Oregon Launches New Online System for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

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Frances Online will provide better online customer service for people filing
unemployment insurance claims

MARCH 6, 2024 (SALEM, ORE.) – The Oregon Employment Department (OED) launched a
brand new, easy-to-use online system for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits this week. UI
benefits went live through Frances Online on Mon., March 4.

“Frances Online is modernizing customer service for Oregonians filing for Unemployment
Insurance benefits,” Governor Kotek said. “This is a step in the right direction for the State of
Oregon. While there may be bumps in the road as we adjust to the new system, the Employment
Department is ready to respond to issues quickly and make necessary adjustments.”

Preliminary data for the first two days of operation shows that:

More than 23,000 weekly claims have been received from existing customers

More than $8.1 million dollars in claims have been paid through Frances Online

The average time for customers filing weekly claims was just under 11 minutes on desktop
computers and under 9 minutes on mobile devices.

“The new system is mobile-friendly and will help streamline our work on UI claims so customers
can get their benefits paid more efficiently,” said David Gerstenfeld, director of OED. “We are
proud to be delivering on our promise to modernize our technology systems. We believe it will
address a lot of the pain points customers and OED employees have previously experienced.”

What Current Claimants Need to Know
Current claimants need to take two important actions to use the new system:

  1. Create a Frances Online account at frances.oregon.gov. If they have an active claim or
    applied for benefits in our old legacy systems but their claim is still being reviewed,
    information about their claim will appear in their new Frances Online account. If they have
    an account in Frances Online because they claimed benefits from Paid Leave Oregon,
    they do not need to set up a new account.
  2. File their weekly claim at frances.oregon.gov/claimant. Claimants can now file for the
    week of February 25-March 2. If they did not file a weekly claim for the week of February
    18-24 and they are seeking benefits for that week, they can still claim that week using
    Frances Online. They will be able to file all future weekly claims using Frances Online
    going forward.

Customer Service Tips
The agency anticipates high call volumes at the UI Contact Center. Current claimants are
encouraged to use self-serve features available through Frances Online.

Other tips:
● Check U.S. mail and email daily and respond quickly to requests for information.
Also check email spam filters. Some information will still have to come by U.S. mail, even if
claimants select to get email alerts. Letters and emails may have due dates for
responding. If claimants miss due dates, their benefits could be delayed or denied.
Uploading documents is easier in the new system.
● Check online before calling the UI Contact Center. Many questions can now be
resolved quickly through the new self-serve features in Frances Online.
● Review and continue to follow UI eligibility rules. This will help avoid a disruption in
receiving benefits.
● Check out tutorials and how-to guides on navigating Frances Online at
● Know where you can get help. Customer service is available at Frances Online () via
secure messaging, live chat, chatbot and the Contact Us form.

The agency says there will be a learning curve for employees and claimants for the next few
months. OED has hired 40 additional staff with one-time funding to support the transition.
“Frances Online is more agile and efficient,” said Lindsi Leahy, director of the UI Division at
OED. “We expect that the system will work well for most and that a small number of claimants will
experience issues. We will continue providing a more staff-intensive level of customer service for
those who need it.”

Like other states that have launched new UI systems, the state may see an uptick in fraudulent
claims. Leahy stressed that the new system is more resilient and has enhanced fraud protection
features that will better protect UI benefits. Leahy also reminded consumers that Frances Online
is free to use, and OED will never call a customer to ask for customers to pay to use any of
OED’s services. If customers get a suspicious piece of mail, call or text, or see a questionable
website or link, they should visit OED’s webpage on fraud for more information and a link to
reporting fraud.
The addition of UI benefits to Frances Online is the final stage of the state’s approximately $106
million effort to modernize its online customer service systems. Paid Leave Oregon launched in
Frances Online in 2023 and employer contributions for UI and Paid Leave launched in 2022.
The name Frances was chosen in honor of Frances Perkins, who was born in 1880 and was a
lifetime advocate for working Americans. She was the first female presidential Cabinet member
and the longest-serving Secretary of Labor in U.S. history. Perkins was instrumental in forming
the Social Security Act and the Unemployment Insurance program.
Go to unemployment.oregon.gov/frances for more information and resources about Frances
Online for UI benefits.

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  1. Sabrina Knight on April 3, 2024 at 9:39 am

    The site is HORRIBLE! There is a third step that is missing from Frances and this is to have an in-person appointment with the Work Services/Employment Department. If you do not do this you will be DENIED!! This results in no weekly claims for weeks, possibly months. This roll out was a massive failure and needs to be fixed for everyone who is justly waiting for their benefits!!

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