PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Toni Rankin was furloughed from her job training salespeople how to use technology. Around that same time, her husband was laid off from his construction job.

A record number of Oregonians, including the Rankins, filed for unemployment. Like many people, they logged on Sunday to file their claim for the week and got a message to restart their claim.

Thousand of Oregonians who filed for unemployment saw this message after they initially filed (Courtesy to KOIN, April 13, 2020)

“We attempted to claim for the week and when I put in for myself it said that I had to restart my claim, that I had worked last week — which I know I didn’t,” she told KOIN 6 News on Monday. She thought she had done something wrong.

‘Uncertainty’: Record unemployment filers in Oregon, Washington

“Then my husband did it. He did his and he got the same thing. So then I knew something was wrong,” she said. “We both stopped and walked away. And I complained on Twitter for a little bit and people started talking to me about their issues, so that’s why I decided to hold off.”

Gail Krumenauer with the Oregon Employment Department told KOIN 6 News they’ve “identified and fixed” the error that caused so many unemployed filers so much consternation.

In an email, Krumenauer said:

“In short: for those who have completed their initial claim, and continued to file weekly claims, their re-start error has been identified and fixed. If they tried yesterday (Sunday) and got the re-start error for the first time, they can re-try now and it should work. They should not need to contact us for their claims to continue to work onlin

Oregon Employment Department – COVID-19 information
Oregon Employment Department – ‘Error on my claim’

“At this point I’m still not sure that our claims have been accepted and that we are getting any unemployment, so it’s kind of scary and frustrating all the way around,” Rankin said.

Krumenauer said that if someone filed an initial claim then skipped a week, they would have to re-start their claim

“They will not lose out on a week of benefits they were eligible to receive because of a difficulty either getting through on our phone or because of an online claim error. They can submit their claim information at OED_UI_Info@oregon.gov. It will take at least a few days for someone to get back to them. Our unemployment insurance team will reach out and help them. When we do connect with them, we will update their current and prior week’s claims as needed.”

The agency updated their COVID-19 page with information, including specific information about the “error on my claim” section.

Toni Rankin is among the thousands of Oregonians who filed for unemployment and got an error message (Courtesy photo, April 13, 2020)

“We continue to make regular updates to that page. It’s a valuable resource for everyone to be able to check back with anytime they have questions,” Krumenauer said.

Toni Rankin understands the Oregon Employment Department is overwhelmed. So far, the OED has processed more claims so far in 2020 than in all of 2019. Still she wants more information on their website and she wants the ID number for her claim that she said she never got.

“I wish they were more on top of it,” Rankin said. “But I don’t know if getting mad at them is going to make them work any faster.”