“My unemployment is still pending since August and there is nowhere to turn,” Ivey said. 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. Currently, about 100,000 Oregonians filed for unemployment at the end of last week on April 4. Unemployment Insurance. 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. Here’s The Oregonian’s weekly look at the numbers behind the state’s economy. We review every message, but are prioritizing those from customers with the oldest issues and from those who have been impacted by recent wildfires . 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. Please support high-quality local journalism. While Gov. Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. Last week, the Employment Department only answered about four in every 10 calls — and that was after … You may qualify for unemployment benefits to partly replace your lost earnings. Her efforts to find out went wrong have come to naught. The Oregon Employment Department’s Contact Us form was created to gather all inquiries related to unemployment benefits. Menu Oregon.gov Home; Job Seekers; Unemployment Currently selected; Businesses; Agency Information; Modernization; Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance ; Forms; Videos; My UI Claim. TOLL FREE: (877) 345-3484 Weekly Claim Line Numbers: Portland Area: (503) 224-0405. I do it daily,” Amonette lamented Monday. 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. -- Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | twitter: @rogoway |. Some callers spend twice that long on hold. Among those who make it that far, two-thirds are cut off without ever receiving a response. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. It will be 20 weeks if Oregon is experiencing high unemployment. That’s something callers had long suspected but the employment department hadn’t previously acknowledged. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. The Oregon Employment Department says the average time callers spend on hold has jumped to nearly two hours per call. To be clear, these $500 checks from Oregon are not unemployment benefits. 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. 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. 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 The average hold time for those that do get through spiked to more than 3 ½ hours last week, according to employment department data. The frustrations lead people to call the department again and again – some say they dial more than 700 times a day. The Oregon Employment Department (OED) released new data Thursday that shows about 20% of the statewide labor force has filed for unemployment benefits. Email [email protected] Supposedly they are checking emails as much as they can and trying to fix peoples issues with their unemployment. The employment department’s phone lines remain a wreck two months after the coronavirus outbreak began in Oregon. 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 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. Heads up: I got through quickly after 5pm, so you may try that. Use the Online Claim System; iMatchSkills Register/Login; Benefits Estimator; Appeals Process; UI Program Updates; UI Help Center. If the amount is incorrect, an amended Form 1099-G will be issued. Laid-off workers are confused and confounded by the department’s faltering claims system, erroneous denials and stubborn silence on key policies and questions. The employment department is taking steps to address the call volume. Krumenauer did not respond to questions Monday about whether the phone situation has changed for self-employed workers. Not only has COVID-19 forced thousands out of work, but the state's overburdened employment agency has left many of … Looking for a job or retraining? Additionally, Krumenauer said the department upgraded its phone systems to accept more calls – and more calls getting through means more people waiting on hold. With jobless claims up nearly seventeenfold, though, the staffing increases aren’t close to keeping up with demand. Many unemployed Oregonians will go without benefits until it does. I put an auto-dialer app on my phone yesterday and started calling this morning at 8am. Subscribe to OregonLive. I sent this email on the 22nd. “This busy work is all that stands between me and having no way to pay for basic living expenses. I’ll try and update this if I hear back from them anytime soon. 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. And one of the biggest phone fiascos on record. I sent an email with my name, customer ID number, address, phone number, and what my issue is. “Not once. 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. Unemployment Insurance Contact Centers: Portland Area: (503) 292-2057. (The department doesn’t know how many unprocessed claims it has from self-employed workers who are newly eligible for benefits.) Average hold times at Oregon Employment Department spike up to 3 ½ hours -- and most calls are never answered “You call and wait on hold for hours. 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. Here are tips and tricks from people who are right there with you. Please support high-quality local journalism. So it may be weeks – or months – before Oregon works through its backlog in claims questions. Accommodation and … Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. Now, they may be called on to help process unemployment claims. And she said the department plans to add more phone lines in the coming weeks. Woman applying for unemployment says she was on hold 9 hours in one sitting. the employment department didn’t have phone lines set up to help self-employed workers and contractors, resisted big changes in its communications technology. EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Employment has announced new data involving unemployment claims as well as wait times. And I’ve called hundreds and hundreds of times. Complicating the issue, as of last week the employment department didn’t have phone lines set up to help self-employed workers and contractors. View past installments here. If you have a question specific to your claim, please contact the UI Center directly. Oregon congresswoman pushes for public webinars, calls for interim director of employment department to clear backlog of insurance claims Oregon is in the midst of an unemployment crisis. 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 payments we sent to you and amounts withheld will be recalculated and compared to the amount on your Form 1099-G. 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. 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. All rights reserved (About Us). Have your hours been cut? Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: (541) 388-6207. At the peak of the great recession, the number of people filing for unemployment was about 20,000 in one week. 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. Many only get busy signals, and of the calls that connect fewer than half are ever answered. The problem has been all-consuming and incredibly distressing.”. The hold time doesn’t account for callers who never get through. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Greater Salem Area: (503) 375-7900. Camilla Christiansen Poole spent nearly 9 hours on hold with her state unemployment agency. Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. As a result the state is dealing with an influx of unemployment claims, making it hard to get ahold of someone. “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. Find WorkSource services in your area. The offices close for the week in less than four hours. Anyone who is authorized to work in the U.S. may be eligible. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. Share ; Share ; Share ; By: Jason Stoogenke, wsoctv.com Updated: April 9, 2020 - … Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. The Contact Us form can be used for these purposes: Ask questions or get help with your claim; Upload documents like … Krumenauer said that situation has been alleviated. For starters, she said, one reason people are spending longer on hold is that the department’s phones had been hanging up on people. Oregonians must come together to keep our communities safe and healthy. Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: (541) 388-4066. Subscribe to OregonLive. The state paid out $119 million in benefits in the week ending April 18. However, Krumenauer said the department is taking steps to address the mess. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Protip: download an auto redial app (redials at busy signal). If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again. I finally got through at 11:50 after over 700 calls. -- Mike Rogoway | [email protected] | twitter: @rogoway |. TOLL FREE: (800) 982-8920 Those were categories previously ineligible for benefits and the state has struggled to adapt its aging computer systems to process their 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. “I was on hold for two hours and 33 minutes,” said Porter-Mitchell. Salem Area: (503) 947-1500. 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 … For questions about Unemployment Insurance, how to apply for benefits, eligibility requirements, and inquiries about your 1099-G for benefits you received. Her claim was denied and she since applied for pandemic unemployment insurance. When Poole finally got hold of a representative, she … 10-002. Stuck on hold with unemployment? Financially stressed laid-off workers are overloading the agency’s phones. All rights reserved (About Us). The state still owes well over $100 million in unpaid claims, though. We'll see if I get through to anyone. Some callers have been left waiting hours on hold. I've now been listening to this god fucking awful song on hold for about 80 minutes. Learn More File or check on a Claim How to file a claim CARES Act and COVID-19. More than two months later, Amonette is still waiting for her unemployment benefits. 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. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. 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. 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. Nearly 14 weeks later, navigating the state’s unemployment claims process has been anything but easy for Walsh. Building a Safe and Strong Oregon. 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). In total, during the pandemic, you potentially could receive up to 52-59 weeks of benefits (more than one year.) The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Unemployment Insurance Communications and Media Inquiries . “The wait times are incredibly long,” employment department spokeswoman Gail Krumenauer acknowledged in an email Monday. On March 23, Tricia Luithle was laid off from a Cincinnati call center due to COVID-19. This is not a type of public assistance. “My emails and voicemails go unanswered but I don't know what else to do,” Amonette said. I really hope I do. She said the hold times the employment department posts online doesn’t include calls to new claims centers the department has opened recently. 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. Claimant Handbook; How to File (Videos) … After that, you may be eligible for Extended Benefits, which provides up to 13 or 20 weeks of benefits. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to be unemployed to qualify. 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