Oregon to offer quicker benefits to unemployed workers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials say an administrative change will enable the state to offer early prepayments to “tens of thousands” of unemployed workers who are waiting to have their claims adjudicated. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the state’s adjudication process has been clogged by a backlog that typically runs between 12 and 16 weeks, leaving many newly jobless Oregonians without income for months during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, qualifying workers will receive prepayments while their claims work through the adjudication process. They will have to pay the money back if Oregon ultimately denies their claims, but the state says it chose participants who are likely to have their claims approved. Officials say the prepayments will still take “several weeks.”