SALEM, Ore. -- Thursday morning the Oregon Employment Department confirmed that it is experiencing an outage impacting people who are trying to file initial unemployment claims.
Officials said they are trying to quickly resolve intermittent system issues. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance system for self-employed Oregonians and the system for regular weekly claims are working properly.
On Wednesday a department spokesperson said it has seen the number of claims increasing due to Gov. Kate Brown's two-week freeze, mostly among those who claimed benefits earlier in the year and must now resume.
Eugene resident Pamela Rose works in the customer service industry and is one of those people.
She reported that she attempted to restart her claim online, but received error messages. She then made several unsuccessful attempts to make a claim on the phone but was met with multi-hour wait times and several disconnections.
"I feel for all of those people who had such a hard time last time. I feel so bad for them because it was a nightmare. They had said this time they fixed it and it would be different. It's not different," she said. "You have a family, and you need to make sure that things are taken care of and whatnot, and you're not able to do that because of COVID and the repercussions of COVID, it's stressful."
According to the Employment Department, over 1,200 workers are on hand to process claims in an attempt to make the process go smoother than it did in March during Brown's initial Stay Home, Save Lives lockdown when numerous Oregonians experienced difficulties filing claims and receiving benefits.