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News Releases
New Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits System Goes Live March 4 - 02/28/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Feb. 28, 2024 

Contact:  

communications@employ.oregon.gov  

 

New Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits System Goes Live March 4 

New system is expected to improve the overall online customer service experience for Oregonians filing for unemployment 

FEB. 28, 2024 (SALEM, ORE.) – The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is five days away from launching a brand new, easy-to-use online system for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. UI benefits go live through Frances Online on Monday, March 4, at 8 a.m. 

Frances Online offers features that will provide a better customer service experience for UI claimants. It’s also mobile-friendly. Claimants will be able to do a lot more things online through self-serve features, instead of waiting for a letter in the mail or calling the UI Contact Center. 

“With Frances Online, we’ll be able to serve Oregonians better, and get their benefits paid quicker,” said David Gerstenfeld, director of OED. “We recognize that change can be challenging, but once we’re up and running, we believe claimants will appreciate all the changes that are coming.” 

Video of OED’s media briefing on Feb. 28, 2024 is available at: https://youtu.be/uaQMRkNFP34. 

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE PLANNED SERVICE OUTAGE  

The system migration begins tonight. Some services went offline last night, the Contact Center was closed today. And beginning at 5 p.m. tonight, all UI systems, phone lines and customer service options are temporarily unavailable through Monday, March 4, at 8 a.m. OED teams are working diligently to ensure a smooth transition and to restore all services on March 4. 

During the planned service outage, UI customers cannot: File an initial claim, file a weekly claim, restart a claim, check the status of a claim, or make changes to claim information; They also will not be able to make payments; Respond to requests for additional information; or complete identity verification. 

This system outage will allow OED to migrate the data from the old UI systems to Frances Online. Current UI customers who have ongoing claims will find that their information will be present in Frances Online when they create an account on or after March 4. 

“Frances Online is already serving employers and Paid Leave claimants,” said Lindsi Leahy, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division at OED. “We’re working diligently to ensure that the transition of UI benefits to this new system will be as seamless as possible for claimants.” 

Visit unemployment.oregon.gov/frances to learn about the new system, customer service impacts, new self-serve features, and what to expect on March 4. 

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov. 

Employment Department Shares What Claimants Can Expect Ahead of New System Rollout - 02/14/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: communications@employ.oregon.gov  

Contact: 

communications@employ.oregon.gov 

 

Ahead of New Unemployment Insurance System Rollout, Employment Department Shares What Claimants Can Expect  

Unemployment Insurance Benefits go live in Frances Online on March 4 

FEB. 14, 2024 (SALEM, ORE.) - The Oregon Employment Department (OED) announced more details of what Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants can expect when benefits go live through Frances Online on Mon., March 4. The new system, Frances Online, will provide better service for claimants and employers.  

“With any new technology, there is going to be a learning curve,” said Lindsi Leahy, director of the Oregon Employment Department’s Unemployment Insurance Division. “We are communicating early and often about what claimants can expect come March 4th to ensure minimal disruption to benefits. We’re excited to highlight some of the specific features that will be new for claimants, and will offer a better user experience online.” 

Frances Online offers features that will provide a better online customer service experience. It’s also mobile-friendly. UI customers will be able to do a lot more things online through self-serve features, instead of waiting for a letter in the mail or calling the UI Contact Center.  

Video of OED’s media briefing on Feb. 14, 2024 is available at: https://youtu.be/NwRjkOHMYjE. 

What’s Changing for UI Claimants 

Here are some of the highlights about what is going to change for UI claimants on March 4: 

  • New system and URL for filing UI benefits online, called Frances Online. The URL for the new UI online system will be live on March 4 at unemployment.oregon.gov.   
  • New or improved self-serve features such as checking the status of a claim, uploading supporting documents directly into the system, responding to questions about eligibility, sending and receiving secure messages, live chat, filing an appeal or completing a payment plan application.  
  • Claimants will need to create a Frances Online account before an initial or weekly claim can be filed (but they shouldn’t do this until March 4).  
  • Customers will see enhanced fraud protections. 
  • Some information will still have to come by mail, even if a customer selects to receive electronic communication.  

More details about these changes are available at unemployment.oregon.gov/frances 

What’s Staying the Same for UI Claimants 

While there are several changes coming, many of the services and contact pathways will remain the same: 

  • The UI Contact Center number is the same: 1-877-FILE-4-UI 
  • The automated Weekly Claim Line number is the same: 1-800-982-8920. 
  • Customer service information, including unemployment and Frances Online guides, videos, and frequently asked questions, will still be available at unemployment.oregon.gov. 
  • UI eligibility rules and program requirements (welcome process, job search, filing weekly claims, etc.) are the same. 
  • If a UI customer has a current claim, their preferred payment method (direct deposit or ReliaCard), will stay the same 
  • Frances Online is available only in English and Spanish right now. Call the UI Contact Center at 1-877-FILE-4-UI for help in other languages.  

Customer Service Tips 

Below are several customer service tips leading up to the migration through the first few weeks of the UI system launch. Visit unemployment.oregon.gov/frances for a full list of what customer service options will be available before, during and after the migraiton of UI benefits: 

  1. Check online before contacting us. Many questions will be resolved quickly through the new self-serve features in Frances Online when the system goes live. You can also find how-to guides, videos, and answers to frequently asked questions at unemployment.oregon.gov. We encourage UI claimants to try using those before calling the UI Contact Center or visiting a WorkSource Oregon center. Call wait times will likely be long in the first few weeks after Frances Online goes live.  
  2. Make sure to check the mail daily. Important letters with due dates may arrive in the mail. If a UI claimant misses these due dates, their benefits will be delayed or denied. 
  3. Know where to get help. Visit unemployment.oregon.gov/frances for more details to ensure the best possible customer service. 

Important Dates to Avoid Benefit Delays 

As a reminder, OED will migrate UI benefits to Frances Online beginning at 5 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 27, through 8 a.m. on Mon., March 4. This means that customer service options during this time will be very limited.  

  • The due date to file a weekly UI claim for Feb. 18-24 is 5 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 28.  
  • The due date to file a new initial UI claim is 5 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 27.  

All UI phone lines will be temporarily offline on Wed., Feb. 28 through Fri., March 1. If UI customers do not file their weekly claim by this due date, their benefits for that week will be delayed. They will need to wait until the new system launches at 8 a.m. Mon., March 4.  

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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Oregon Employment Department to Host Media Briefing Feb. 14, 2024 - 02/12/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

Feb. 12, 2024  

Media Contact:   

Communications@employ.oregon.gov    

***MEDIA ADVISORY***  

Oregon Employment Department to Host   
Media Briefing February 14 

WHO: David Gerstenfeld, OED director; Karen Madden Humelbaugh, Paid Leave Oregon director, and Lindsi Leahy, Unemployment Insurance director  

WHEN: Wednesday, 1 p.m., Feb. 14, 2024  

WHAT: The Oregon Employment Department is hosting a video-conference media briefing to share updates on the migration of Unemployment Insurance to Frances Online and news from Paid Leave Oregon. 

WHERE: Via Zoom video conference: Members of the media must RSVP by emailing Communications@employ.oregon.gov by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 14. We will provide video conference login information to all reporters who RSVP.  After the briefing concludes, we will email a recording of the video conference to reporters who RSVP’d.  

OTHER: The OED data dashboard is online: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/NewsAndMedia/Pages/Dashboard.aspx 

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov 

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.  

Media Advisory: Oregon Employment Department Prepares Customers for New Unemployment Insurance System Launch - 01/31/24

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Oregon Employment Department Prepares Customers for New Unemployment Insurance System Launch 

Frances Online will replace existing systems for benefit claims, with five-day migration at the end of February; Other OED customers to be impacted by the migration 

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. 

“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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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.