When you are let go from a job in Oregon, one of your first considerations is likely financial. Depending on the type of job, how long you've been with the company and your salary, you may receive a severance package. You will likely be advised to file for unemployment benefits right away. However, whether you qualify for benefits while you are receiving severance pay depends in part on how your severance is handled.
Lump Sum Severance
Some companies pay out a severance package, as well as unused sick, vacation and personal days, in one lump sum. This payment may be given in person the day you are let go or mailed out several days -- or weeks - after your last day as an employee. If you receive the severance package in one lump sum, then it shouldn't affect your unemployment benefits, unless you receive the lump sum after you've started receiving unemployment payments. Even at this point, you may only see a temporary dip in your benefits during the week you received the severance payment; it will readjust during your next reporting period.
Scheduled Severance Payments
Many employers opt to extend severance payments over a certain number of weeks, particularly if you've been with the company a long time, resulting in a fairly significant package. If you get your severance pay through regular paychecks on your regular pay schedule, then your unemployment benefits won't kick in until after the severance period ends. This is because you are receiving regular income from your job.
In the state of Oregon, the maximum unemployment benefit you can get per week is $507 as of October 2011. If your severance is less than what you were getting paid working at your job, then you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you get a weekly severance check, report it to the state unemployment office as income for that week. The unemployment office will subtract that amount from your unemployment benefit. Once the severance monies run out, you will begin receiving your full weekly benefit.
If you are unsure of whether you will get both your severance and unemployment benefits, ask a benefits representative when you initially file for benefits. If you are getting regular weekly severance checks, you may need to delay receiving your unemployment benefits.
- Oregon.gov: Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- Employee Rights Kit: Severance Pay
- U.S. Department of Labor. "Severance Pay." Accessed Aug. 16, 2020.
- U.S. Department of Labor. "Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act." Accessed Aug. 16, 2020.
- NBC News. "While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid-off workers struggle during Christmastime." Accessed Aug. 16, 2020.
- New York State Department of Labor. "Dismissal or Severance Pay and Your Unemployment Insurance Benefit." Accessed Aug. 16, 2020.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.