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Employment Department offers suggestions to speed claim filing
CONTACT:  Craig Spivey
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department
The Employment Department has been working to ensure unemployed Oregonians receive needed benefits as quickly as possible.
In August, unemployment insurance centers handled more than 57,000 calls, an increase of more than ten percent from a year ago.  Initial claims for unemployment benefits were up more than 17 percent statewide in August as more than 120,000 Oregonians were jobless.
A federal program to extend unemployment benefits that took effect in July, has added to the number of claims filed.  However, the department has received additional administrative funds from the federal government.  This has allowed the Employment Department to hire and train additional staff that will soon be ready to assist in the processing of unemployment insurance claims.
The extra staff will help to speed claim processing and lower telephone wait times. Yet to ensure claims for benefits are filed as quickly as possible, the Employment Department offers these suggestions:
Read the Claimant Handbook thoroughly.  Each unemployment insurance claimant receives the Claimant Handbook in the mail.  The handbook provides most answers to caller’s questions.
File online.  Individuals can file their initial claim for unemployment benefits on the Internet at www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs.  By clicking on the option “File for Unemployment,” individuals can file their claim quickly and securely.  Also located on the Web site is in-depth information about unemployment insurance, including a frequently asked questions section.
Call during non-peak hours.  For individuals without access to the Internet, calling the Unemployment Insurance Center during non-peak hours can help. The Unemployment Insurance Center receives its highest call volume on Mondays and Tuesdays.  It is recommended individuals call in on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays preferably during the morning hours. Phone numbers for the Unemployment Insurance Centers are: (503)-451-2400 or toll free (877) 877-1781 in the Portland metro area; (541)-686-7800 or toll free (877) 728-7970 in the southwest part of the state; or, (541)-388-6207 or toll free (800) 663-7914 east of the Cascades.
The Oregon Employment Department works to support Oregonians during times of unemployment.  Job seekers can find a full range of employment services at the department’s WorkSource Centers throughout the state. For more information, visit the department’s Web site at www.WorkingInOregon.org.