How To File For Oregon Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Oregon. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Oregon Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Oregon unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Information needed when applying for unemployment

The information listed below is needed when applying for Oregon unemployment benefits:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your work history for the last 18 months, including dates of employment, your employers business names, addresses and phone numbers
  • Your salary and total income (for at least the last year) from each employer
  • If you are not a citizen of the US, you will need your Alien Registration Number and documentation
  • Phone number where you can be reached during normal business hours.

Unemployment insurance eligibility requirements

There are two ways to qualify for unemployment:

  • You've been paid at least $1,000 in subject wages in your base year and
  • Your total base year wages are at least one and a half times the wages paid in the highest calendar quarter of the base year or
  • You've worked at least 500 hours and were paid some subject wages in employment during the base year.

Subject wages are earnings on which your employer(s) paid UI taxes. If you don't qualify, you can file again at the beginning of the next quarter. You may qualify for benefits at that time.​

Filing for Oregon unemployment

You can file online using the Online Claims System or call the UI Center and file with a claims specialist.

  • Portland Area: 503-292-2057
  • Salem Area: 503-947-1500
  • Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: 541-388-6207
  • Toll Free: 877-345-3484

Do not delay in filing your initial claim application. Your claim is effective the week in which you submit your application; backdating of initial claim applications is not allowed.

After filing unemployment claim

Whether you file online or by phone, staff need to process the application. This can take a few days when workload is heavy. Once your application is processed, they mail you a Wage and Potential Benefit Report. On the first Sunday or Monday after you filed your application, file a claim for the prior week. You can file your claim for the prior week online or by phone on their Weekly Claim Line. You need to file a weekly claim for each week you are unemployed and wish to receive benefits, including your first or "waiting week."

Weekly Claim Line Numbers:

  • Portland Area: 503-224-0405
  • Greater Salem Area: 503-375-7900
  • Eastern/Central Oregon/Bend: 541-388-4066
  • Toll Free: (800) 982-8920
  • TTY Relay Service 711

If there are any issues on your claim to investigate, be sure to respond to all letters or phone messages right away. Continue to make your weekly claims while they investigate. If you don't make a weekly claim, they can't begin the investigation. It can take three to four weeks to complete the investigation. You may be scheduled to attend a meeting at a WorkSource Oregon center. If you do not go, your benefits will be delayed while they investigate. Depending on the reason you didn't go, your benefits could be denied.

Waiting Week

The Waiting Week is the first week on your claim in which you meet all eligibility requirements. You do not receive payment for your waiting week. Every unemployment account must have a Waiting Week before they can start making benefit payments. You must claim the week in order for it to be your Waiting Week. Simply filing your application does not give you credit for your waiting week.

When can I expect my first payment?

If your unemployment account is valid and no adjudication issues exist, the first week you claim will be credited as your Waiting Week. If no other issues arise, your first payment will be issued in the third week. If you submit your weekly claim on Sunday or Monday of the week, payment will be issued on Tuesday. Electronic payments issued on Tuesday normally arrive in claimant accounts on Wednesday.

How is my weekly benefit amount calculated?

Your weekly benefit amount is 1.25% of your total base year gross earnings. Under Oregon law, it will not be less than the minimum or more than the maximum amounts you can receive.​

How long do benefits last?

Your benefit year is a 52 week period that begins the first week you file. You may receive total benefits up to 26 times your weekly benefit amount. You can't file a new Oregon claim until your benefit year is up, even if you've received all of your benefits.

File an appeal

Any time they reduce or deny your benefits, they send you an administrative decision. If you don't agree with the administrative decision, you can appeal it by requesting a hearing. Your employer may also appeal an administrative decision. Most decisions sent from the Employment Department include instructions for filing an appeal and the appeal deadline to timely request a hearing. Failure to file a timely appeal may prevent you from having the original Administrative Decision changed.

You may request a hearing through the UI Center by mail, fax, secure email or phone. They will provide you with language interpretation and disability accommodations upon request, at no cost to you. When you send a written request through the US Postal Service, specifically state that you're requesting a hearing and include:

  • Your Social Security Number or your Customer Identification Number (CID)
  • The administrative decision number and
  • The mailing date of the administrative decision you're appealing

Please notify both the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) and the UI Center if your address or phone number changes after you request a hearing. More information about hearings and the appeals process can be found at OAH​. During the appeal process, continue to file for weekly benefits. If you don't claim each week timely while your appeal is pending, you will not be paid for those weeks if the appeal is decided in your favor.