Claimant Handbook

If you’re working part-time and earn less than your weekly benefit amount, you may be eligible to receive benefits. You must also continue to seek, and be willing to accept temporary, full-time, and part-time work during each week you continue to claim.

 

If you are working less than full time, you may claim benefits if:

      Your part-time employer doesn’t have full-time work for you,

      Your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount, and

      You’re seeking work, available and willing to accept full-time, part-time, permanent AND temporary work.​​

You must report any payments you receive in exchange for any services you provide or products you sell. This includes:

      Gross earnings

      Cash

      Non-cash payments such as room and board

      Tips, bonuses, stand-by pay, sick pay

      Commission pay, and

      Vacation and holiday pay.

Exceptions: You don’t need to report as earnings:

      Lump sum payout of accrued vacation pay if it is paid to you to “clear the books” – you will not be returning to work.

      Reimbursements for minor expenses such as meals, lodging, mileage and other traveling expenses

      Weekend military drill pay, or

      Jury duty pay. 

Call the UI Center if you have questions about what to report or how to report cash and non-cash earnings.​​

You report your hours and earnings when you file your weekly claim. Keep track of your hours and earnings for each week. Report your earnings for the week you perform the work, NOT the week you’re paid.

 

IMPORTANT: Failing to accurately report your earnings while claiming could result in overpayments and penalties. (See Fraud)

 

If you realize your earnings are different than what you reported, contact the UI Center.​

You won’t receive benefits if your gross earnings for a week exceed your weekly benefit amount or you work 40 hours or more during the week claimed.

 

You may earn up to 10 times minimum wage or one-third of your weekly benefit amount (whichever is more) before your benefits are affected. Any earnings above that amount will reduce your benefit payment dollar for dollar. You MUST report all earnings each week you claim benefits. (See Fraud)

 

REPORT ALL EARNINGS: Even if your gross earnings for the week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you must report your gross earnings when you claim the week. (See Fraud)

 

Willfully misreporting your work and earnings to obtain benefits is Fraud.  (See Fraud)​

When you return to full-time work or earn at least your weekly benefit amount, simply stop claiming.

 

If you begin to work or start a new job during a week you’re claiming, be sure to report your gross earnings, even if you haven’t been paid yet. Often you can calculate your gross earnings by taking your hourly pay rate multiplied by the number of hours worked during the week. Don’t forget to also include any other pay such as tips, sick pay, holiday, etc.​

Fraud is the intentional misreporting or withholding of information in order to get benefits. If you intentionally hide or report wrong information, it is fraud. FRAUD IS A CRIME and can result in penalties up to and including prosecution.

Some examples that could be fraud:

      Not reporting work you miss or jobs you turn down

      Providing false information or withholding information to get benefits

      Failing to report all of your earnings when filing for weekly benefits

      Not reporting your job separation accurately (see Reporting separations from work)

      Filing for weekly benefits while you were in jail

 

Intentionally under-reporting or not reporting earnings when you file for weekly benefits is fraud. Only YOU are authorized to file your claim for benefits. Don’t allow another person to file for weekly benefits including your spouse, child, parent or friend. You will be held responsible for any false information that is provided.

 

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) uses a variety of ways to verify the accuracy of UI payments including but not limited to:

      Verification of earnings with employers,

      Anonymous tips and public leads, and

      National new hire reporting system information from employers.

 

If you have questions, call the UI Center at (877) 345-3484.​​

If you quit your job, or were fired, you may still be eligible for benefits. Being fired or quitting work doesn’t automatically make you ineligible for benefits.

 

Oregon law requires that you’re out of work due to no fault of your own in order to be eligible for benefits. Below are descriptions of work separations.

 

Lack of work – You were laid off from your employer because the employer didn’t have any work for you to perform. This could be a business closure, reduction in staff, holiday or a temporary/maintenance shutdown.

 

Leave of absence – You’re on a leave of absence if your employer allowed you time away from work. This can include maternity leave, medical leave, or leave for other personal reasons. If you’re on a leave of absence with your employer, your work separation is NOT a lack of work.

 

Voluntary leaving work – You’ve voluntarily left work if the employer had continuing work available for you but you chose to end the employment relationship (quit). If you quit one job for another job, you’ve voluntarily left work.

 

Discharge/Terminated – You were discharged if the employer had continuing work available but wouldn’t allow you to continue working for them (fired, let go, terminated). You must also report if you’ve been suspended by your employer.

 

Reporting the wrong type of separation from work can cause an overpayment, penalties, and be considered fraud.​​

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Updates to “Working While Claiming"

In 2020, the Oregon State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1701, which changes the earnings threshold for people receiving unemployment benefits. Senate Bill 1701 established that claimants are allowed to receive either $300 more than their weekly benefit amount OR one-third their regular weekly benefit amount (WBA) - whichever is greater. 

House Bill 3178 removed the condition that you could not earn more than your WBA and clarified that you are considered “unemployed" in any week during which you perform no services or have less than full-time work. 

You can now earn up to $300 without seeing any change to your benefit. To qualify, you cannot:

  • Earn an amount equal to or exceeding $300 (plus your weekly benefit amount), or
  • Work 40 hours or more in the week.

​You may earn up to $300 or one-third of your weekly benefit amount (whichever is more) before your benefits are affected. Any earnings above that amount will reduce your benefit payment dollar for dollar. You MUST report all earnings each week you claim benefits. (See Fraud)

You won't receive benefits if your gross earnings for a week equal or exceed $300 (plus your weekly benefit amount) or you work 40 hours or more during the week claimed.

REPORT ALL EARNINGS: Even if your gross earnings for the week are less than your weekly benefit amount, you must report your gross earnings when you claim the week.

Willfully misreporting your work and earnings to obtain benefits is Fraud​


Yes. This applies to all our benefit programs, including regular Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Extended Benefits (EB).​

​Any amount earned over $300 will be reduced from your weekly benefit, dollar-for-dollar.

  • Example 1: If you have $150 in gross earnings and your benefit is $151, you will receive your full benefit amount.

Explanation: Your gross earnings are less than your $151 benefit amount and under the $300 allowed in earnings.

  • Example 2: If you have $151 in gross earnings and your benefit is $151, you will receive your full benefit amount.

Explanation: You earned less than the allowed $300 in gross earnings.

  • Example 3: If you have $230 in gross earnings and your benefit is $220, you will receive your full benefit amount.

Explanation: Your gross earnings are less than the allowed $300 in gross earnings.

  • Example 4: If you have $500 in gross earnings and your benefit amount is $600, you will receive $400.

Explanation: Your gross earnings are higher than the $300 limit. After you pass the $300 in weekly earnings, your benefit amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar for any amount over $300. Since your earnings are $200 over the $300 limit, your benefit amount is reduced by $200.

  • Example 5: If you have $325 in gross earnings and your benefit amount is $500, you will receive $475 in benefits.

Explanation: Your gross earnings are higher than the $300 limit. After you pass $300 in weekly earnings, your benefit amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar for any amount over $300. Since your earnings are $25 over the $300 limit, your benefit amount will be reduced by $25.

  • Example 6: If you have $625 in gross earnings and your benefit amount is $305, you will not receive benefits.

​Explanation: Your gross earnings are higher than the $300 limit. After you pass $300 in weekly earnings, your benefit amount is reduced dollar-for-dollar for any amount over $300 until you hit your weekly benefit amount. Since your earnings are $325 over the $300 limit and your weekly benefit amount is $305, after a dollar for dollar deduction it exceeds your weekly benefit amount. 

​We will automatically make the adjustment for you. You do not need to call us.

​Being able to earn up to $300 prior to any deductions in your weekly benefit amount went into effect on Sept. 6, 2020 and is effective through Jan. 1, 2022.

The change to the definition of 'unemployed,' which allows you to earn over your weekly benefit amount is effective from May 23, 2021 through Jan. 1, 2022.​

​No, you do not need to do anything to increase your benefit amount. If you were paid benefits before we updated our programming in September 2020, we adjusted your claim and issued payments for the correct weekly benefit by your normal payment method.

If you were denied benefits because you made more than your weekly benefit amount and you are working less than full-time, you can now earn up to $300 a week before your weekly UI benefit will be reduced.​ This change cannot be applied to any weeks before the provision became effective on May 23, 2021. You will not be able to claim previous weeks or be paid for prior weeks under this new provision.​

​No, we changed our programming to calculate your correct weekly benefit amount (WBA) based on the gross earnings you report on your weekly certification. ​

​​If you made a mistake when you reported your earnings, you can call us at 877-345-3484 for regular UI or 833-410-1004 for PUA and we will fix it.  The quickest way to correct your earnings is to submit your request through our Contact Us form and let us know what the correct earnings are. ​

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Download the complete Claimant Handbook as a PDF:

Unemployment Insurance Contact Centers: 

Portland Area: (503) 292-2057

Salem Area: (503) 947-1500

Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend:

(541) 388-6207

TOLL FREE: (877) 345-3484

 

Weekly Claim Line Numbers:

Portland Area:

(503) 224-0405

Greater Salem Area:

(503) 375-7900

Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend:

(541) 388-4066

TOLL FREE: (800) 982-8920

TTY Relay Service 711 www.SprintRelay.com​​​​​

 

PO Box 14135

Salem OR 97309-5068

Fax: (866) 345-1878​​