Unemployment Insurance Benefits

State unemployment insurance benefits may be available to employees affected by temporary layoffs, leave without pay through the UO benefits extension program, or other reductions that impact wages. Unemployment insurance eligibility and amounts are determined by the State of Oregon Employment Department, and we cannot say how the State is likely to review a claim.

State and federal rules have been adopted to address employment changes and lost earnings for reasons related to COVID-19 pandemic. References and resources include:

Unemployment Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

I received a letter from the Employment Department stating that they cannot pay benefits because of a question regarding my eligibility for benefits during a school recess period. What does this mean?

This is a standard letter that is being sent to many school or university employees and does not mean that your claim will be denied. If your claim is actually denied, you should receive a notice of denial from the Oregon Employment Department (OED) that includes the reason for the denial.

According to state guidance, school employees who typically do not work over the summer (e.g., 9-month employees) may not be eligible for unemployment benefits during the summer recess, if they have a reasonable assurance of returning to work after the break. Reasonable assurance is subject to OED interpretation, but in general terms means that you have been assured you will return to work following the summer break.

This limitation should not apply to 12-month employees who would be working over the summer had they not been on the extended benefits program. The University has informed the Employment Department of those employees who had an expectation of work for 12 months.

The University cannot control how the Employment Department assesses UI claims. We encourage employees to explore their appeal right if they disagree with the Employment Department’s decision.

When can I file an unemployment claim? Do I have to wait until after my last day of work?

You can file a claim at any time. It is recommended that you file the claim in advance of your final day of work, if possible, to allow for increased processing times.

Do I need to wait until my claim is approved before I begin submitting my weekly claim reports?

No. It is recommended that you do not wait until your claim is approved to start filing your weekly claim reports. You can start making your weekly claim reports as early as the Sunday after you submit your application, even if your claim has not yet been processed.

I have questions about how to complete the claim application. Where can I get assistance?

The Employment Department website has information about how to complete the claim application. Questions not answered by reviewing the Employment Department website or the Claimant Handbook should be emailed to the Employment Department UI Help mailbox.

Can UO contact the Employment Department to help me get my claim approved or to get it evaluated faster?

No. UO isn’t involved in the Employment Department’s claims process or decisions. If you have questions or concerns about your claim or claim status, please review the Employment Department website, the Claimant Handbook, or email the Employment Department UI Help mailbox.

Are student employees eligible for unemployment benefits?

In most cases, the state of Oregon has historically not paid unemployment benefits to full-time students. However, some student employees may qualify for Oregon unemployment insurance benefits. Student employees may always file a claim to see if they qualify for benefits as determined by the Oregon Employment Department.