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If you found yourself here, chances are you are about to become unemployed, or have already lost your job. This article will break down the 3 main parts of the Oregon Unemployment system. The definition of unemployment is someone who is able and ready to work and is not receiving any income from either an employer or self-employment.  

There are many reasons why someone may be unemployed. Unemployment can be caused by termination of employment, furlough, layoffs, or by resignation. All these options have various levels of severity and several reasons why they would happen. Typically, unemployment insurance (UI) kicks in to help financially if you have been relieved of work duties to no fault of your own. Such as a layoff or being furloughed. In some instances, you can still claim and receive unemployment benefits if you were fired. 

You should contact your local unemployment office for clarification and verification of eligibility if this applies to you.  

1) How Much Will I Make From Unemployment? Use The Oregon Unemployment Calculator  

One of the most important questions is understand how much you will receive from your unemployment benefit in Oregon and how long you will receive it. As such, please feel free to use the Oregon unemployment calculator below to estimate your benefit amount.

The State of Oregon Unemployment Department has a pretty simple system for determining how much your weekly UI amount will be. There are several factors that go into determining that amount. If you are curious about how much you will make you can take our calculator (HERE). These are just estimates, as we strive to make sure that our data is as accurate as possible.  

How is Unemployment Calculated in Oregon? 

Immediately after you file a claim for unemployment in Oregon you will receive a Wage and Potential Benefit Report (Monetary eligibility) form in the mail. This describes an estimate on what you will receive as your total annual benefit, and weekly benefit amount.  

Unemployment in Oregon is calculated as 1.25% of your base year wages. Your base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week you file your initial claim. The weekly minimum in Oregon is currently $151.00 and the weekly maximum is $648.00. 

2) How long does unemployment last in Oregon? 

Your benefits last for 26 weeks (About 6 months) in Oregon. However, there are several requirements in order to keep your benefits active and there is a yearly benefit maximum that once you reach that dollar amount you will exhausted your claim and will no longer be able to receive benefits until your claim expires and you file a new claim. This typically happens 1 year from the date of your initial claim. You can check the remaining balance of your claim at any time by logging in to the Employment Department’s Online Claim System (OCS).  

3) How To File A Claim in Oregon 

The process to file a claim in for unemployment compensation in Oregon is straight forward. You can start your claim here. To get started filling your claim plan to spend about 45 minutes to 1 hour on it. You can either file online or by calling your local unemployment center. Use this tool to find your local unemployment center. You will need to have the following information available prior to starting your claim:  

  • Your name, Social Security number, birthdate and contact information. 
  • Your complete work history for the past 18 months (about 1 and a half years) including: 
  • employer name(s) 
  • address(es) 
  • phone number(s) 
  • start and end dates of employment for each employer 
  • Your bank account and routing number if you want to sign up for direct deposit. 

If you need assistance filing your claim, the unemployment department has lots of extremely helpful how-to videos that cover your claim from A-Z. You can find the library of videos here.  

How Long Does It Take to Get Unemployment in Oregon? 

The process to receive your first unemployment payment in Oregon takes about 2-3 weeks from the date that you filed your initial claim. After you file your initial claim, you will need to continue filling regular weekly claim each week that you would like to receive benefits. Keep in mind that there is a mandatory 1-week waiting period that you will not receive benefits for. The waiting week is the first week you file a weekly claim and meet all eligibility requirements. Before you can start receiving benefits, Oregon law requires one waiting week per claim. You will not be paid any money for the week, but claiming the week is required to receive credit for it as a waiting week.  

You can check the status of your claim here.  

How do I contact the Oregon Unemployment Office? 

The Oregon Unemployment Department has several options to contact them. You can either call their main phone number at (877) -345-3484, or you can contact your local unemployment office by using this office locator tool.  

Weekly Benefits and Getting Paid 

Following the conclusion of your waiting week you will start receiving weekly benefits for the weeks that you claimed to not have worked. You can receive benefits in the following methods:  

  • Check by mail 
  • Direct depost  
  • Prepaid debit card. (Oregon Unemployment Department uses the U.S. Bank ReliaCard® Visa®) 

What day of the week does unemployment pay? 

You can file a claim for the week prior every Sunday, claims and payments are typically processed within 2 business days. Providing that there were no issues with the information that you submitted. If there was an issue, you will be mailed a letter within 5 business days explaining what you need to do to correct the error so that you can receive your benefits.  

Maintain Eligibility 

To remain eligible for UI benefits in Oregon you must do the following every week:  

Make sure to update the unemployment department if anything changes or you are unable to work. This could impact your eligibility and potentially lead to overpayment, which in some instances could be considered fraud.  

Can I Work and Still Receive Unemployment? 

If you are 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 permanent, temporary, full-time, and part-time work during each week you continue to claim. 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 work and gross earnings for the week in which you worked, even if you have not been paid yet. 

Gross earnings are your earnings before taxes, or any other deductions have been taken out. If you do not accurately report any earnings you end up being overpaid and may face penalties or possible fraud charges. If you have any questions about what is considered income, contact your local unemployment office.  

Denial of Benefits 

In some instances, your claim for unemployment benefits may be denied. Here are some common reasons why your claim could be denied:  

  • Quitting a job 
  • Being fired from a job 
  • 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 because of a labor dispute, and 
  • Weeks claimed by school employees during the summer, winter, or spring break periods or between terms 

In many cases you can appeal the decision if you believe that you made a mistake or that you should be eligible to receive benefits.  

What is the Appealing Process in Oregon? 

If you claim is denied, or your weekly amount is reduced you will be mailed an Administrative Decision within 5 business days of it happening. You will receive a form along with the decision which you should fill out and return if you choose to appeal the decision. It is important to note, that if you choose to appeal the decision you should continue to file your weekly claims for benefits. That way, if the appeal is reached in your favor, you can be paid out for all the weeks you were eligible for. Administrative decisions become final within 20 days (about 3 weeks) from the date they were mailed. It is pertinent that you respond quickly to ensure your greatest chance of success. You can learn more about the hearings and appeals process here.  

Stopping/Restarting A Claim 

When you return to full-time work or earn more than or equal to your weekly benefit amount, you can just stop claiming weekly benefits. If you began work in the last week you are claiming, be sure to report your gross earnings, even if you have not been paid yet. 

The Employment Department will automatically stop your claim if you:

  • Earn more than or equal to your weekly benefit amount; 
  • Work full-time or stop claiming for one week or more; or 
  • Report no earnings after a week that you reported some earnings. 

If your claim was stopped, you must restart your claim in order to receive benefits. Remember your claim is good for 52 weeks. Stopping your claim during that 52 week period will not cancel your claim. 

If your claim was stopped because you returned to work, you can restart your claim by using the Online Claims System, or by calling the UI Center. If you have no earnings to report, and your claim was stopped, you need to contact the UI Center so a claims specialist can restart your claim. 

Restart your claim during the week you want to begin claiming. You will need to provide employer information if you have worked since you last claimed. This includes the dates worked, the names, phone numbers and addresses of your employer(s), and your gross earnings from those employers. Once you have restarted your claim, remember you must also claim the week after it is over. 

Facing A Financial Hardship

Many individuals who get unemployment may be at risk of facing a financial hardship. As such, here are some options in Oregon to consider if your debt may go behind from the unemployment.


Hopefully this article helps you understand how unemployment works in Oregon while allowing you to estimate your benefit amount and how long you would receive that benefit. Please feel free to take the Oregon unemployment calculator and let us know if you have any questions at

Post Author: Ascend

Group of guest writers and industry experts who have specific expertise in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debt relief, debt settlement, and debt payoff.

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