Coronavirus Update: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is Open!

House Speaker Tina Kotek

Coronavirus Update: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is Open!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

There is good news to report for the self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers. Oregon is now accepting applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which is an expansion of unemployment benefits under the federal CARES Act.

The department has published a seven-page guide to filling out the application, which can be found here.

PUA App FAQ 4-28-2020

There are three ways to start a new application for PUA benefits:

  • E-mail: You can email to request a secure email link, then attach your PUA application and weekly claim reports to the secure email. Please only use the secure email link the department sends to provide personal identifying information relevant to your claim.
  • Mail: You can mail your PUA application and weekly claim reports to the Oregon Employment Department at P.O. Box 14165, Salem, OR 97311.
  • Fax: The Oregon Employment Department has several fax machines linked to the 503-371-2893 fax number for your PUA application and weekly claim reports.

Self-employed, contract and gig workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits and who are filing for the first time (during the pandemic) should use the instructions and initial application form on the top of the CARES Act Page to complete their first claim.

Self-employed, contract and gig workers who have already filed initial and weekly claims and have an established PIN should complete the PUA application and certification process at (English) or the (Spanish).

Payments from the PUA program will start like regular unemployment payments with a paper check. Applicants can sign up for direct deposit once their claim is processed.

As the department begins to process PUA claims, applicants will receive a notice indicating their weekly benefit amount. As soon as that notice arrives, applicants can log in to the online claims system and request direct deposit the same way people with regular unemployment claims can.

Thank you to the hardworking folks at the Employment Department for getting this started!

The Latest News

  • The Oregon Department of Revenue has issued new guidance for small businesses paying the corporate activities tax (CAT), which was passed last year to fund the Student Success Act. Under the new rule, businesses subject to the CAT but owing less than $10,000 will not have to make quarterly estimated payments and will not have their CAT payment due until April 30, 2021. The previous threshold for a single annual payment was $5,000.
  • Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that over $103 million from the CARES Act will be distributed among 141 health care providers across the state to boost their coronavirus response efforts. Their release on this information is available here.
  • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced 31 more diagnosed cases, bringing the statewide total to 2,385. Sadly, seven more people have died, meaning 99 people in Oregon have died from the virus. Nationwide, more than 58,000 people have died of the virus and there have been more than one million diagnosed cases.

OHA COVID-19 Update 4-28-2020

OHA Hospital Capacity 4-28-2020

Portland Public School Meal Distribution

Meal distribution for students at Portland Public Schools is continuing with breakfast and lunch available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 15 schools. For sites and more information, go to

PPS has also produced the video below, outlining how meal pickup works while maintaining physical distancing.

PPS Meal Distribution 4-28-2020

Volunteer Opportunities for Medical Professionals

The state is asking health professionals to volunteer in the fight against the virus. To help, you can register here with OHA’s State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR). Volunteers can join the State Managed Volunteer Pool (SMVP) for statewide deployments or their local Medical Reserve Corps unit (MRC) for local response. Duties of volunteers can vary widely depending on the need.

Register at and learn more by downloading SERV-OR’s frequently asked questions.

Protecting Your Health While Pregnant

Whether you are newly pregnant or about to deliver, protecting your health and getting the care you need are critical. Prenatal care is important for a healthy pregnancy. If you need to begin prenatal care or if you have had a change in health care coverage, resources are available.

Oregon MothersCare can connect you to pregnancy information, help and services like food, behavioral health and transportation support. All Oregon MothersCare services are free and available to any pregnant person regardless of income, insurance status, or citizenship status.

We’ve also shared some helpful information about pregnancy and COVID-19 in the below graphic. And you can learn more at the CDC’s website.

Pregnant During COVID-19

To read past newsletters, you can go to this link. For up to date information, please check this link to the Oregon Health Authority where regular updates are posted:

Please email me at if you have specific concerns that have not been addressed by the OHA. Our office will do all we can to help and protect all Oregonians.

Thank you for reading! We will get through this together.



Tina Kotek

State Representative
House District 44
Speaker of the House

email: I phone: 503-986-1200
address: 900 Court St NE, H-269, Salem, OR 97301