Important updates that could impact your benefits

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) – Have you certified for LWA yet? Even if you’ve already received LWA payments, you must self-certify. The eligibility requirement for LWA is not as limited as many think–as long as you received unemployment benefits for a COVID-related reason anytime between July 26 and Sept. 5, 2020, you’re eligible for LWA!
•   FEMA requires everyone receiving LWA to certify their eligibility. You only have to certify ONCE, and ONLY if you received regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Extended Benefits (EB). Here are the instructions for certifying using the Online Claim System.
•   If you received LWA funds but don’t certify, you’ll have to pay back those funds to the Oregon Employment Department. (As with all benefit programs, federal law requires us to recover benefits paid to people who don’t meet legal eligibility requirements.) Here are instructions for paying back LWA.
•   If you’ve already certified for LWA, you don’t need to do anything else. We’re working on issuing your payment(s) as soon as we can.
Restarting Your Claim – With a two-week pause for several Oregon counties, some Oregonians may have their employment impacted by COVID-19 once again.
We have put together FAQs to help you restart your claim or find out which benefit program you should apply for. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits expire Dec. 26, 2020.
Congress has not funded any other program to replace or continue those benefits.
If you need additional help accessing resources for food, housing, or utilities reach out to or call 2-1-1 to see what support is available for you.
Extended Benefits – If your Extended Benefits have expired or will expire soon, you may be able to receive PUA benefits through Dec. 26. If you qualify, we will automatically enroll you.
Adjudication – We recently launched Focus Adjudication to track our progress resolving the claims needing adjudication as of Sept. 30, 2020. Our goal is to process all Focus Adjudication claims by the end of this year.
•   If your claim is in adjudication, we may reach out to you for more information by phone, email, or mailed letter.
•   You may receive a call from 1-855-914-4676 or a number not identified as the Employment Department. If the adjudicator handling your claim cannot reach you, they will leave a message with their direct phone number so you can return their call. (They will ask for your SS#. This is a legit # and not part of a scam.)
•   You will need to call the adjudicator back within 2 business days, so it is important that you turn off call blocking, answer all calls, have your voicemail set up with room for messages, and check your messages often.
Waiting Week – We are on track to begin paying waiting week benefits by the end of November. Stay tuned for more information!
Upcoming Webinar – Sign up for our next webinar, where we’ll talk about federal CARES Act unemployment benefits that will end soon and the Extended Benefits program.
The webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Need to reach us? The best way to get in touch with a claims specialist is to submit a message through our Contact Us Form.
We are responding to messages within one week. That means you don’t need to call and wait on hold to get information or have your issues fixed.

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