House District 39 - COVID-19 Update

Representative Christine Drazan

Hello friends and neighbors,

I have heard from many of you over these past several weeks with questions, concerns and suggestions and I appreciate the opportunity to help you find answers. It is my hope, as we move forward through the COVID-19 crisis, we will see an effort made to work with our health care professionals and businesses across the state to carefully craft a plan that allows us to continue to fight the pandemic while supporting hard working Oregonians and their families.

Small Business Update

We learned today that the Payroll Protection Program funds have run out. We need congress to respond to the unmet needs and provide additional funding to this important program. The good news, however, is that estimates are that 9,508 loans were approved in Oregon for a total of $2.4 billion dollars. Many local businesses have already received these funds. For businesses that have not had their PPP or EIDL loans processed yet, you are advised by the Small Business Development Center to contact your lender as soon as possible to understand the status of your application. Our hope is that the federal government will extend this program. Visit for more information.

Employment Department Update

I spoke with the Director of the Oregon Employment Department yesterday. While it has been a bumpy road to this point, I am hearing from some constituents that their claims are being received and processed. Here is the most recent update from the OED. Particularly helpful this week to my constituents has been #4. 

  1. $600 weekly payments are retroactive and are in addition to your state benefit

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 was signed into law on March 27. The CARES Act allows payment of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The Oregon Employment Department has started issuing these payments to eligible individuals. Oregonians who are already eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits and eligible for FPUC will receive two weekly payments; one for regular UI benefits, and an additional $600 payment. Individuals will be receiving FPUC benefits using the same payment method as their regular UI benefits for the week. FPUC payments will be paid for each week someone is eligible from March 29, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020. The $600 payments will be retroactive for those eligible for payments.

  1. OED has addressed error messages

We had a re-start claim error for a portion of claims received during the week of April 5 and again on April 12. We made an automatic fix for this issue last week, and nearly all affected should be able to continue to file weekly claims online. For those who have completed their initial claim, and continued to file weekly claims, your re-start error has been identified and fixed. If you tried Sunday the 12th, and got the re-start error for the first time, you can re-try now and it should work. You will not lose out on a week of benefits that you were eligible to receive because of a difficulty either getting through on our phone, or because of an online claim error.

We know misinformation, especially coming from us, is frustrating and scary. We also know that as we rework our systems to keep pace with eligibility rules rewritten at the federal level, we will continue to face challenges with the system.

Bottom line, if a benefits seeker or employer receives a message that doesn’t seem right, we ask them to email us – allowing an Employment staffer to run the message to ground.

      3. Updated websites have dashboards and links to information, instructional videos, and a    way to sign up for updates electronically:

     4. These new email addresses have been created to answer your unemployment          questions. A dedicated Employment Department team members to will email back or call within the week.   

     5.  Help for independent contractors

We are working on implementing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for people who are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. We may be able to start taking applications before all of the computer programming is done, but we do not yet know if that is the case. PUA benefits will be retroactive toFebruary 2, 2020.  As soon as we know how the program will work in Oregon, we will be getting the information out as quickly as we can. It will take us time to take the federal legislation, and the guidance from the US Department of Labor, and from that create and start implementing the programs. Our UI application process really is geared towards employees, as that is who the unemployment insurance program was designed to assist. We are advising that people not apply for this program until we create it. As soon as we know how the PUA program will work, we will be putting information on the COVID-19 page. page. Sign up for our email updates


Sign up for daily COVID-19 updates



If you would like to receive daily text updates on how our work at a state level against COVID-19 is progressing, you can sign up through the link below.

You can also find more information on:

Transparency and Accountability

Business Relief

Hospital Supports 

Strong Schools

Next Steps

Local Letter Writing Campaign

A bright spot for me has been the support for our local letter writing campaign for senior citizens. The facilities are handling distribution so safety protocols are followed. Can you take a minute to send an encouraging note to a neighbor? We are all in this together.

writing campaign


                               How to schedule a blood or plasma donation appointment

As always, it is my pleasure to serve my community, Please reach out to my office anytime.


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1439
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-395, Salem, OR 97301