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Congress Extends Unemployment Benefit Program
07/22/2010
CONTACT FOR MEDIA ONLY:  Tom Fuller
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department
 503-947-1301
 thomas.e.fuller@state.or.us

Nearly one hundred ten thousand Oregonians will benefit from an unemployment compensation program enacted by Congress today. The president signed The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 into law this afternoon.

The new law will bring $350-400 million dollars into Oregon’s economy in the form of unemployment benefits. These funds are used to support families and communities and keep workers in their labor market, ready to return to work when the economy improves.

Governor Ted Kulongoski welcomed this new federal program. “Action taken by Congress today will help ensure that thousands of Oregonians will continue to receive unemployment benefits as they continue to seek employment,” said Governor Kulongoski. “Oregon is still weathering a very difficult economic time and many people rely on these benefits to put food on the table and keep shelter over their heads. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

The Oregon Employment Department reports that claimants do not need to take any action. Department staff will move Oregonians into the new program automatically. Due to high interest in this new law, traffic to the unemployment insurance call centers is high. Oregonians should refrain from calling to inquire as to whether they will benefit from this new law. The Department has a record of each claim and will notify affected individuals. Oregonians can always inquire as to the status of their claim by going to www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs.

Another important aspect of this new law is that it does not offer any additional tiers of federal unemployment benefits. It allows individuals who have not yet exhausted all four tiers of what is called federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to start receiving benefits from that program once again. Filing for EUC will end November 30, 2010. The program consists of four tiers that can offer up to 53 weeks of additional benefits.

In addition, some 2,000 Oregonians who have not been receiving any benefits will now move into the EUC program. These claimants will be notified by the Oregon Employment Department. 
 
What are the specifics?
Summary


Regular Benefits  30,000 These individuals are collecting 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits. Once they have exhausted those benefits they will have up to 53 weeks of EUC available.
Extended Benefits  19,000 
Those receiving EB who are eligible to be moved to EUC automatically.
Current EUC  58,000 
Those currently receiving EUC will be able to move to the next tier of benefits until they have exhausted all four tiers.
No benefits    2,000 
Some Oregonians have a claim too old to qualify for Extended Benefits and so have not been receiving any unemployment. They will now begin receiving EUC.
Total 109,000  

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