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UI Center Frequently Asked Questions
Tips for Having Your Unemployment Claims Questions Resolved
6/24/2013
Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is currently experiencing very high call volumes.  This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times.  The Employment Department is committed to providing good customer service.  To make sure we can most efficiently provide you with service, we ask for your assistance.

Some people will need to speak with a claims representative for assistance with filing claims.  Many people can file their claims over the internet or on our automated phone system without having to wait to speak with a representative. Please follow these steps before you contact the call center:

1. Visit www.workinginoregon.org to see if there is an answer to your question.
2. To file a new or continued claim and/or to check the status of your claim online log on at www.workinginoregon.org/ocs.

If you complete these steps and you find that you still need to call the UI call center, please call later in the week and later in the day.  Answers to many commonly asked questions. Other information about unemployment insurance benefits can also be found at this Frequently Asked Questions page.

1.    What if I filed a claim, have not been able to find work, and have run out of benefits?

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed federal legislation extending Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) until December 28, 2013.  This legislation extended the time period for claimants, who have not already received the maximum amount of benefits, to file or complete the EUC extensions. It did not, however, add additional weeks.  There are currently no more extensions available under federal or state law. Should additional legislation for more benefits be passed, you will be notified by mail if you are eligible.  EUC is currently the only benefit extension program available in Oregon; for more information about extension programs, please visit:
http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/UI/pages/extensions_overview_12-16-08.aspx

2.    What do I do if I call 877-File-4-UI (877-345-3484) and receive a busy signal?

Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center.  If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again.  Do not call repeatedly within a short span of time.  You will have a better chance of getting through if you call later in the week and later in the day.  The local area numbers for the call center are:

Portland - 503-451-2400
Bend    - 541-388-6207
Eugene    - 541-686-7800   

3.    What do I do if I call and I am on hold for an extended period of time?

You can choose to wait until a representative is available or call back at a later time.  If you are placing your call earlier in the day, you will have the option of scheduling a time for us to call you back later that day.  While this service is available every day, we can no longer offer this service once the maximum amount of return calls have been scheduled for a day.  This generally happens in the late morning or the early afternoon if you call earlier in the week.

4.    What do I do if I requested a return call and have not received a call back within the time frame I was told?

When you request a call back, we will try to return your call three times.  The call back service utilizes Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.  If you are calling from a cellular phone, try to call from a land line to request the service.  Some cell phone providers or carriers who use other networks for service do not allow call backs via VOIP. 

5.    What do I do if I don’t get a payment?

If you have claimed a week but have not received payment, check the status of your payment using the Online Claim System at: www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs or by calling the Weekly Claim Line at 800-982-8920. Follow the instructions for checking the status of a weekly report. You can also obtain your claim balance and the date when your benefit year ends by calling the Weekly Claim Line. Either claim system will tell you if the week has been paid. If the system confirms it was paid, please allow four business days from the day you claimed the week before calling your UI Center about a late payment.

6.    What do I do if I received a letter telling me that I may be eligible for a new claim?

Review your employment records and gather information about the employers you worked for in and outside Oregon, including the federal government and the military, within the past 24 months.  Call 877-File-4-UI (877-345-3484) and be prepared to provide this information.

7.    What do I do if I have been receiving benefits on an extension?

As Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) has been extended, you can continue to claim benefits until you have exhausted the maximum amount of benefits you are eligible to receive. EUC is currently the only benefit extension program available in Oregon; for more information about extension programs, please visit:
http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/UI/pages/extensions_overview_12-16-08.aspx

8.    What if I filed an initial claim online and I have not received any information to confirm it has been processed?

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.   Please do not contact the UI call center unless you have questions after you receive the Wage and Potential Benefit Report and a Claimant Handbook.

9.    What if I received a letter telling me that payment of my benefits has been suspended and the Department is in the process of performing an investigation?

Some situations require the Employment Department to investigate claims before we determine eligibility and issue decisions.  More detail about these situations can be found here. The process to adjudicate a decision typically takes about three to four weeks to resolve, but there may be a greater delay in completing investigations from time to time.  To ensure your decision is issued in the least amount of time possible, respond quickly if we ask you to provide additional information.  We will only make a decision based on all the information available at the time. Be sure to continue to claim benefits for each week you wish to receive benefits and you are you are unemployed.

10.    What do I do if I have questions if I received a letter telling me that the Oregon Employment Department (OED) may intercept my Federal Income Tax refund and use it to pay back money I owe?

Contact OED’s Overpayment Recovery Unit at 800-553-5396.