She tested negative for COVID-19, but missed more weeks of work and went back on unemployment. Counties which remain in extreme risk include the state's most populous: Marion, Multnomah, Lane, Washington, and Clackamas. Here are some basic steps anyone awaiting benefits can do. Hundreds of thousands of workers won't be eligible to receive a $300 weekly boost to unemployment benefits provided by the Lost Wages Assistance program. Oregon restaurants are fighting the governor's health restrictions in court on the grounds they will bring "economic devastation" on the industry. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. If you were laid off, the state unemployment office would calculate whether you'd receive benefits for the $30,000 via PUA or $20,000 via unemployment insurance but not a … You have permission to edit this article. The industry still lost around 110,500 jobs between March and April. Rosales said the agency is in communication with the U.S. Department of Labor, which has not yet issued guidance on how to begin issuing PUA payments at the time of this writing. “Federal law requires us to turn on and turn off based on the unemployment rate,” Gerstenfeld said. © 2021 www.statesmanjournal.com. A trade group that represents live event venues in Oregon estimates 78% of the 35,000 workers in its segment – 27,500 people – have been unable to work since March due to COVID-19 shutdowns are on the verge of losing their unemployment benefits. It was extended through March 2021 late Sunday following President Trump's signature of a pandemic relief bill hours after the program expired on Saturday. It makes it so more people can get unemployment benefits than ever before. The 23-year-old from Aumsville was working three jobs to support herself and her daughter but is now unemployed and on the edge of a financial cliff. Here's who … Mink again returned to work in July, but during the Labor Day Wildfires in September, Aumsville was placed under a “Be Set” evacuation order, forcing Neufeldt's to close again. The OED is encouraging applicants to continue filing their weekly claims in the meantime as normal, Rosales said. "What they wanted to do was a one-time $600 payment and the rest of the time the workers should figure, just try to figure out how to make dollars stretch through some very tough days. “Fortunately, some of the proposals that we’ve seen recently do not have the most complex aspects. Last month, Oregon launched a $35 million relief check program that was created to issue a one-time payment of $500 to 70,000 Oregonians still waiting for unemployment benefits. The EB program expired December 12, 2020. "The Senate Republican leadership has put out a proposal that barely touched unemployment insurance, full of corporate giveaways, and the Trump administration’s actually worse," said Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. Corrections & Clarifications: A prior version of this story incorrectly reported the amount Ashton Mink receives in pandemic childcare assistance. PUA provides temporary benefits to eligible individuals: Typical PUA payments range as high as $600 a week. Typical PUA payments range as high as $600 a week. If Congress, which is scheduled to begin its winter break Dec. 18, doesn't find a solution in the next few weeks, Mink and the millions of unemployed Americans like her will no longer receive benefits. PUA recipients face a hard cutoff but the employment department said many Oregon workers on the 13-week extension may qualify for 20 weeks from a … All rights reserved. She receives $670 a month. The reasons Oregon unemployment claims get held up vary considerably based on individual circumstances. But Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% in October from a high of 14.2% in April. […] Kate Brown lifted mandatory restrictions on religious gatherings following a U.S. Supreme Court verdict in November barring New York state from enforcing attendance limits in places of worship. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. Evictions:Compromise bill would extend eviction moratorium if special session called in December. Oregon's statewide unemployment rate sat at 6% in November after adding 4,200 jobs to such sectors as transportation, health care, and manufacturing, the OED reports. The day after Christmas, about 70,000 Oregonians and 12 million people in the United States will lose unemployment benefits that have kept them barely financially solvent. Even if something is signed into law before Congress adjourns for Christmas, many Oregonians receiving unemployment benefits will experience a disruption. As many as 70,000 Oregonians are collecting PUA benefits, according to the OED. It took about a month until she received her first unemployment benefits checks. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, covered workers who usually don’t qualify for jobless benefits because they’re considered independent contractors, not employees. His work has appeared in Politico, the Kitsap Daily News, and the Northwest Asian Weekly. She picked up a second job as a night bartender at Sugar Shack Gentlemen’s Club in Salem on the weekends and took on a third job as a bartender at Stars Cabaret. Oregon rolled out its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, or PUA, on April 28, roughly in the middle of the pack. “I didn’t really get to do anything for my daughter’s birthday even,” Mink said. In March, Congress quickly passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which – among other things – expanded unemployment benefits to the self-employed for the first time, offered an additional $600 weekly unemployment benefit through July and extended benefits beyond the regular 26 weeks. PUA provides unemployment assistance to workers who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) compensation. But there isn’t enough left over to buy Christmas presents for her daughter. But her bartending jobs didn't come back because bars in Oregon were forced to close at 10 p.m. Then in late June she got sick with coronavirus-type symptoms. But most of the programs authorized by the CARES Act expire Dec. 26. Before Christmas, Gov. 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However, the OED still has no hard timeline for when payments will go out. She’s like, ‘Mom, can I have a happy meal?’ I can’t even spend the $4 for a Happy Meal. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregonians depending on federal unemployment benefits will not have a gap in coverage as some feared. In November, leisure and hospitality added 300 new jobs compared to 3,300 in October. She returned to work for a couple months, but Neufeldt’s was forced to close again as of Nov. 18 due to an executive order from Brown. Initial unemployment claims in the state climbed to a record 62,788 in a week for regular unemployment the week of March 29 through April 4, and continued claims – the total number of people on regular unemployment – peaked at 309,543 the week of May 3 through 9, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Filing a Weekly Claim for PUA in Oregon Posted on by PUA is a program under the pandemic aid relief and Economic Security or Cares Act of 2020, that provides unemployment assistance to workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance or UI compensation. Filing a New Application for PUA in Oregon PUA is a program under the pandemic ais relief and Economic Security or Cares Act of 2020 that provides unemployment assistance to workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance compensation. In the past three weeks, however, initial unemployment claims have spiked again with 40,001 new claims for regular unemployment in the period and 32,965 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program to give aid to the self-employed and gig workers. … I have no savings left, whatsoever.”, Bill Poehler covers Marion County for the Statesman Journal. Extended Benefits (EB) allowed an additional 10 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. Bill Poehler covers Marion County for the Statesman Journal. Counties' placement in each tier are based on the two-week rate of cases per 100,000 residents. Yet. Jay Inslee on Sunday. “I literally dumped every single change jar. Unemployment:Some of the thousands stuck in Oregon's unemployment adjudication may not know it. New risk levels will be assigned on January 15. Unemployment filers sue Oregon as wait for benefits drags Coronavirus There are still more than 55,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims waiting to be processed Oregon’s unemployment system never saw anything like the spike in claims it had in the first weeks of the pandemic; now it's on its second spike. Unemployment Insurance Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items. PUA provides unemployment assistance to workers who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) compensation. And she is receiving the maximum food stamp benefits of $300 per month. Contact him at, Oregon becomes final state to pay waiting week to hundreds of thousands of unemployed, Lawsuit against employment department alleges the state is farther behind than it reports, Some of the thousands stuck in Oregon's unemployment adjudication may not know it, Compromise bill would extend eviction moratorium if special session called in December, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. The Oregon Employment Department had just over 61,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims left to process by Wednesday. UPDATE (3:11 p.m. PT) — The Oregon Employment Department said Wednesday it is continuing to hire more employees, open more phone lines and work on addressing its … Contact him at bpoehler@statesmanjournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler. Gerstenfeld said about 34,000 people like Mink who received unemployment payments earlier in the year have reapplied for benefits since the shutdowns. That number of people unemployed was more than the population of any city in Oregon, except Portland. The state takes part in a program that provides an additional 13 or 20 weeks of benefits in times of high unemployment. Now her $188 weekly unemployment benefits are about to run out. "How are we supposed to live like this?". This new law did three main things: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). “My daughter wants to do things and I can’t. • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – 5/23/2020 or before • Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) – 05/30/2020 or before • Extensions – 06/20/2020 or before “I was on my way to work and my boss called me and told me, ‘You don’t have to come in anymore. As businesses reopened and rehired employees, the number of weekly claims in Oregon fell to a low of 4,408 initial claims the week of Sept. 27 through Oct. 3 and continued claims – those still drawing unemployment benefits – fell to 78,759 the week of Nov. 15 to 21. Ashton Mink has a hard time following the latest bickering in Congress over versions of a COVID-19 relief package. "We know Oregonians have many questions and want to know what the new relief package means for them," Rosales said. On Tuesday, Oregon Employment Department (OED) Communications Director Melanni Rosales said that Oregonians should expect to receive their next weekly PUA benefits as planned despite widespread fears of lapsed payouts. She considers herself fortunate to have recently been approved for a $670 monthly pandemic daycare assistance program that will help her pay most of the cost for her daughter. Tim Gruver is a politics and public policy reporter. This is after a claimant has exhausted both their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits of 20 weeks and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits of 13 weeks. She looked into rental assistance programs but says she doesn't qualify because she hasn't fallen behind in rent. Congress has argued along partisan lines for six months over the details of economic stimulus packages, pointing fingers and blaming each other for who is responsible for the perilous situations of people like Mink. We will share new information about the benefits as soon as it emerges.". Oregon … “If our employment rates drops below 6.5%, the three-month average unemployment rate, then, unfortunately, the extended benefit program goes away completely.”. Self-employed people and others who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits—and who are out of work due to COVID-19—can now get … Oregon Employment Department – 11/25/20 2:34 PM Nov. 25, 2020 (Salem, OR)–Today the Oregon Employment Department announced a reduction in extended benefits as a result of Oregon’s falling unemployment rate. Denied regular unemployment insurance in June, because he was a freelancer not usually eligible for jobless benefits, he reapplied under the new PUA program for self-employed workers. Mink was out of work for so much of this year, she burned through the 26 weeks of regular unemployment and now is onto Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation,a CARES Act program that provides 13 additional weeks of benefits to  people who  have exhausted regular unemployment. Normally people in Oregon would receive a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. She'd already spent her $2,000 savings and was desperate to figure out how to pay the rent. Unemployment:Oregon becomes final state to pay waiting week to hundreds of thousands of unemployed. We’re not seeing those most complicated versions being talked about now, but it certainly would take several weeks at a minimum if it’s not straightforward.”. Unemployment: Some of the thousands stuck in Oregon's unemployment adjudication may not know it But Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% in October from a … ", Unemployment:Lawsuit against employment department alleges the state is farther behind than it reports. Following a federal determination, Extended Benefits (EB) will be reduced from up to 20 weeks of benefits to up to 13 weeks, beginning Dec. 13, 2020. Oregon's COVID-19 case total reached 109,725 on Sunday while the death toll stands at 1,427 people, the Oregon Health Authority reported. “Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any realistic chance that could be done without some gap in payments,” said David Gerstenfeld, acting director of the Oregon Employment Department. Thonis said managers limited workers to only a small handful of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications for about two weeks after the program launched in Oregon … Unemployment was something Mink didn't think about until 2020. (The Center Square) — Oregonians on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will still get their regular weekly benefits despite the program’s late extension, but there is still no telling when they might pocket the money. Especially people affected by COVID-19. The backlog in unemployment claims is for self-employed and contract workers who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA. "I honestly don’t even know how I’m going to pay my car insurance this month," Mink said. Mink said she was determined to give her daughter a better life than she had while growing up. We’re closing,’” Mink said. Dec 22, 2020. “To the point where I was looking through my house to have a yard sale,” Mink said. The PUA program was created as part of the federal CARES Act in March which provided financial assistance to workers who lost work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the self-employed and independent contractors. “They pretty much tied a weight to everyone’s ankles and threw me in a river,” Mink said. Oregon's statewide unemployment rate sat at 6% in November after adding 4,200 jobs to such sectors as transportation, health care, and manufacturing, the OED reports. “But these are jobs we can bring back if our workers can continue to receive unemployment benefits after the end of 2020 until the vaccine and our state’s leadership allows us to go back to work,” said Dwayne Thomas, President of Live Events Industry of Oregon. Unemployment insurance is supposed to be a safety net, paying a percentage of what workers usually earn  while trying to find another job. Then in March, all three of her employers closed  due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EB Overview. Without an extension of PUA or PEUC, approximately 70,000 Oregonians would have lost a vital safety net after Dec. 26. "Claimants do not need to call with questions about the federal benefit programs at this time. Up north in Washington, out of work residents are slated to receive $550 one-time payments to make up for any lost or delayed PUA payments as part of a relief package announced by Gov. The $100 supplement would be available to individuals who make at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income but are disqualified from PUA because they receive state unemployment … Both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and … There was a problem saving your notification. The $188 weekly unemployment checks Mink is now receiving won’t cover her $1,200 monthly rent. The Oregon Employment Department said it's processed the backlog of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims as of Wednesday. The state dropped extended benefits to 13 weeks as of Dec. 12, so some people have already run out of unemployment. The CARES Act is a new federal law, signed March 27, 2020. The agency must deem them likely to be eligible for PUA in the event their regular claim is denied. Skip to the main content of the page; Employment Department / Unemployment. The Oregon Employment Department is pleased that Congress has passed an extension of federal benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). Even after a divorce about a year ago, she had managed to build up a small savings. Businesses in 24 out of 36 Oregon counties identified for being at "Extreme Risk" for COVID-19 transmissions are enduring tight health restrictions as indoor dining remains banned and retailers are limited to 50% capacity. A year after her daughter was born, Mink says she put aside her ambitions of getting a culinary arts degree to go to work as a waitress at Neufeldt’s Restaurant in Aumsville. Tuesday's new risk tiers moved five counties—Coos, Clatsop, Lincoln, Douglas, and Morrow—from Extreme to High Risk. In November, leisure and hospitality added 300 new jobs compared to 3,300 in October. Mink was again out of work and onto unemployment for another week. All three workplaces were forced to close multiple times or modify operations when they were open. Support local journalism by subscribing to the Statesman Journal. He is a University of Washington alum and the recipient of the 2017 Pioneer News Award for Reporting. “We’ve been getting as much work done to minimize that gap. ... Lincoln County had Oregon's highest unemployment rate last month, at 17%. Neufeldt's reopened in May and Mink was glad to return to work. A high of 14.2 % in April the two-week rate of cases per 100,000 residents ve! Done to minimize that gap really get to do things and I can t! High risk what the new relief package means for them, '' Rosales said the! Eb ) allowed an additional 13 or 20 weeks of benefits in times of high unemployment stands at 1,427,... Oregon, except Portland do not have the most complex aspects weeks of work went! 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