September 17, 2020 (SALEM, ORE.)—Today the Oregon Employment Department announced an update to the “Working While Claiming” program, a result of Oregon Senate Bill 1701. It allows Oregonians to work and earn more each week before having their weekly benefit amount reduced.
“We are glad to share another piece of positive news today with the implementation of Senate Bill 1701. This change in how earnings are reported for those who are “working while claiming” allows us to put more unemployment benefits in the hands of under-employed Oregonians. Originally anticipated to be complete in December, we are proud of our ability to get ahead on this programming change while keeping our other IT priorities on track,” said David Gerstenfeld, acting director of the Oregon Employment Department.
Senate Bill 1701 allows claimants to earn up to $300 before seeing a reduction in their weekly benefits. Claimants working 39 hours or less per week and earning less than their weekly benefit amount can earn up to $300 without seeing any change to their weekly benefits. Any amount earned over $300 will be reduced from their weekly benefit, dollar-for-dollar. However, claimants working 40 hours or more or earning the same or more than their weekly benefit amount in a week are not eligible to receive any benefits.
This statutory change is effective from September 6, 2020 through January 1, 2022. The new income threshold applies to all benefit programs, including regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Extended Benefits (EB).
For Oregonians receiving any type of unemployment benefits during this period, adjustments to their weekly benefit amount will be automatic. Claimants do not need to contact the Department to request an adjustment, unless they made a mistake when reporting their earnings. For claims already paid this week, the Department will make manual adjustments as needed and will issue retroactive payments to claimants who qualify.