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Oregon Unemployment Extension Attracts Record Numbers
CONTACT:   Craig Spivey
Oregon Employment Department

The Oregon Legislature passed the Oregon Emergency Benefits program (OEB3) and it became effective on March 24, 2011. The program provides up to $30 million in state unemployment insurance benefits to eligible applicants.  At the time, it was thought that as much as six weeks of benefits could be provided before the funding ran out.
The Employment Department sent letters to those who had completely exhausted all other benefit programs and were potentially eligible for OEB3.  It was thought that approximately 17,000 would qualify. In fact, slightly more than 22,000 qualified for the program as of Friday, April 29, 2011.  The first OEB3 benefits payments went out last week totaling nearly $6 million. This means the entire $30 million may be spent as early as the week of May 14, 2011.

The Department is searching its list of available jobs in an effort to match each of the 22,000 eligible claimants with a job.  Claimants are also encouraged to visit their local WorkSource Oregon office for help with their job search and to learn about training opportunities.  
The Department will post notices on its website: www.WorkingInOregon.org and send letters to those in the program once all of the available funds have been paid out in benefits.