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Oregon Unemployment Eligibility Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

Oregon Unemployment Insurance Eligibility


Unemployment insurance eligibility in Oregon is governed by specific rules set forth by the state and federal government. Both initial OR eligibility for unemployment and eligibility after you have been accepted into the Oregon program are determined by these regulations. The rules involve an applicant’s physical and mental ability to work, availability to work, continued looking for work and the applicant having earned enough wages to qualify for unemployment insurance.

Who qualifies for unemployment and what are the requirements to get unemployment are answered in the following sections:

•    Eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Oregon
•    Monetary requirement for unemployment in Oregon

Eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Oregon


Regarding OR qualifications for unemployment, the applicant must not only be unemployed, but also be physical and mentally able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work. In addition, qualifications for unemployment stipulate that he or she must be able and willing to work all of the days and hours typical of the type of work being sought. The claimant must stay in the vicinity of his or her permanent residence for the majority of the benefit week unless seeking work somewhere else.

To maintain eligibility for EDD, the former worker is required to report that he or she is not available for work when any condition exists that could prevent them from working. This includes, but is not limited to travel, illness, hospitalization, incarceration, school attendance, and the loss of childcare or transportation. A candidate who qualifies for unemployment in OR must be immediately available and willing to accept full-time, part-time or temporary work opportunities. He or she cannot place any unreasonable restrictions on the hours they will work, the wage they will accept, or the distance they will travel to work. 

If a petitioner has applied for unemployment insurance benefits and has left the area of his or her permanent residence, he or she must: look for work in the other area, keep track of the work searching activities, and be able, ready and willing to take a job in the new area. Under limited circumstances, the applicant claiming benefits for unemployment may receive aid while attending school. However, he or she must report any school attendance or training to the UI Center. The claimant is also required to notify the Employment Department if they are incarcerated during a week they are claiming benefits. In this case, he or she will be denied unemployment benefits until the Employment Department receives notification of the claimant’s release.

The claimant’s involvement in self-employment could result in denial of benefits even if he or she does not receive earnings. A major element of how to qualify for unemployment in Oregon is based on the UI petitioner seeking work immediately. His or her focus should be on employers who hire persons with their experience, training and skills.Unemployment insurance applicants must complete at least five work-seeking activities for each week he or she claims benefits. These activities include, but are not limited to:

•    Attending job placement meetings sponsored by WorkSource Oregon
•    Participating in a job club or networking group dedicated to job placement
•    Updating their resume
•    Reviewing job placement websites or newspapers without responding to a job posting
•    Making direct contact with an employer
 

Qualifications for unemployment in OR also require that two out of the five required work-seeking activities for the former employee be direct contact with an employer. This means contacting the potential employer in person, by phone, by mail, or electronically to inquire about and/or apply for a job opening.

Additionally, for individuals unsure of how to qualify for unemployment, the UI beneficiary must register with WorkSource Oregon, enter his or her job seeker information into iMatchSkills and meet with staff at the local WorkSource Oregon center. In some cases, there are a couple of exceptions applicants who file for unemployment. First of all, if a petitioner is temporarily laid off and has a definite date to return to full-time work for his or her regular employer within four weeks from the last day of work, he or she does not have to register with WorkSource. The second exception states that if an OR unemployment insurance recipient is affiliated with a union that does not allow he or she to seek work on his or her own, the claimant must obtain all work from the union hiring hall, in addition to being on the union’s referral list. Applicants affiliated with a union will be considered actively seeking work if they remain in contact with their union for each week that they claim benefits.  


Monetary requirement for unemployment in Oregon


Still asking “Who qualifies for unemployment in Oregon?” In addition to the above sated, an unemployment insurance coverage applicant must have earned at least $1,000 in wages from employers subject to Unemployment Insurance law and have total base year wages that equal or exceed one and one-half times the wages paid in the highest calendar quarter of the base year. Or, if an applicant does not qualify this way, he or she may qualify for a valid unemployment insurance claim if he or she has some wages and has worked at least 500 hours, subject to unemployment insurance law during the base year.