Close Menu Congressman Kurt Schrader


Unemployment Insurance

Who Qualifies, How to Apply, and Other Important Information

During this uncertain period, Congress has worked to ensure that workers are still able to financially support their families. Recent legislation has led to temporary new federal guidelines to ensure that everyone who is out of work through no fault of their own can still support themselves and their families. If you have lost your job due to COVID-19, below are some resources to aid in claiming unemployment benefits.

What has changed

Oregon Regulations Prior to COVID-19

  • The Oregon Employment Department provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.
  • To get benefits, workers must meet some requirements. In general, to receive UI benefits for a week, you must be able to work, be available for work, and look for work you can do.

New Federal Guidelines

  • Congress took action to waive the requirement that you be able, available, and actively seeking work.
  • The federal government will provide a temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of $600/week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits. This would be paid in addition to any regular unemployment benefits.
  • States will be refunded for expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits to workers who are not normally eligible, so long as their unemployment is connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
    • self-employed individuals;
    • independent contractors;
    • "gig economy" workers; and
    • individuals who were unable to start a new job due to the pandemic.
  • CLICK HERE for an in-depth summary of new unemployment guidelines, and answers to frequently asked questions.