PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The adjudication process associated with filing unemployment claims in Oregon continues to be the biggest challenge for the state’s Employment Department.
Last week OED reported 48,000 people were waiting for adjudication — the process in which state officials investigate eligibility issues pertaining to information submitted through a filed claim. As of Wednesday, that number has only dipped by about 3,000 Oregonians.
Acting Director David Gerstenfeld said the agency is working on all cylinders to speed up the process and have even partnered up with an outside vendor to attack the backlog of claims. Gerstenfeld acknowledged the frustration people have who are in the dark about why their payouts are being held up, but said for OED to stop and provide updates would only further bog down the process.
“We know that not having the information is incredibly stressful and this point,” said Gerstenfeld. “If we were to try to give each of those people an update on the status–and kind of an estimated time of when we might be able to resolve it–it would actually slow down our ability to resolve those claims”
Gerstenfeld added that OED is focusing on finally paying people for the waiting week and hope to do so by the end of November. However, the passage of another federal relief bill with more benefits could alter the state’s plan.
OED is urging people to self-certify to receive the $300 payments through the Lost Wages Assistance program.