Oregon REALTORS® COVID Resource Hotline

Unemployment Benefits

Congress passed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. It included the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program which authorized unemployment benefits for independent contractors and self-employed individuals. If you have yet to apply for the program you see if you qualify and apply at https://unemployment.oregon.gov/.

Like tens of thousands of other Oregonians, many REALTORS® are waiting to hear about the status of their unemployment claim. If you are waiting and still want to claim benefits on an ongoing basis, its important that you continue to file your weekly claim even if you have not heard back about the status of your claim. The Employment Department phone number for PUA is 503-370-5400. However, most people report extreme difficulty being able to reach someone. The Employment Department also has this “contact us” page which they say is the best way to reach them regarding PUA claims that were initially filed prior to 5-23-20 (scroll down to section titled “Contact Us Form”).

You can also call OAR’s COVID-19 Hotline at 503-587-8884. While we do not have any silver bullet answers on how to get your claim resolved, sometimes it helps just to talk your situation through with someone. Also, if you applied for PUA benefits and have not taken our survey, please do so here. It will help us understand the status of our members’ claims and will inform our advocacy efforts going forward.

Apply for PPP Loan Forgiveness
While banks are no longer issuing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, REALTORS® who have received loans under this CARES Act program should know their loans may be forgiven if the funds are used to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. Information on loan forgiveness and applications (a “standard” application and an “EZ” application for independent contractors with no employees) can be found on The Treasury Department’s PPP page.

PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness directly with the lender that processed the loan. A comprehensive overview of the program and a helpful FAQ, including information about forgiveness and filling out the EZ application, can be found on this webpage from NAR. Oregon REALTORS® seeking assistance or guidance may also call the OAR COVID-19 Support Hotline at 503-587-8884.