The Oregon Employment Department (OED) released new data Thursday that shows about 20% of the statewide labor force has filed for unemployment benefits. Now, they may be called on to help process unemployment claims. Have your hours been cut? When Poole finally got hold of a representative, she … More than 330,000 Oregonians filed new unemployment claims in the first five weeks of the crisis, according to data out Thursday from the employment department. The offices close for the week in less than four hours. Many only get busy signals, and of the calls that connect fewer than half are ever answered. (The department doesn’t know how many unprocessed claims it has from self-employed workers who are newly eligible for benefits.) Because of this I recommend trying outside of the normal 8-5 business hours since not many people know of the extended hours yet, thus less call flow at that time and less wait time on hold. Additionally, Krumenauer said the department upgraded its phone systems to accept more calls – and more calls getting through means more people waiting on hold. And while the employment department hasn’t set up an appointment system for calls, like many private companies do during times of heavy call volume, Krumenauer said it has called “thousands” of claimants directly to resolve their issues. The Oregon Employment Department says the average time callers spend on hold has jumped to nearly two hours per call. If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again. For questions about Unemployment Insurance, how to apply for benefits, eligibility requirements, and inquiries about your 1099-G for benefits you received. I sent this email on the 22nd. “The wait times are incredibly long,” employment department spokeswoman Gail Krumenauer acknowledged in an email Monday. As a result the state is dealing with an influx of unemployment claims, making it hard to get ahold of someone. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. For several weeks, department director Kay Erickson has refused interview requests. That’s something callers had long suspected but the employment department hadn’t previously acknowledged. Subscribe to OregonLive. Oregon congresswoman pushes for public webinars, calls for interim director of employment department to clear backlog of insurance claims The Oregon Employment Department says the average time callers spend on hold has jumped to nearly two hours per call. Menu Oregon.gov Home; Job Seekers; Unemployment Currently selected; Businesses; Agency Information; Modernization; Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance ; Forms; Videos; My UI Claim. Those were categories previously ineligible for benefits and the state has struggled to adapt its aging computer systems to process their claims. On March 23, Tricia Luithle was laid off from a Cincinnati call center due to COVID-19. Woman applying for unemployment says she was on hold 9 hours in one sitting. “I was on hold for two hours and 33 minutes,” said Porter-Mitchell. “Not once. “This busy work is all that stands between me and having no way to pay for basic living expenses. Aimee Amonette lost her part-time job at Powell’s Books’ Southeast Portland store on March 15, the day the bookstore shut all its locations as the coronavirus outbreak hit Portland. So it may be weeks – or months – before Oregon works through its backlog in claims questions. Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. Use the Online Claim System; iMatchSkills Register/Login; Benefits Estimator; Appeals Process; UI Program Updates; UI Help Center. Find WorkSource services in your area. Currently, about 100,000 Oregonians filed for unemployment at the end of last week on April 4. The Oregon Employment Department’s Contact Us form was created to gather all inquiries related to unemployment benefits. Heads up: I got through quickly after 5pm, so you may try that. Her efforts to find out went wrong have come to naught. The Contact Us form can be used for these purposes: Ask questions or get help with your claim; Upload documents like … So the average hold time to the … Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. Some callers spend twice that long on hold. The state paid out $119 million in benefits in the week ending April 18. Greater Salem Area: (503) 375-7900. I put an auto-dialer app on my phone yesterday and started calling this morning at 8am. Please support high-quality local journalism. Members of the Oregon Army National Guard helped distribute personal protective equipment during the early days of the pandemic. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to be unemployed to qualify. Email oed_covid19_info@oregon.gov Supposedly they are checking emails as much as they can and trying to fix peoples issues with their unemployment. We'll see if I get through to anyone. It’s one more symptom of this spring’s fiasco at the department, which has left nearly 50,000 people without benefits during the pandemic. EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Employment has announced new data involving unemployment claims as well as wait times. The problem has been all-consuming and incredibly distressing.”. We review every message, but are prioritizing those from customers with the oldest issues and from those who have been impacted by recent wildfires . With jobless claims up nearly seventeenfold, though, the staffing increases aren’t close to keeping up with demand. Here are tips and tricks from people who are right there with you. Claimant Handbook; How to File (Videos) … Oregon’s unemployment rate improved in September to 8.0% from 8.5% in August as the state gained back 5,100 jobs, including 2,600 in the leisure and … “My unemployment is still pending since August and there is nowhere to turn,” Ivey said. “You call and wait on hold for hours. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Unemployment Insurance. Oregonians must come together to keep our communities safe and healthy. The employment department is taking steps to address the call volume. When Viar tried to call to learn what’s gone wrong, he spent more than two hours on hold with the Oregon Unemployment Department but came away with no answers. Anyone who is authorized to work in the U.S. may be eligible. The frustrations lead people to call the department again and again – some say they dial more than 700 times a day. Accommodation and … It will be 20 weeks if Oregon is experiencing high unemployment. Average hold times at Oregon Employment Department spike up to 3 ½ hours -- and most calls are never answered OREGON — Unemployment numbers hit an all-time high this week with 6.6 million Americans filing for benefits and over 45,000 claims in Oregon. The employment department’s phone lines remain a wreck two months after the coronavirus outbreak began in Oregon. Building a Safe and Strong Oregon. Krumenauer said that situation has been alleviated. The hold time doesn’t account for callers who never get through. Unemployment Insurance Contact Centers: Portland Area: (503) 292-2057. TOLL FREE: (877) 345-3484 Weekly Claim Line Numbers: Portland Area: (503) 224-0405. The Oregon Employment Department called her and told her about a mistake she made in her application – then denied her claim and never responded to her appeal of its decision. Their hellish experiences filing for PUA in Oregon run the gamut, from calling hundreds of times every day and sitting on hold for hours, only to get hung up on, to no communication whatsoever. Laid-off workers are confused and confounded by the department’s faltering claims system, erroneous denials and stubborn silence on key policies and questions. Not only has COVID-19 forced thousands out of work, but the state's overburdened employment agency has left many of … Salem Area: (503) 947-1500. All payments we sent to you and amounts withheld will be recalculated and compared to the amount on your Form 1099-G. Share ; Share ; Share ; By: Jason Stoogenke, wsoctv.com Updated: April 9, 2020 - … For weeks, Amonette has been trying to reach the employment department to check the status of her claims – but has never been able to get through. Her claim was denied and she since applied for pandemic unemployment insurance. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. Unemployment Insurance Communications and Media Inquiries . The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. -- Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | twitter: @rogoway |. Nearly 14 weeks later, navigating the state’s unemployment claims process has been anything but easy for Walsh. All rights reserved (About Us). Camilla Christiansen Poole spent nearly 9 hours on hold with her state unemployment agency. “My emails and voicemails go unanswered but I don't know what else to do,” Amonette said. Learn More File or check on a Claim How to file a claim CARES Act and COVID-19. Subscribe to OregonLive. For starters, she said, one reason people are spending longer on hold is that the department’s phones had been hanging up on people. I've now been listening to this god fucking awful song on hold for about 80 minutes. Many unemployed Oregonians will go without benefits until it does. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. If you believe the "Total Payment" or "Tax Withheld" on Form 1099-G is incorrect, contact us at 503-947-1320 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (Pacific Time). View past installments here. Kate Brown has been largely silent on the crisis at the employment department, a number of other prominent Oregon leaders have called for change – among them U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, House Speaker Tina Kotek and House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner – who urged “bold action" on behalf of Oregon workers. the employment department didn’t have phone lines set up to help self-employed workers and contractors, resisted big changes in its communications technology. If you have a question specific to your claim, please contact the UI Center directly. You may qualify for unemployment benefits to partly replace your lost earnings. More than two months later, Amonette is still waiting for her unemployment benefits. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Looking for a job or retraining? The employment department has resisted big changes in its communications technology, cautioning that any effort spent to interact better with claimants risked delaying the processing of claims. The state still owes well over $100 million in unpaid claims, though. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). The state unemployment department might put a claim on hold, or even deny benefits, if the claimant is self-employed, paid "under the table," or did not meet the state's minimum requirements for length of employment or number of hours worked in a specified time period. At the peak of the great recession, the number of people filing for unemployment was about 20,000 in one week. In total, during the pandemic, you potentially could receive up to 52-59 weeks of benefits (more than one year.) TOLL FREE: (800) 982-8920 I really hope I do. The average hold time for those that do get through spiked to more than 3 ½ hours last week, according to employment department data. 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