Employment Department under fire for massive delays
Under fire for massive delays, the Oregon Employment Department has launched a new informational website to help workers navigate unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Oregon Employment Department has launched a new informational website aimed at improving customer service for the record number of Oregonians applying for and receiving unemployment benefits.
The new site, unemployment.oregon.gov is designed to help Oregonians more easily find information on the new programs created by the CARES Act; whether they might qualify for unemployment benefits; how to apply; and what’s different during the pandemic.
“We’ve heard the many Oregonians who’ve said we need to do a better job communicating about their benefits and the unemployment claims process,” said David Gerstenfeld, acting director of the Oregon Employment Department . “Our goal with this new website is to provide clear information so people can file their claims, avoid unnecessary delays, and get their questions answered without having to call us,” he said. “We know that ultimately Oregonians need their claims processed, but we also want to ease some of the communication frustrations people have experienced.”
Over the next few days and weeks, the department will add even more content and features to the informational website, officials announced last week.
In March, high traffic to the Department’s oregon.gov/employ site risked crashing all oregon.gov sites, so the Department’s COVID-19 content was moved to a temporary website commonly used by agencies during crises. But limitations of the content management system of the temporary website made information difficult to find.
As one of his first acts as acting director, Gerstenfeld initiated the development of a cleaner, simpler, more user-friendly website.
“I’ve made doing a better job of communicating with Oregonians a top priority,” said Gerstenfeld. “We believe this website is a much-needed step in the right direction, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to make this a better experience for you.”