Oregon Employment Dept. launching new unemployment insurance system March 4 

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The Oregon Employment Department says it is moving to a new online claim system for unemployment insurance benefits starting March 4. Frances Online will replace existing systems for benefit claims.

Here is the full announcement from OED and what customers need to know, including what it means for Paid Leave Oregon and other programs:

JAN. 31, 2024 (SALEM, ORE.) – The Oregon Employment Department (OED) will migrate to a new online claim system for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits on Monday, March 4. The new system, Frances Online, will provide better service for claimants and employers. It is also the final rollout for the UI modernization project that has been years in the making. 

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“This is a great leap forward for anyone who needs access to unemployment insurance,” said David Gerstenfeld, director of the Oregon Employment Department. “As we’ve learned in the earlier phases of this modernization effort, Frances Online offers an easier customer service experience and will streamline the process of filing a claim.” 

The migration of UI benefits to Frances Online will begin on Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. and go through 8 a.m. on March 4. A migration period like this is normal for any big technology project. OED will not be able to provide customer service for several OED programs during the migration. This is because the old UI systems and Frances Online (employer and claimant portals) will go offline. 

Key Information for Current UI Claimants 

Current UI claimants will not be able to file a weekly claim, check the status of a claim, make changes to claim information, make payments, respond to requests for additional information, or complete ID verification during the migration. Below are key dates that current claimants must follow to avoid potential benefit payment delays: 

  • Feb. 28-March 1: All UI phone lines are closed (closed regularly on weekends). 
  • Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.: Due date to file a weekly UI claim for the week of Feb. 18-24 to avoid payment delays. If the due date is missed, claimants can’t file their weekly claim until March 4. Their benefits will be delayed. 
  • Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.: Old UI systems go offline; UI Telephone Weekly Claim Line (800-982-8920) closes. 
  • March 4 at 8 a.m.: Frances Online goes live with UI benefits (including Contact Us form, chatbot, and live agent chat); UI phone lines open; Claimants can file prior weekly claims, but benefits will be delayed; and claimants can file a timely claim for the week of Feb. 25-March 2. 

More detailed information about the migration impact for UI claimants can be found at unemployment.oregon.gov/frances. Staff at all WorkSource Oregon centers and OED Central Office in Salem won’t be able to answer claim questions during the migration. However, WorkSource Oregon offices and WorkSourceOregon.org will be open for job search, training, and career support. 

Impacts to Paid Leave Oregon and Other Programs 

Below are other key dates and information for OED customers. 

  • February 27 before 5 p.m.: Last day to file a new initial UI claim or restart a current claim until March 4. 
  • February 28 before 5 p.m.: Last day to file a new Paid Leave Oregon claim (including intermittent claims) until March 4. 
  • February 28-March 1: Paid Leave Oregon and Contributions & Recovery phone lines and online support closed (closed regularly on weekends). 
  • February 28 at 5 p.m.: Frances Online website, including all features and functions, will be offline, including the portals for claimants and employers. Customers will not be able to file a new or intermittent Paid Leave Oregon claim, file or amend tax reports, make payments, complete ID verification, create a Frances Online account, apply for Paid Leave Oregon assistance grants, or respond to requests for additional information during the migration. 
  • March 4 at 8 a.m.: Frances Online, phone lines, and online support reopen. 

“We’ve been working for years to ensure that this transition works for our customers,” said Lindsi Leahy, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division at OED. “We know Oregonians depend on the benefits we provide. And we’re bringing on additional staff to ensure that, once the new system is live, we can help people get their benefits quickly.”

This is the third and final rollout for launching OED’s modernized benefits and contributions system. Last year, OED launched the new Paid Leave Oregon benefits program in Frances Online. In 2022, UI and Paid Leave Oregon tax/contribution programs were launched in the new system. UI benefits is the last major program migration for the UI Modernization Project, which the agency has been preparing for since 2018. The project baseline budget for the Paid Leave and UI system is approximately $106 million. 

“We want our customers to know that we will help them navigate the migration to the new system,” said Renee Royston, director of the Modernization Division at OED. “Once we’re done, we’ll have a much easier-to-use online claims system with stronger protections against fraud and identity theft.” 

OED encourages current UI claimants to check their mail daily, review all letters and messages, check unemployment.oregon.gov/frances, and follow OED on social media for important updates about the migration. Paid Leave Oregon claimants can visit paidleave.oregon.gov in the coming weeks to learn more about these impacts. 

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