leave Program.