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Filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Hints for Furloughed Employees
manufacturing worker
If you find yourself in the situation of being furloughed without pay from your employer, and you’re thinking of filing for unemployment benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

In a typical unemployment situation, a person claims benefits for a number of  weeks until returning to work.  With a furlough, a person claims one week, goes back to work for a while, then claims again during the next furlough week  With this situation it may be easy to miss certain steps which could delay payment of benefits.

Here are some hints to make filing your claim go smoothly and help to ensure timely payment of benefits:

  • The first week you are furloughed, file a claim for unemployment benefits.  You may do so one of two ways; either online at www.WorkingInOregon.org, or call your local unemployment insurance center.
  • Claim the week.  Claiming the week is different than filing your claim.  Filing your claim establishes the start of your claim, claiming the week triggers payment for the week.  You claim the week either online, or by telephone.  The earliest you can claim the week is on Sunday, and you are always claiming the previous week.
  • The first week you claim will be your Waiting Week if you meet all eligibility requirements and if you claim it.  You are not paid for the Waiting Week, but you must still claim it.  Everyone must serve one Waiting Week.
  • The next time you are furloughed, either go online or call your unemployment insurance center to restart your claim.  It is important that you choose the option to “restart your claim”, not “file a claim.”  Restarting your claim picks up where you left off, while filing a claim is starting a brand new claim for benefits.
  • Just as you claimed the week after you first filed your claim, you will need to claim the furloughed week after you restart your claim.  You do not need to claim weeks if you work and earn more than your weekly unemployment benefit amount.

The Employment Department will mail you a Claimant Handbook along with other materials when you establish a claim for unemployment insurance benefits.  Be sure to read everything sent to you by the Employment Department thoroughly.  In addition, there is a lot of information on the agency’s Web site, including a Frequently Asked Questions section and the Claimant Handbook.  By reading all of this information, you are less likely to have an issue with your claim.  Finally, if you ever have questions about the process, call your unemployment insurance center. 

Here are the numbers:
Portland metro area and northwest Oregon  503-451-2400 or toll free 1-877-345-3484
Southwest Oregon   541-686-7800 or toll free 1-877-345-3484
Eastern and Central Oregon   541-388-6207 or toll free 1-877-345-3484