OR Unemployment Compensation Eligibility

Oregon StateOregon unemployment benefits provide temporary compensation to unemployed workers while they search for a new position.  Employers in the state of Oregon fund the benefits workers obtain from the Oregon Department of Employment, but unemployment claimants must meet eligibility requirements to meet the criteria for benefits in the state. Individuals have to file a claim with the state to settle on eligibility.

Eligibility for Oregon Unemployment Benefits

This segment explains the eligibility requirements for establishing a valid unemployment account.

Non- Monetary Eligibility

The basic requirements for collecting unemployment are:

Oregon Unemployment

  • You must be able to work, available for work, and keenly seeking work each week you claim
  • You must be all set, willing and able to take any offer of suitable work. Suitable work is work that you did in the past or that you are actually able to do now.
  • You must be determined to be laid-off through no fault of your own as defined under Oregon law.
  • You must file ongoing claims and reply to questions concerning your continued eligibility. You must report any earnings from work and any job offers or denial of work during any claim period.

Each and every week you claim, you must be:

UNEMPLOYED – You are jobless in a week if you:

  • Did no work; or
  • Worked less than full-time and earned less than your weekly benefit amount.

You can work part time and collect benefits. You must take all available work and still earn less than your weekly benefit amount. Volunteer work may be acceptable under certain conditions. In either case, you must keep on looking for a full-time job.

The Oregon Employment Department consider where you live, the pay you earned, your experience and training, how long you have been out of work, and whether the work would be actually risky or morally unpleasant to you.

Monetary Eligibility

Claimants must meet monetary eligibility requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits.
The minimum weekly benefit amount available is currently $122 a week. The maximum potential weekly benefit is currently $524 a week. Your weekly benefit amount is based on your recent work record for a 12-month period known as the base year.

Base Period

In order to collect unemployment benefits, you must have been employed. The Oregon Employment Department issues requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established phase of time referred to as a “base period.”


OR UnemploymentThe state of Oregon uses a base period to decide eligibility for benefits, as well as the weekly benefit amount. According to Oregon.gov, base period “is the first four of the last five calendar quarters completed at the time you file your initial application.” For example, if you file a new claim in May, your base year is all four quarters of the previous calendar year.

The state makes use of the earnings during this period to compute benefits.

To qualify for a valid claim, your work and wages during the base period must meet one of the following:

  • In Oregon, the claimant should have total earnings in the base period that is no less than one-and-a-half times higher than the earnings in the highest paying quarter. In addition, the claimant must have earned at least $1000 during the base period.
  • You must have worked 500 hours of subject employment.

Reasons for Disqualification

Your Oregon unemployment benefits may stop or refused if it is determined that you become laid-off by:

  • Quitting a job
  • Being fired
  • Being unable to work
  • Being out of the labor market
  • Attending school
  • Being self-employed
  • Being incarcerated
  • Missing an opportunity to work
  • Turning down a job
  • Not seeking work
  • Receiving retirement pay
  • Failing to participate in Worker Profiling activities
  • Turning down a referral to work

Filing for OR Unemployment Claims

Application for OR Unemployment BenefitsOregon unemployment claimants must file a claim with the Department of Employment to obtain benefits. Claimants must supply name, address, social security number and telephone number when filing with the state. Oregon also needs a work history for the last 18 months along with name of the employer, dates of employment, employers address and telephone number. The claim for unemployment benefits also needs the salary earned with each employer.

If you need more details on this, refer to OR unemployment compensation guide.
In case your benefits unemployment have run out you may be entitled to receive extended unemployment benefits through one of the state or federal unemployment extension programs.

Below are some of the FAQ’s as well as the solutions:

What can I expect after I file my unemployment application?

Whether you file your first unemployment application online or by telephone, staff needs to process the application.  This can take a few days when workload is heavy.  Once the application is processed, we mail you a Wage and Potential Benefit Report and a Claimant Handbook.

What is a Waiting Week?

The Waiting Week is the first week on your claim in which you meet all eligibility requirements.  You do not receive payment for your waiting week.  Every unemployment account must have a Waiting Week before government can start making benefit payments.

How do I get my PIN? And what is a CID?

Personal Identification Number

You chose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when you filed your initial unemployment application, whether you filed online or by telephone.  You will use the same PIN all through your claim.  You will need it whenever you access the Online Claim System and to claim weekly benefits whether online or by telephone.

Agency employees do not know your PIN.  If you forget it, you will have to ask Oregon employment department to reset it so that you can choose a new PIN.  You are responsible for the security of your PIN.  Do not share it with anyone and don’t let others use it.

Claimant Identification Number

Your Claimant Identification Number (CID) is a number allotted only to you at the time you filed your initial unemployment application. Oregon government use it on the documents they send to you as a way to safeguard your claim and Social Security number from identity theft.  You will need your CID to change your address or apply for direct deposit through the Online Claim System. The government will not give out your CID, even to you if you call, so please keep a record of it.

Where can I get help finding a job?

The Employment Department offers a broad range of services to assist in your return to work. Resume writing resources, employer job listings, labor market information, and career exploration tools are among the services offered. Staff is available to help you and introduce you to the services that will benefit you in your work search.

How does retirement pay affect my benefits?

Retirement pay could lessen your benefits, make you disqualified, or have no effect at all.  If you are not entitled for periodic payments, it has no effect.  If an employer for whom you worked during the base year of your claim either contributed to the retirement fund or maintained it, then your retirement pay is deducted dollar for dollar.

Social Security does not affect your benefits unless you do not want to work full time, put limits on the type of work you will do, or if you do not want to look for work anymore.