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DeFazio Announces Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program Launched in Oregon

Apr 28, 2020
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today announced that the Oregon Employment Department (OED) has launched the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program to support those individuals who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed, contract, and gig workers.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, provides funding for enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, including the PUA program. Oregonians who are eligible for this program include:

• self-employed individuals not subject to unemployment insurance tax;

• independent contractors;

• those who perform work not subject to unemployment insurance tax, such as agricultural workers;

• those who did not earn enough in wages or work enough hours to qualify for regular UI benefits;

• exhausted regular unemployment benefits and are not eligible for another extension.

How to Apply

Please access the PUA application and certification forms on the CARES Act section of the Employment Department’s COVID-19 web page. OED also has this step-by-step instruction guide on how to file a PUA application.

There are three ways to start a new application for PUA benefits.

E-mail: You can email to request a secure email link, then attach your PUA application and weekly claim reports to the secure email. OED cautions users to only use the secure e-mail link they will send to provide personal identifying information relevant to your claim.

Mail: You can mail your PUA application and weekly claim reports to Oregon Employment Department at P.O. Box 14165, Salem, OR 97311.

Fax: OED has several fax machines linked to the 503-371-2893 fax number for your PUA application and weekly claim reports.

OED’s COVID-19 website has more information and answers. If the OED information online does not answer your questions or address your concerns, you can contact the Oregon Employment department here, by email (, or by calling toll-free 1-877-345-3485.  According to OED, the best call times are Tuesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The OED cautions that callers may have to try several times to make contact.