PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Employment Department reports it’s making progress on the backlog of claims as thousands continue to wait for unemployment benefits.
Shannon Green is self-employed and among more than 44,000 people still waiting for their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims to be processed through the state. She spoke to an OED employee in June who said her claim would be processed the next day. She’s still waiting a month later.
“Nothing ever happened and now it’s already July 22 and [the OED employee] promised me she’d take care of it,” Green told KOIN 6 News on Wedensday. “So that was really a disappointment.”
There are few things others in the same bind as Green should do. First, visit the OED’s new website and fill out the “contact us” form. The state is using the form to try and help those who have been waiting the longest.
Second, the OED partnered with Google to create a new PUA application launched on Friday. Those who have filed a PUA application and have still not received any benefits do not need to refile their original applications. KOIN 6 News learned benefits will be paid out faster to those who use the new application to refile all of the weekly claims they haven’t been paid for.
State officials said the new application has already helped speed up the process, allowing them to process another 10,900 PUA claims last week. Their goal is still to finish processing the backlog by Aug. 8.
The CARES Act has been paying out an extra $600 per week to those who successfully filed claims in their respective states as part of the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed in March. Those extra payments end this week. But anyone who is still waiting and qualifies for benefits between March 29 and July 25 will still receive the weekly $600 when payments are released.
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