Unemployed Oregonians will no longer receive the extra $600 federal unemployment benefit for claims after July 25.
PORTLAND, Ore. — The $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in late March will expire July 31.
The stimulus package provided some Americans with a one-time check for $1,200 and $500 for most dependents. The CARES Act included an added weekly unemployment benefit of $600 on top of state unemployment benefit.
Oregon is still processing claims and says as of July 28, more than 1,000 are yet to be processed. That doesn’t include the over 44,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA claims that are yet to be processed.
“I continue to be so sorry for the delays in getting payments to people and how long it is taken,” David Gerstenfeld, acting director of the Oregon Employment Department, said during his weekly media call Wednesday. “It is not a lack of effort or caring or understanding how desperate this is, it’s just a matter of the vast number of people needing assistance and the complexity of so many new programs.”
KGW viewer Brenda wanted to know, “Why is the State of Oregon stopping the $600 per week CARES Act payments a week earlier than other states. It seems cruel to discontinue the help early when they are so INCREDIBLY slow and late to deliver the unemployment benefits.”
That’s in part because of the calendar. The state of Oregon classifies a working week from Sunday to Saturday and pays out unemployment benefits for the full 7-day week.
July 31 is on a Friday, so the last full week ended on July 25.
Another KGW viewer, Julie, asked, “Can you find out if Oregonians who are waiting on their unemployment benefits will still receive the $600 supplemental employment benefit if the program expires before we get paid?”
Gerstenfeld addressed that during the Wednesday briefing.
“For people who haven’t yet received their benefit payments for prior weeks that are covered by the FPUC program, they can rest assured that when they receive those benefits they will still receive the $600 payments for those weeks,” he said.
Democrats in the U.S. House have passed a new stimulus package, but it hasn’t been brought up in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Republicans have proposed their own stimulus package, but it hasn’t been voted on.