Unemployment Benefits FAQ
|What can I expect after I file my unemployment application?|
Whether you file your initial unemployment application online or by telephone, staff need to process the application. This can take a few days when workload is heavy. Once the application is processed, we mail you a Wage and Potential Benefit Report and a Claimant Handbook.
On the first Sunday or Monday after you filed your application, file a claim for the prior week. You can file your claim for the prior week online or by phone on our Weekly Claim Line. You need to file a weekly claim for each week you are unemployed and wish to receive benefits, including your first or “waiting week.“
If there are any issues on your claim to investigate, be sure to respond to all letters or telephone messages right away. Continue to make your weekly claims while we investigate. If you don’t make a weekly claim, we can’t begin the investigation. It can take three to four weeks to complete the investigation.
You may be scheduled to attend an orientation meeting at a WorkSource Oregon office. If you do not go, your benefits will be delayed while we investigate. Depending on the reason you didn’t go, your benefits could be denied.
|How do I get my PIN? And what is a CID?|
Personal Identification Number
You chose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you first filed your initial unemployment application, whether you filed online or by telephone. You will use the same PIN throughout your claim. You will need it whenever you access the Online Claim System and to claim weekly benefits whether online or by telephone.
Agency employees do not know your PIN. If you forget it, you will have to ask us reset it so that you can choose a new PIN. You are responsible for the security of your PIN. Do not share it with anyone and don’t let others use it.
Claimant Identification Number
Your Claimant Identification Number (CID) is a number assigned only to you at the time you filed your initial unemployment application. We use it on the documents we send to you as a way to safeguard your claim and Social Security number from identity theft. You will need your CID to change your address or apply for direct deposit through the Online Claim System. . We will not give out your CID, even to you if you call, so please keep a record of it.
|What is a Waiting Week?|
The Waiting Week is the first week on your claim in which you meet all eligibility requirements. You do not receive payment for your waiting week. Every unemployment account must have a Waiting Week before we can start making benefit payments.
Important: You must claim the week in order for it to be your Waiting Week. Simply filing your application does not give you credit for your waiting week.
|When can I expect my first payment|
If your unemployment account is valid and no adjudication issues exist, the first week you claim will be credited as your Waiting Week(see above). If no other issues arise, your first payment will be issued in the third week. If you submit your weekly claim on Sunday or Monday of the week, payment will be issued on Tuesday. Electronic payments issued on Tuesday normally arrive in claimant accounts on Wednesday.
||You file your initial unemployment application.
||File your weekly claim for week 1
||Notice of waiting week credit mailed.
||Notice of waiting week credit received |
||File your weekly claim for week 2
||First payment issued by paper check.
||First payment received by paper check. |
||File your weekly claim for week 3
||Second payment issued electronically.
||Second payment received in bank or ReliaCard account.
Note: Federal or bank holidays will delay payment receipt.
|What can delay, stop, or reduce my benefits?|
Benefits are payable only if you are eligible. Common issues which require investigation and could result in you not receiving benefits include:
- Quitting your job;
- Being fired or suspended from work;
- Missing an opportunity for work during a week you claim;
- Refusing work;
- Turning down or not contacting the employer when referred by a WorkSource Oregon office;
- Missing a scheduled orientation meeting with a WorkSource Oregon office;
- Illness or injury;
- Failing to look for work;
- School attendance;
- Being out of the area unless you are looking for work;
- Not being willing or ready to take work;
- Receiving retirement pay, vacation pay, or holiday pay;
- Skipping a week without restarting your claim; and
- Answering a question on your weekly claim in a way that raises an issue.
If there is a problem, we will contact you either by phone or mail. We will explain the problem and how it could affect your claim. We will ask you for details about the situation. Please reply quickly if you get a form to complete, a letter asking for information, or a telephone message; your benefits could be delayed until you answer. If you do not answer at all, we may deny benefits.
Continue to make your weekly claims either online or on the Weekly Claim Line while we investigate your claim.
We will make a decision based on information from you, your employer or other sources. If the decision allows benefits and you meet all eligibility conditions, we pay any benefits you have coming. Any time we deny benefits, we send you a decision explaining why we denied benefits, for what time period, how to requalify, and how to appeal if you disagree.
|What if my benefit payment is late?|
If there are no problems on your claim, you can expect your weekly claim filed on Sunday or Monday to be processed on Monday night. However, if there was a holiday on Monday of the week, your payment will be delayed by a day.
If you are eligible, your first payment is issued as a check mailed to your home. After that, benefit payments are deposited either onto the Reliacard or directly into your bank account, if you signed up for electronic deposit. Payments are deposited 2 business days after your weekly claim is processed.
- If you use Electronic Deposit and your bank account changes, be sure to give us the new account information by submitting another Electronic Deposit application. If we try to deposit payments on a closed account, it will cause a delay while we reissue the payment to your Reliacard.
- Even if you apply for Electronic Deposit, we will send you a Reliacard. Please keep it in case we ever have a problem depositing payments to your bank account.
- For security purposes, the Reliacard is sent in a plain white envelope and does not say it is from the Oregon Employment Department.
If you do not receive payment within that timeframe, first check the status of your claim online or by calling the Weekly Claim Line.
If you call the Weekly Claim Line, you will hear menu options. Press “2” for payment information about your weekly claim. You will then hear one of five messages containing instructions about what you should do next. The messages are:
- The week doesn’t show as claimed;
- The week was paid;
- The week cannot be paid;
- It is too soon to tell because the week has not been processed; or
- The computer cannot find a claim for you.
If the status of the week is paid, and you are waiting for a check, remember that only your first payment is in the form of a check. All later benefits are deposited onto your Reliacard or bank account. If you haven’t received your first check, the status shows paid, and you have waited at least 10 days, please call your Unemployment Insurance Center to put a tracer on the check.
|How do I change my mailing address?|
You can change your mailing address through the Online Claim System You will need to enter your Social Security number, your customer ID number (CID) and your PIN in order to access the address change screen. Your CID is printed on every document we mail you.
You can also call your UI Center or notify us in writing of your address change, even if you have stopped reporting.
Each January, we mail out Form 1099G, Statement for Recipients of Unemployment Compensation Payments, for use in filing your tax returns. We mail the form to the latest mailing address we had on each claim. If we don’t have your current address on file, the Post Office will not forward the form.
Note: Changing your address in the iMatchskills program or with the Post Office does not change it on your claim record.
|What are my work search requirements?|
If you are not expecting to return to work for your last employers:
You must be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work during each week claimed. This includes being available for and actively seeking full-time, part-time, permanent and temporary work.
If you are returning to work for your last employer, but not within 4 weeks, or you are unsure of when you will be returning to work:
You need to stay in contact with that employer and begin to seek other work immediately. This includes being available for and actively seeking full-time, part-time permanent and temporary work.
If you are temporarily laid off and have definite date to return to work within 4 weeks for your regular employer:
In these circumstances, you are considered to be actively seeking work if you stay in touch with your employer. If you find that you will not be returning to work with your employer, or if you are going to be out of work for more than 4 weeks you must begin seeking full-time, part-time, permanent and temporary work immediately.
If you are affiliated with a closed referral labor union (one that does not allow its members to seek work on their own), get all your work through a union hiring hall, and are a member in good standing:
You are considered to be actively seeking work by staying in touch with your union.
If you are affiliated with a labor union (one that allows its members to seek work on their own) and you do not have a definite date to return to work:
You are considered to be actively seeking work by staying in touch with your union and contacting employers within your trade.
|How do I start or stop tax withholding?|
You can choose to have state or federal taxes, both, or neither withheld from your benefits. You can change your withholding after filing your claim, but tax regulations require changes to tax withholding be made in writing. Complete an Authorization for Tax Withholding, Form 1040WH, and mail your request to the Employment Department at PO Box 14135, Salem, OR 97309 or fax it to (866) 345-1878. Be sure to include your name and either Social Security number or customer ID number (CID).
|Can the Department give out information about my claim?|
We have very strict rules about releasing information. Certain state and federal agencies can get information from us, but only what they need to do their jobs.
If you want us to be able to give information about your claim to a specific friend or family member, you must complete and return a Release of Information Authorization form before we can do that.
|How does retirement pay affect my benefits?|
Retirement pay could reduce your benefits, make you ineligible, or have no effect at all. If you are not eligible for periodic payments, it has no effect. If an employer for whom you worked during the base year of your claim either contributed to the retirement fund or maintained it, then your retirement pay is deducted dollar for dollar.
Social Security does not affect your benefits unless you do not want to work full time, put limits on the type of work you will do, or if you do not want to look for work any more.
|Can the Department reduce my benefits for child support payments?|
Yes. If you owe child support payments and there is a court order requiring deductions, a percentage is deducted from your benefits each week. The deductions continue until the court notifies us to stop.
Oregon Department of Justice - Division of Child Support
|What if I work for a temporary agency?|
If you work for a temporary or employee leasing agency, you may receive benefits between assignments or if you are working part time. You must still meet all other eligibility requirements.
You are an employee of the agency even if you always work at other businesses. When restarting your claim after working for a temporary or employee leasing agency, list the agency as your employer, not the business you were sent to help. Also, tell us the reason the assignment ended; lack of work (completed the assignment), quitting (leaving the assignment before it ends), or being fired (taken off the assignment before it ends).
Assignments may last a few hours or days, or may continue for months. When your assignment ends always check in with your agency at once. They may have a new assignment for you. If you refuse a new assignment, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.
|Where can I get help finding a job?|
|The Employment Department provides a broad range of services to assist in your return to work. Employer job listings, resume writing resources, career exploration tools and labor market information are among the services provided. Staff is available to assist you and introduce you to the services that will benefit you in your work search. |