PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — People who’ve lost their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak have continued to have problems with Oregon’s system to file for benefits.
The Oregon Employment Department apologized last week for a series of breakdowns in its system that has prevented many people from filing for benefits. About 270,000 people have lost their jobs in the past few weeks as the state’s economy shut down.
Workers who successfully file their claims must refile each week to continue receiving benefits. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the employment department’s filing system on Sunday instructed some laid-off workers to “Restart Your Claim” from the beginning. The system incorrectly told workers they had to start over because of changes in their employment status.
The Oregon Employment Department said Monday that Sunday’s problems affected a “small portion” of people.
Gail Krumenauer, the department’s communications director, said the department fixed an issue last week that erroneously directed people to restart their claim. Sunday’s issue appears separate.
“We understand anyone’s frustration who experiences an issue in a stressful time trying to seek unemployment benefits,” Krumenauer wrote in an email. “We are compassionate about that difficulty, and want to do everything we can to serve the public to the best of our ability, while facing absolutely record-shattering levels of claims on a decades old legacy system. We truly apologize for any inconveniences anyone experiences.”
The flood of jobless claims has overwhelmed the employment department.