Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Oregon

Eligibility for unemployment in Oregon relies on meeting several key requirements relating to your work history, in particular, your reason for being separated from your previous job. In addressing what are the requirements to get unemployment, it is important to note that unemployment insurance is intended to fill the income gap from job loss. Unemployment insurance is not part of an assistance program but rather funded by employers in the state. The major factors to understand and consider about unemployment insurance eligibility in Oregon include the time that you have worked in the past year, eligible wages that you have earned in that year and the circumstances surrounding your departure from your job. It is also key to recognize that the Oregon Employment Department defines “unemployed” as any week in which you failed to work a minimum of 40 hours and did not earn or exceed your weekly benefit sum.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Oregon?

Two qualifications for unemployment eligibility include meeting the length of employment and the minimum earnings requirements. The Oregon Employment Department determines who qualifies for unemployment benefits by reviewing the applicants’ employment duration and wages. During the unemployment insurance application process in Oregon, petitioners will need to establish is an accurate timeline of work history for the preceding 18 months leading up to the initial unemployment insurance claim. This period is called the base year.

Remember that eligibility for unemployment insurance in Oregon will be measured from the day the application is filed, not from the day in which you became unemployed. As such, waiting too long to file can damage your eligibility for EDD (Employment Development Department) benefits in the state. It is imperative to file unemployment insurance claim as quickly as possible after you lose your job, as waiting for any period of time can cause the measurement of your base year to reflect more time of less salary and in turn lower your weekly unemployment insurance benefit sum.

Your eligible income will be examined for the first four of the last five calendar quarters preceding your unemployment insurance eligibility claim. Qualifications for unemployment rest on your highest level of income in this allotted time. A calendar quarter is designated as the four three-month blocks of time beginning each year on January 1 and ending on March 31, June 30, September 30 or December 31. It is possible to re-apply at the top of the next calendar quarter if you are deemed ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits in a given calendar quarter. Learn more about apply and qualifying for insurance benefits in our comprehensive unemployment guide.

The second vital aspect of eligibility for unemployment insurance concerns your subject wages during the base period. These are your earnings that your employer paid unemployment insurance taxes on and are a major factor in determining who qualifies for unemployment. It is important to understand that not all salary earned in a given base year will be deemed eligible as subject wages. There are two basic ways to qualify for unemployment insurance in Oregon. The first is to earn during your base year a minimum of $1,000 in subject wages andhave a total sum of subject wages that is at least one and half times the amount you earned in the highest calendar quarter. The second is to have proof of working a minimum of 500 hours and have received at least some subject wages during the established base year. It is especially important to accurately and completely report your wages for the entirety of your base year to meet the requirements to get unemployment in Oregon.

Oregon UI Disqualifications

Eligibility for EDD insurance in Oregon can be denied for several reasons. Eligibility for unemployment is contingent on factors that you may not think relate to your current financial and work situation. The most common reason a petitioner will be denied is because he or she lost a job through personal fault or misconduct. Another very common disqualifier is presenting erroneous information on unemployment insurance application forms, accidentally or by intention. Any faulty means by which eligibility for EDD is obtained can render a petitioner subject to sanctions and fines. Remember that a representative from the Oregon Employment Department will be contacting not just you but your former employer as well regarding basic questions about your work history, typical work performance, the situation leading to your job loss and any other pertinent factors as deemed valid by the Oregon Employment Department. Omitting, falsifying or bending any facts relative to your unemployment status can result in an official determination of ineligibility for unemployment benefits in Oregon.

You can also be denied unemployment insurance eligibility if the Oregon Employment Department determines that you have retained too much income of any eligible kind during your base year. Remember that, when qualifying for unemployment, “income” does not necessarily always refer to dispensed salary for work or wages earned. In determining who qualifies for unemployment, the Oregon Employment Department may consider child support, health insurance, alimony, any government assistance you are receiving, a court settlement, estate inheritance or a variety of other types of monetary assets as income. Download our in-depth unemployment guide for more details about qualifying for benefits.

How to Qualify for Unemployment in Oregon

In determining unemployment insurance eligibility in Oregon, the two most important items you will need to provide to the Employment Department in terms of documentation are your complete work history for the past 18 months (including employer names, addresses and supervisor contacts) and a valid form of personal identification showing that you are a verified resident of the state. For unemployment insurance eligibility purposes, this second document could be anything from a valid Oregon driver’s license, official ID card, relevant immigration status card (such as a green card) or passport. Former military members and federal civilian workers may be asked for additional documentation to accurately process their unemployment insurance claims.

Maintaining UI Eligibility In Oregon

Qualifications for unemployment in Oregon do not end once benefits are received. You need to concern yourself not just with how to qualify for unemployment but how to remain qualified to continue to collect benefits. There are several mandatory weekly steps you must take to maintain your eligibility status. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you do not miss valuable weeks of eligible benefits:

  • Be physically and mentally prepared to work
  • Actively and consistently seek work
  • Record your job search efforts in a written or digital format
  • Call to request benefits weekly
  • Report all income, offers of employment and work done each week