Unemployment law renewal explained

Nearly 35,000 Oregonians will benefit from an unemployment compensation program enacted by Congress Tuesday.

The law continues the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which was due to end Dec. 29. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 also averts tax increases on most Americans and delays large spending cuts for government programs.

The new law will bring about $320 million into Oregon’s economy in the form of federal unemployment benefits. These funds are used to support families and communities and keep workers in their labor market, ready to return to work as the economy improves.

The Oregon Employment Department reports that claimants currently claiming EUC benefits should continue filing weekly, and that those claimants who become potentially eligible will be notified by mail.

Due to interest in this new law, traffic to the unemployment insurance call centers is high. Oregonians can always inquire about the status of their claim by going to www.WorkingInOregon.org/ocs.

The new legislation allows people who have not yet exhausted all tiers of EUC benefits to continue receiving benefits from that program. No new benefits are provided. Filing for EUC will now end Dec. 28, 2013.

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‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge



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