But he said he and his girlfriend are also sick with COVID-19. Facebook. The 22 newly-reported deaths include people between the ages of 46 and 90, two lived in Clackamas County, one in Deschutes, two in Harney, five in Jackson, two in Klamath, one in Josephine, one in Multnomah, one in Umatilla, two in Washington, one in Union and four in Marion. 2. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. I had success calling and getting someone on the phone today! Administrative decisions mailed from the Employment Department include a form you can use to request a hearing. The system seemed to suggest she couldn’t claim benefits so she gave up and tried to call. ... "While the Oregon Employment Department works on processing all existing claims, this action can help frustrated Oregonians get some direct cash assistance as soon as possible." Archived . Subscribe to OregonLive. You will have to call over and over until you get into the actual unemployment phonetree menu. Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts for the latest news and top stories. See more of Oregon Employment Department on Facebook. Oregon’s employment department, like those in other states, has been overwhelmed by the record volume of jobless claims sparked by the pandemic. “I don’t even know what’s wrong with my claim,” she said. Another Oregonian who is out of work, Dennis Cote, said he called the unemployment department 750 times in one day and never spoke to a single person. Hood Ski Bowl shut down, joining at least 169,000 Oregonians who suddenly found themselves seeking unemployment benefits. Press alt + / to open this menu. Some days, Billy Renz dials the number for the state’s employment department help line as many as 300 times. Phase Finder tells you. A spokesperson for the Oregon Employment Department says they’ve doubled the staff taking claims, and they’re on track to triple. State lawmakers prodded the head of Oregon's employment agency Saturday as thousands of Oregonians continue to wait for unemployment benefits. “Each time, I got a busy signal or ‘this number is no longer in service,’” he said. Oregon's Employment Department is finding … Congress added billions of dollars in federal money nationwide when it expanded the program at the end of March. The Oregon Employment Department is failing the self-employed community that it pledged to support at the start of the pandemic. Like so many others, all she got was a busy signal -- and that left her and her claim in limbo. The department advises independent contractors, gig workers and others who are newly eligible for benefits to continue trying to file online – though the department acknowledges there may be glitches that will prevent them from completing the process, or that stop claims from going through. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. I managed to not get a busy signal two other times, got hung up on, and only ever spoken to someone one time," said Nevarez, who lives in Idaho but worked in Ontario, Oregon. Michael Bulkin lost his job as a lift operator last month when Mt. “They’re worried, they’re scared about their economic well-being and I absolutely understand.”, File an online claimJob openings for those out of work due to COVID-19 response, Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather. I’ve gotten confusing letters in the mail saying that I need to contact someone/send additional information/they need more information about my self employment … SALEM — Oregon lawmakers have urged Employment Department officials to reach out directly to some of the tens of thousands of unemployed workers … The Oregon Employment Department (OED) has received over 360,000 unemployment claims since March 15 from Oregonians newly out of work because of COVID-19 restrictions—a record high for the state. Then you have to redial over and over again to try to get past the busy signal." So Crockett said she was “thrilled and surprised” when Congress changed the rules last week to make her and others eligible. The resulting spike in jobless claims has completely overwhelmed the state’s system for processing new claims, leaving Bulkin and tens of thousands of others stymied when they try to check the status of their claims or update their information. A record number of people claiming unemployment insurance has bogged down the filing system and required OEM to hastily hire additional employees. If you continue to receive a busy signal, please wait several hours before attempting contact again. She’s called as many as 50 times a day, Schroeder said, but hasn’t been able to through. The online claims system indicated Schroeder, 47, needed to speak to someone by phone to complete the process of getting her check. Busy signals: Oregonians struggle to file for unemployment , Local News, Portland local News, Breaking News alerts for Portland city. Create New … Forgot account? The Oregon Employment Department said Wednesday that the rate went from 6 percent to 6.4 percent. “When you try to call unemployment it’s just a busy tone, all the time,” said Bulkin, 32. Oregon department of employment is hiring claims processors and adding phone lines to a system that was not ready for the coronavirus collapse. Create New Account. “It’s not like anything we’ve seen and so that’s causing some frustration for people who are trying to get through and get help,” employment department economist Gail Krumenauer said in a video the department posted this week to explain the delays and confusion. Did the Facebook app force log you out, too? An Oregon Employment Department worker described wasted time, political influence and an ineffective system for processing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. When laid-off workers return to the website a week later to file their next week’s claims, the employment department says some are getting a message that the system cannot find their initial claim from the prior week. Please support high-quality local journalism. Cote recently lost his job at Portland International Airport. 31. The usps is clearly backed up as well 3. Administrative decisions become final 20 days after we mail them, so don't wait to file an appeal if you want a hearing. More people filed new claims in the past two weeks than in the prior 39 weeks combined. AP. The department says those filers should keep updating their status each week, even though the online system says it can’t find their claims. The phone line for UI is perpetually busy. Log In. Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. That’s the nightmare that approximately 1500 people in Oregon are experiencing. Consequently, when our unemployed people call in to initiate their claims, all they get is a busy signal. “While it’s not the level of job loss that we saw in the spring of 2020, 25,500 jobs is a large loss over the month,” said. But she still hasn’t seen any money from the state. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Unemployment numbers are skyrocketing across the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic but many Oregonians are hitting snags in their attempts to file for benefits—and frustrations are boiling over. Issues range from long wait times on phone calls to the Oregon Employment Division and problems with online applications. “It’s happening to everybody,” Bulkin said, “but it’s definitely happening to me.”. He’s a disabled veteran and receives a monthly income but is worried for those who don’t. Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer said that represents a substantial loss of jobs. The proposal calls for $35 million of the state's CARES Act funds to pay approximately 70,000 … “School is so much more than a place kids go to learn," she said during a Friday press conference. What is a solution to this: 1. Sarah Urias volunteered to help vaccinate residents at Laurel Parc Independent and Assisted Living in Northwest Portland, where her grandmother lives. Nationally, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment claims last week – double the record-breaking total from the week before. Other days, it’s closer to 80. Gail Krumenauer with the Oregon Employment Department said people calling multiple times in a day might be contributing to the backlog. 33 missing children, including some who were sexually exploited, found in California operation: FBI. or. Such confusion is producing additional calls, further overwhelming the system. Like so many others, all she got was a busy signal -- and that left her and her claim in limbo. © 1998 - 2021 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved. It later said the real number is closer to 200,000. The employment department says it has doubled the number of people taking calls, and will soon triple it. Close. “And so we know that it’s taking more than a week to get to those initial claims.”. The Oregon Employment Department Wednesday told a legislative hearing that about 220,000 claims have yet to be paid, according to The Oregonian. The Oregon Employment Department is seeing a record number of new claims. “There’s a sense of hopelessness from a lot of people about how they’re going to pay their bills,” Cote said. Hiker near Cascade Locks fell Tuesday, airlifted Friday, With snow possible, PBOT ‘mindful of the forecast’, Job openings for those out of work due to COVID-19 response, ‘It was amazing’: OHSU nurse vaccinates her own grandmother, Oregon hospitals have doubts about Brown’s vaccine plan, I-405 to close as crews install new pedestrian bridge, Body of California woman found near Yamhill County park, Driver dies in rollover crash on SR-14 in Camas, Man, 91, slain at Bethany home, stepson arrested, Biden administration ‘closely monitoring’ unrest in Oregon, Newberg cop’s ‘dangerous’ social media posts alarm residents, Gunfire between cars leaves one man wounded and arrested, 3 people displaced after house fire in Clackamas, President Trump’s impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8, Schumer says, Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron dies at 86, Read: Draft Articles of Impeachment circulated by Congressional Democrats, Inauguration Day in Portland: Tear gas, arrests, demonstrations, Eligible for vaccine in Washington? “Every time I logged in, it would say ‘you’re having a problem, you’re having a problem’ and I would receive letters in the mail for information requests for the next day because they would take so long to get to me,” Snavlin told KOIN 6 News. The 168,000 claims Oregonians filed over the past two weeks surely understate the depth of the state’s economic cataclysm for the simple reason that thousands of people haven’t been able to complete the filing process. More people filed new claims in the past two weeks than in the prior 39 weeks combined. OK, she said, she will try. I don’t even know what the problem is or when relief is in sight.”, -- Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | twitter: @rogoway |. Accessibility Help. You get a busy signal, and you get it all day long," he said. Oregon's Employment Department has been plagued with complaints of people not getting their claims via the traditional unemployment area, the Work Share department for employees with dramatically reduced hours, and the PUA department. Yes, that number has a busy tone. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Health officials reported 22 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon on Friday. Kay Erickson has led the Oregon Employment Department as it struggles to get timely payments and clear information to out-of-work Oregonians in the midst of … Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. Reviews from Oregon Employment Department employees about Oregon Employment Department culture, salaries, benefits, work-life balance, management, job security, and more. according to U.S. Department of Labor rankings, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment claims last week. “Nobody’s called me back. I've been trying for three days, nothing but a busy signal … The state says its unemployment insurance trust fund totaled $5 billion at the beginning of the year, among the best funded in the nation according to U.S. Department of Labor rankings. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. “So you just wing it and you hope you will get enough information in there so there will be some follow through?” Crockett asked. Others say they’re getting error messages or confusing responses from the filing system. ReliaCard ®: A reloadable prepaid debit card. BUSY SIGNAL IS SO 80'S! The issue, according to the department, is their claims haven’t been processed yet. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. It needs to do better now, before the fallout becomes irreparable. Sign Up. Crockett is in her 60s and concluded it wouldn’t be possible to keep her and her clients safe given the virus’ rapid spread. Officials say they’re doing everything they can to keep up and have asked for the public’s patience. The coronavirus pandemic has closed all manner of businesses and forced record-setting layoffs in each of the past two weeks. Portland massage therapist Eliza Crockett closed her practice on March 10, well ahead of the shutdown orders. The employment department says it is awaiting advice from the federal government on how to implement changes in eligibility and benefits. “I’m assuming that my claim is just on hold and who knows how many others are in the same boat,” lamented Erika Schroeder, a Southeast Portland chef who filed her initial claim two weeks ago after the café where she works closed. or. At the time, the laws governing unemployment benefits excluded self-employed people like her. When your department dates paperwork, and states 5 days to deal with said issue or possible denial of benefits yet the paperwork arrives on the 5th day. Log In. Dominick Nevarez's story would be tough enough with just the unemployment troubles. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Governor Kate Brown defended her decision to prioritize teachers over seniors for the COVID vaccine, even though it was a difficult choice. Posted by 9 months ago. Also, as of the date of my writing this, no Employment Department office in Oregon is … PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- An OHSU nurse shared a very special moment with her grandmother Friday when she was the one who administered the COVID-19 vaccine. The state's death toll has reached 1,865, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. While Schroeder said her family isn’t facing an immediate financial crisis, she knows many other Oregonians are. For individual Oregonians, it’s impossible to know how long it will take before they start receiving relief checks. It includes instructions for filing a timely appeal. Download our FREE news and weather apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. “We’re catching up to this really unprecedented level of claims,” Krumenauer said. On May 31, Gov. "At exactly 8 o'clock you get a busy signal on both of the dedicated PUA lines. please allow a few weeks for your claim to be processed, at which point you will be notified. Sections of this page . @#$%^&* Jump to. She said she spent a grand total of 15 hours trying to get ahold of someone at OEM. Busy signals Wednesday marked the 17th day since Jesse Snavlin filed for unemployment benefits. That delight turned to frustration, though, when Crockett tried to file her claim online. Wednesday marked the 17th day since Jesse Snavlin filed for unemployment benefits. ‘Busy signals’: Oregonians struggle to file for unemployment He and Porter-Mitchell are two of dozens of people KOIN 6 News reporters and producers have talked to about this problem. Snavlin isn’t alone. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our email newsletters. The state’s online claims system appears to be holding up comparatively well under the strain, but some people cannot file online because of particular aspects of their case, or because they fall into categories of workers newly eligible for benefits under the coronavirus rescue package Congress passed last week. Anyone else getting a busy signal when trying to call Oregon Unemployment? While the claims process has been delayed for many, there is no indication their money is permanently blocked. I've been trying to call someone to figure out why I got denied unemployment despite being laid off. I called the 877-345-3484 number. See more of Oregon Employment Department on Facebook. She filed the same day she lost her job as a bartender at a Portland restaurant. The Oregon Employment Department acknowledges it has been completely swamped by the flood of jobless claims. He said he’s facing a cash crunch while he waits for clarity on what benefits he will receive, and when. Uncertain when his first benefits checks will arrive, Bulkin decided to move out of his studio apartment in Beaverton and back in with family. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? Kate Brown asked director Kay Erickson to step down, and replaced her with David Gerstenfeld, the … Anyone else getting a busy signal when trying to call Oregon Unemployment? She filed the same day she lost her job as a bartender at a Portland restaurant. Failure to file a timely appeal may prevent you from having the original administrative decision … Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). All rights reserved (About Us). Still, that doesn’t come close to keeping up with the nineteenfold increase in the total number of new claims. KOIN 6 reports: The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department told KOIN 6 News over the phone that he estimated about 1,500 people are in a situation where they were paid benefits but now have to pay them back for one reason or another. If online filers receive a confirmation number, that indicates a claim has been filed and will be processed. “We continue to receive a truly—not even close to numbers we’ve seen before, we’ve never seen anything like it—unprecedented record level of unemployment insurance initial claims in Oregon,” said Gail Krumenauer with OEM. The toll-free one and the original one. And you get it all day long, '' he said facing a cash crunch he... Unemployment, local News, Portland local News, Portland local News, Breaking alerts. A form you can use to request a hearing s just a busy signal -- that! Out, too Krumenauer said that represents a substantial loss of jobs than in the 39... 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