The employment department is taking steps to address the call volume. Learn More File or check on a Claim How to file a claim CARES Act and COVID-19. Oregon congresswoman pushes for public webinars, calls for interim director of employment department to clear backlog of insurance claims Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Unemployment Insurance Communications and Media Inquiries . I sent an email with my name, customer ID number, address, phone number, and what my issue is. EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Employment has announced new data involving unemployment claims as well as wait times. Additionally, Krumenauer said the department upgraded its phone systems to accept more calls – and more calls getting through means more people waiting on hold. Here are tips and tricks from people who are right there with you. “My unemployment is still pending since August and there is nowhere to turn,” Ivey said. I sent this email on the 22nd. 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. For questions about Unemployment Insurance, how to apply for benefits, eligibility requirements, and inquiries about your 1099-G for benefits you received. The problem has been all-consuming and incredibly distressing.”. In total, during the pandemic, you potentially could receive up to 52-59 weeks of benefits (more than one year.) Greater Salem Area: (503) 375-7900. Not only has COVID-19 forced thousands out of work, but the state's overburdened employment agency has left many of … Use the Online Claim System; iMatchSkills Register/Login; Benefits Estimator; Appeals Process; UI Program Updates; UI Help Center. The employment department’s phones are hopelessly jammed – most calls get only busy signals. You may qualify for unemployment benefits to partly replace your lost earnings. Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. I've now been listening to this god fucking awful song on hold for about 80 minutes. Looking for a job or retraining? Now, they may be called on to help process unemployment claims. And one of the biggest phone fiascos on record. Subscribe to OregonLive. Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: (541) 388-4066. Unemployment Insurance Contact Centers: Portland Area: (503) 292-2057. 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. All rights reserved (About Us). “Not once. The state still owes well over $100 million in unpaid claims, though. Thonis said managers limited workers to only a small handful of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications for about two weeks after the program launched in Oregon on April 28. “This busy work is all that stands between me and having no way to pay for basic living expenses. We review every message, but are prioritizing those from customers with the oldest issues and from those who have been impacted by recent wildfires . Camilla Christiansen Poole spent nearly 9 hours on hold with her state unemployment agency. 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. 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. So it may be weeks – or months – before Oregon works through its backlog in claims questions. 10-002. the employment department didn’t have phone lines set up to help self-employed workers and contractors, resisted big changes in its communications technology. Average hold times at Oregon Employment Department spike up to 3 ½ hours -- and most calls are never answered She said the hold times the employment department posts online doesn’t include calls to new claims centers the department has opened recently. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Oregonians must come together to keep our communities safe and healthy. Oregon’s coronavirus outbreak has created a profound economic crisis with by far the biggest job loss in state history. 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). Share ; Share ; Share ; By: Jason Stoogenke, wsoctv.com Updated: April 9, 2020 - … I’ll try and update this if I hear back from them anytime soon. Oregon is in the midst of an unemployment crisis. 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. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Stuck on hold with unemployment? Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: (541) 388-6207. Astoria Unemployment Office: 450 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 97103 (503) 325-4821 (503) 325-2918: Baker City Unemployment Office: 1575 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, 97814 (541) 523-6331 (541) 523-3530: Beaverton/Hillsboro Unemployment Office: 241 SW Edgeway Drive, Beaverton, Oregon 97006: 503-526-2700: 503-526-2750: Bend Unemployment Office With jobless claims up nearly seventeenfold, though, the staffing increases aren’t close to keeping up with demand. Media contact: Jamie Swift, Communications manager, 360-902-0904 OLYMPIA – Heading into the busiest time of year for Washington’s unemployment-claims call center, the Employment Security Department has added a telephone service that gives customers the option of being called back instead of waiting on hold, without losing their place in line. At the peak of the great recession, the number of people filing for unemployment was about 20,000 in one week. Subscribe to OregonLive. Nearly 14 weeks later, navigating the state’s unemployment claims process has been anything but easy for Walsh. Please support high-quality local journalism. I put an auto-dialer app on my phone yesterday and started calling this morning at 8am. “Reforms that could have immediate results include allowing some agency staff to work remotely, so that more workers are available to answer calls and emails during normal business hours, safely bringing on retired agency staff who have the expertise to handle the most complicated, time-consuming cases, and expanding transparency and proactive communications to filers and the public,” Smith Warner said in a statement last week. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. Laid-off workers are confused and confounded by the department’s faltering claims system, erroneous denials and stubborn silence on key policies and questions. Your actions can save lives: wear a mask, physically distance, limit your gatherings, stay home when sick, and get a vaccination once it’s available to you. 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). Some callers spend twice that long on hold. -- Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | twitter: @rogoway |. “You call and wait on hold for hours. Please support high-quality local journalism. TOLL FREE: (800) 982-8920 The Oregon Employment Department’s Contact Us form was created to gather all inquiries related to unemployment benefits. Some callers have been left waiting hours on hold. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. So the average hold time to the … The Oregon Employment Department says the average time callers spend on hold has jumped to nearly two hours per call. Find WorkSource services in your area. The average hold time for those that do get through spiked to more than 3 ½ hours last week, according to employment department data. It has added hundreds of staff to process claims in recent weeks – it has 520 now and has leased a facility in Wilsonville to expand claims staff to 800. To be clear, these $500 checks from Oregon are not unemployment benefits. The state paid out $119 million in benefits in the week ending April 18. More than two months later, Amonette is still waiting for her unemployment benefits. All payments we sent to you and amounts withheld will be recalculated and compared to the amount on your Form 1099-G. The Oregon Employment Department says the average time callers spend on hold has jumped to nearly two hours per call. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. 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. For starters, she said, one reason people are spending longer on hold is that the department’s phones had been hanging up on people. -- Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | twitter: @rogoway |. Last week, the Employment Department only answered about four in every 10 calls — and that was after … That’s something callers had long suspected but the employment department hadn’t previously acknowledged. 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 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. TOLL FREE: (877) 345-3484 Weekly Claim Line Numbers: Portland Area: (503) 224-0405. Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. I finally got through at 11:50 after over 700 calls. The frustrations lead people to call the department again and again – some say they dial more than 700 times a day. While Gov. 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 … The hold time doesn’t account for callers who never get through. As a result the state is dealing with an influx of unemployment claims, making it hard to get ahold of someone. And she said the department plans to add more phone lines in the coming weeks. For several weeks, department director Kay Erickson has refused interview requests. On March 23, Tricia Luithle was laid off from a Cincinnati call center due to COVID-19. The employment department’s phone lines remain a wreck two months after the coronavirus outbreak began in Oregon. 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. Anyone who is authorized to work in the U.S. may be eligible. Members of the Oregon Army National Guard helped distribute personal protective equipment during the early days of the pandemic. Menu Oregon.gov Home; Job Seekers; Unemployment Currently selected; Businesses; Agency Information; Modernization; Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance ; Forms; Videos; My UI Claim. Heads up: I got through quickly after 5pm, so you may try that. If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again. Many only get busy signals, and of the calls that connect fewer than half are ever answered. We'll see if I get through to anyone. (The department doesn’t know how many unprocessed claims it has from self-employed workers who are newly eligible for benefits.) Many unemployed Oregonians will go without benefits until it does. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to be unemployed to qualify. Have your hours been cut? If you have a question specific to your claim, please contact the UI Center directly. “The wait times are incredibly long,” employment department spokeswoman Gail Krumenauer acknowledged in an email Monday. 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. All rights reserved (About Us). It will be 20 weeks if Oregon is experiencing high unemployment. And I’ve called hundreds and hundreds of times. This is not a type of public assistance. Krumenauer did not respond to questions Monday about whether the phone situation has changed for self-employed workers. Claimant Handbook; How to File (Videos) … Her claim was denied and she since applied for pandemic unemployment insurance. Currently, about 100,000 Oregonians filed for unemployment at the end of last week on April 4. 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. 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. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. Among those who make it that far, two-thirds are cut off without ever receiving a response. 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. View past installments here. 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). Woman applying for unemployment says she was on hold 9 hours in one sitting. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. Salem Area: (503) 947-1500. Krumenauer said that situation has been alleviated. “I was on hold for two hours and 33 minutes,” said Porter-Mitchell. Those were categories previously ineligible for benefits and the state has struggled to adapt its aging computer systems to process their claims. I logged 1400ish calls through this app in a day before being put on hold, and then subsequently having the call drop after 2+ hours, twice. Unemployment Insurance. If the amount is incorrect, an amended Form 1099-G will be issued. Her efforts to find out went wrong have come to naught. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. 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. I really hope I do. When Poole finally got hold of a representative, she … The Oregon Employment Department (OED) released new data Thursday that shows about 20% of the statewide labor force has filed for unemployment benefits. Building a Safe and Strong Oregon. The offices close for the week in less than four hours. Here’s The Oregonian’s weekly look at the numbers behind the state’s economy. 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