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Notice of Claim Determination - FAQs
Returning the Request for Relief of Charges form
1.  Should I fax the form as well as mail it?
No.  Submitting more than one copy of the form causes unnecessary duplication.

2.  Why can’t I just respond verbally?
ORS 657.471(7)(a) requires employers to respond in writing if they wish to request relief of charges.

3.  I lost the “Request for Relief of Charges” form.  Can you mail me another one?
No, but you can still request relief of charges.  Send us a letter with the following:  (1) Claimant’s name (2) Claimant’s social security number (3) Your company name (4) The statement “I request relief of charges”. (5) The specific information about why the person was discharged or quit, or a statement about the person still working part time for you.  Mail the letter to Employment Department, 875 Union St NE Room 104, SALEM OR 97311-0100.

4.  I already provided the information you are requesting when I returned the “Notice of Claim Filed”.  Why do I have to provide it again? 
Relief of Charges is a separate process from the determination of eligibility and under ORS 657.471 requires a separate response.

5.  I already received a letter saying that the claimant was denied benefits.  Do I still have to submit a request for relief of charges? 
To protect your rights, it is advisable to submit the request.

6.  After I submitted the “Request for Relief of Charges” you sent me a request for more information.  Why?
Your first response does not contain enough information.  To make a determination, ORS 657.471 requires specific information about the quit, discharge, or part-time work. 

Tax Questions
7.  How are Unemployment Benefits financed?  www.employment.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/TAX/FAQs.shtml#Howisthemoney

8.   How are tax rates calculated?
Unemployment Tax Rates are assigned in accordance with Oregon Law. New employers are assigned a “base rate” until they have sufficient “experience” to qualify for an “experience rate” based tax rate. This usually takes about three years. All employers are mailed their rate for the next calendar year by November 15. The employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate is also preprinted on the Oregon Quarterly Tax Report (Form OQ) sent in February of each year. For more information go to Informational Flyer How UI Tax Rates Are Determined.  Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
9.  This claimant only worked for me for two hours.  Why did I get this form?
Any time an employer pays wages to an employee there is a potential for tax liability.  Charges are proportional to the wages that are paid to the individual.

10.  What are charges?
“Charges” might be better stated as “tax liability”.  The charges are a factor that will be used in the calculation of your future tax rate.

11.  How many former employees have filed claims against my company?
You need to order charge statements from the Tax Unit for the quarters in question to obtain this information.  Call (503) 947-1488 option 4.

12.  I received a credit to my charges.  Do I get a check?
No refund check will be issued.  This is a credit towards future charges.    Tax paying employers are credited back the full amount of the overpaid charges when the overpayment decision becomes final.  Reimbursing employers are credited back as funds are recouped from the claimant, per ORS 657.505(8)(b). 

13.  How do charges affect my tax rate?
The charges are divided by your taxable payroll, over a three year period to determine the "benefit ratio."   For more information go to Informational Flyer How UI Tax Rates Are Determined. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

14.  How do I find out my tax rate?
Go to Your Account Information Center  or call 503-947-1488. 

15.  How much money is in my UI tax account?
Taxes collected are deposited in a trust fund used to pay unemployment insurance benefits.  The Employment Department does not maintain separate accounts for each employer’s contributions.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Employment Department tax representative at one of our  offices  or call 503-947-1488; TDD/Nonvoice Users 711 or by e-mail at taxinfo@emp.state.or.us

16.  If I am not granted relief of charges, what will happen to my tax rate?
It is impossible to predict at this time, in part because we don’t know how many weeks the claimant will claim benefits.  Your tax rate is determined by a ratio, derived from the combined charges from all unemployment claims filed against your account during a three year period divided by your combined payroll for that same period.  Small payroll employers experience a much greater impact from a single claim than large payroll employers.

Reimbursing Employer Questions
17.  What do you mean by “Reimbursing Employer”?
Oregon law requires federal and state government agencies and allows some local government and nonprofit organizations to elect to reimburse the Unemployment Trust fund for benefits paid, in lieu of paying unemployment taxes.  For more information go to either the Nonprofit Employers flyer or the Local Government publication. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader )

18.  I am a reimbursing employer.  Why did you send me the Notice of Claim Determination?
ORS 657.471 requires the Employment Department to notify all employers that are potentially affected by a claim that the claim has been filed and the potential charges. 

19.  I learned that the claimant has been denied benefits.  Do I still have to make the reimbursing payments? 
You are still required to reimburse the Employment Department for any benefits we may have paid to the claimant, even if those payments were made in error.  If the Employment Department recovers the overpaid benefits you will receive a credit toward future charge liability.

20.  My former employee was denied for fraudulently collecting unemployment benefits.  When will we get back the reimbursing payments we have made?
If the Employment Department recovers the overpaid benefits you will receive a credit toward future charge liability.

Miscellaneous Questions
21.  What is the base year? 
A claim is based on a one-year period known as the base year. The base year is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time the initial claim is filed.  For instance, a claim filed in February, 2008 is based upon the wages earned from October 2006 through September 2007.

22.  How can you relieve my company of charges if the person is allowed benefits?
All Unemployment Taxes are placed into a pool of money called the UI Trust fund.   Benefits are paid from that fund.

23.  This claimant left my employ over a year ago, why am I getting this notice now? 
A claim is based upon all covered wages paid in the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters.  For more information please see the answer to question #21.

24.  This claimant is still working for me.  Why I am being charged?
ORS 657.471 does not provide for relief of charges if the person is still working for the employer.  The only exception is when all the following circumstances apply.
  1. The employer furnishes part-time work to the claimant during the base year.
  2. The claimant has become eligible for benefits because of the loss of employment with one or more other employers.
  3. The employer has continued to furnish part-time work for the claimant in substantially the same amount of hours as during the claimant’s base year.
  4. The employer requests relief of charges within 30 days of the mailing of form 197, Notice of Claim Determination (Potential Charges).
25.  The claim filed date is prior to the date the person left my employ.  How can that be? 
By law, all claims are effective on the Sunday of the week in which the claim is filed.  Even if the claim is submitted later in the week, the claim is still effective on Sunday of that week.