Unemployed Oregonians who have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits may be in for some relief.
Governor Kulongoski signed HB 3483 during the summer, establishing the Oregon Emergency Benefits OEB program which provides up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits.
Oregonians who have exhausted their regular unemployment and whose claim expired after May 1, 2007, may be eligible for OEB. Claimants' weekly benefit amount would equal that of their original claim.
Potentially eligible claimants received notices from the Employment Department. The first effective date of the program is Sunday Oct. 4, 2009. The program ends Jan. 2, 2010.
The Employment Department encourages individuals who think they may be eligible for OEB to file their claim as soon as possible after Sunday Oct. 4, 2009.
In addition, Oct. 4 marks the beginning of a new calendar quarter. With the change in the calendar quarter comes an influx of new claims for unemployment insurance benefits.
The Oregon Employment Department says the fastest way to file for benefits is online at www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs.
Also, most routine functions of an unemployment insurance claim, such as claiming a week of benefits, changing your address, and checking the status of your claim, can all be handled online. Officials say having as many Oregonians as possible conducting their business online will reduce the amount of time callers to the unemployment insurance centers are on hold.
The Oregon Employment Department asks for your patience during this time as we work to serve Oregonians as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As of the week ending Sept. 26, there were more than 162,000 Oregonians receiving unemployment insurance benefits. Employment Department officials say that number may increase as the state enters what is seasonally a time of increased unemployment in Oregon.
For more information regarding OEB, go to the department's Web site, www.WorkingInOregon.org