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Claimant Handbook

 Denial of Benefits

Some situations require the Employment Department to examine claims, determine eligibility or issue administrative decisions. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Quitting a job
  • Being fired from a job
  • Being unable to work
  • Being out of the labor market
  • Attending school
  • Being self-employed
  • Being incarcerated
  • Missing an opportunity to work
  • Turning down a job
  • Not seeking work
  • Receiving retirement pay
  • Failing to participate in the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment interview
  • Turning down a referral to work
  • Failing to complete a full iMatchSkills registration
  • Failing to complete enrollment activities through your local WorkSource Oregon center
  • Being unemployed as a result of a labor dispute, and
  • Weeks claimed by school employees during the summer, winter, or spring break periods or between terms

These issues will cause a stop on your claim until we make a decision to pay or deny benefits. Continue to make weekly claims during the investigation of any issue on your claim. This ensures you are able to receive payment on those weeks if the investigation results in a decision to pay benefits.

An adjudicator will usually complete an investigation within three to four weeks once you have claimed at least one week of benefits. If they need additional information, they will contact you by letter or phone. Be sure to respond to requests immediately with complete information. Failure to respond may result in a denial of benefits. Withholding information or reporting false information to the Employment Department has serious consequences. (See Fraud)

If you are denied benefits, you will receive a written administrative decision giving the dates of, and reason for the denial. Read it carefully. It will include instructions on how to file an appeal on time.

Failure to file an appeal on time may prevent you from having the original administrative decision changed.

If we deny your claim due to a work separation issue, because you failed to apply for a job referral or refused a job we may:

  • Deny your benefits until you work and earn at least four times your weekly benefit amount in subject (covered) employment. The work must be done after the week you were fired, suspended, quit or failed to accept or apply for work; and
  • Reduce your maximum benefit amount by eight times your weekly benefit amount.

If your benefits are denied for other reasons, such as school attendance, missed work opportunity, incarceration, hospitalization, etc. the denial lasts for the period of time stated in the administrative decision and/or until the condition(s) that caused the denial no longer exist.

If benefits were previously paid for any week covered by a denying decision, you are overpaid. You will receive instructions on how to pay the money back. It is your responsibility to repay any overpaid amount which may include associated penalties, fees and/or interest.

You commit fraud if you make false statements, knowingly provide false information, or withhold information to get benefits you are not eligible for. Failure to report all earnings while filing, and failure to report a job separation are examples of fraud.

NOTE: Only YOU are authorized to file your claim for benefits. Don't allow another person to file for your weekly claims including your spouse, child, parent or friend. You will be held responsible for any false information that is provided.

If you commit fraud, you could be assessed up to 52 penalty weeks and/or monetary penalties that you will be responsible to repay, in addition to repaying the fraudulently obtained benefits.


Fraud is the intentional misreporting or withholding of information in order to get benefits. If you report incorrect information or hide information, it is probably fraud. It is against the law and you will likely be caught and punished.

If prosecuted and found guilty, you could be fined, jailed or both. If you have information about unemployment fraud, please contact us:

Phone toll free: (877) 668-3204

You may report anonymously.

​​Download the complete Claimant Handbook as a PDF:

​Unemployment Insurance Contact Center: 

TOLL FREE: (877) 345-3484


Weekly Claim Line Number:

TOLL FREE: (800) 982-8920

TTY Relay Service 711​​​​​


PO Box 14135

Salem OR 97309-5068

Fax: (866) 345-1878​​