Impact on Individuals in Oregon
|Thousands of individual Oregonians received direct assistance from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For further information on the types of individual benefits provided by the Recovery Act, please see below. |
|How do I apply for assistance if I want to weatherize my home?|
The Recovery Act included help for low-income Oregonians to reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes. Qualifying residents received help toward:
- Ceiling, wall and floor insulation
- Energy-related minor home repairs
- Energy conservation education
- Air infiltration reduction
- Furnace repair and replacement
- Heating duct improvements
To learn about ongoing state efforts in this area, visit the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department and click on "Get Assistance by County."
|What assistance can I receive to make my home more "green"?|
There was help for low-income Oregonians to weatherize/insulate their homes, noted above. However, the Recovery Act did not include dollars for individuals to buy solar panels or other "green" technologies for their homes. Get information on weatherization assistance by visiting the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department, and clicking on "Get Assistance by County."
|What options do I have to make my housing more energy efficient?|
You may be eligible for upgrades to make your federally subsidized, residential property serving low-income persons more energy efficient. Contact the housing authority in your area. Visit the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department for more information on the Public Housing Capital Fund.
|What help is available to Oregonians on foreclosure?|
Foreclosure prevention assistance is available to qualifying applicants through the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative. Call (503) 986-2025 or go online at www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org for more information.
|What financial assistance is available for college costs?|
The federal government is the single largest source of information about financial help for college students and their families. Find information online at www.ED.gov or go to www.college.gov. The Recovery Act did increase funding for both Pell Grants and Work Study programs. You can find additional information about federal and state financial assistance by visiting the Oregon Student Assistance Commission at www.GetCollegefunds.org.
|Can small business owners get loan assistance?|
The Recovery Act included many new financial assistance programs for small businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Check out the SBA Web site for more information.
|How will Food Assistance be affected?|
For those who receive food assistance (formerly called food stamps), the stimulus bill provided a 13% increase in the monthly benefit. Those enrolled in the program automatically received this increase when it was added to the monthly benefit allowance on EBT cards beginning on April 1, 2009. If you are not currently receiving food assistance and believe you may be eligible, please check out the Department of Human Services (DHS) Children, Adults and Families (CAF) Division for eligibility information. The eligibility determination and issuance of benefits are provided through DHS offices across the state.
|Will Social Security & Supplemental Security Income be affected?|
Recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income received a one-time payment of $250 in 2009. This federal program is administered by the Social Security Administration, and not the State of Oregon. For more information or to see if you are eligible for benefits, see http://www.ssa.gov/payment/.
|How will Unemployment Compensation Benefits be affected?|
Thanks to the Recovery Act, every Oregonian receiving unemployment benefits saw a $25 increase in their weekly benefits. For Oregon, this meant up to $200 million in additional federal funds.
Additionally, the Recovery Act extended the time a person could file for Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) until December 31, 2009. EUC allowed for up to 33 weeks of unemployment benefits for those who exhaust their original 26-week claim.
With Oregon experiencing a high unemployment rate, the state was eligible for the Extended Benefits (EB) Program. The EB Program allowed for up to 20 additional weeks of benefits for Oregonians who have exhausted their original 26-week claim and their EUC claim.
There was a total of 79 weeks of benefits available through these state and federal programs.
If you are not receiving unemployment benefits and believe you may be eligible, please see the answer under the question: "I lost my job, what help is available to me?"
|How will COBRA Health Insurance be affected?|
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act paid up to 65 percent of health insurance premiums for individuals who lost their jobs and continued their employer coverage either through COBRA or state continuation.
The COBRA law applies to employers with 20 or more employees; state continuation is for employers with fewer than 20 employees. In both cases, workers who lose their jobs can continue with their employer health insurance plan but premiums can be very expensive.
ARRA provided the 65 percent subsidy for up to 15 months for workers who involuntarily lost their jobs from Sept. 1, 2008, through May 31, 2010.
This subsidy phased out for individuals whose modified adjusted gross income exceeds $125,000, or $250,000 for those filing joint returns. Taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income exceeding $145,000, or $290,000 for those filing joint returns, did not qualify for the subsidy.
For more information, go to the Department of Consumer and Business Services Web site or call the department's Insurance Division consumer advocates at (888) 877-4894.
|How will Medicaid, Child Care or Health Care be affected?|
If you would like to find out if you eligible for cash assistance, child care assistance, or health care assistance through Medicaid, please contact the Department of Human Services.
|How will Federal Tax Benefits be affected?|
A number of new federal tax benefits were made available under the Recovery Act, including an immediate reduction in payroll taxes for most workers, increases in the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, as well as benefits for retirees, parents, people saving for college, first-time homebuyers, car buyers, and more. For more information on federal tax changes, click here.
|I lost my job. What help is available to me?|
Apply for unemployment benefits online.
Even if you think you may not qualify, apply anyway. You will be given specific instructions on how to proceed. To apply online, go to www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs.
If you do not have internet access, call one of the Unemployment Insurance Centers:
- Northwest Oregon (877) 877-1871
- Willamette Valley & Southern Oregon (877) 728-7970
- Central & Eastern Oregon (800) 663-7914
WorkSource Oregon is a statewide network that stimulates job growth by connecting businesses and workers with the resources they need to succeed. WorkSource Oregon is a network of public and private partners working together for businesses and workers to ensure businesses have trained workers, provide resources to help Oregon's unemployed and underemployed get connected with the employers that are right for them and help connect businesses with the resources they need to grow their workforce. These job openings include every skill level, occupation and salary. If you have a severe disability and need vocational rehabilitation services, you may be eligible for personalized services to help you find and keep a job. For more information on disability resources, check out the disability navigator.
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