Are student employees eligible for unemployment benefits?

In most cases, the state of Oregon has not paid unemployment benefits to full-time students who work at OSU.  However, some student employees may qualify for Oregon unemployment insurance benefits.  Historically, students who have been registered for six or fewer credit hours per term may qualify for state unemployment insurance.  Students may always file a claim to see if they qualify for benefits as determined by the Oregon Employment Department.

If a student employee believes that they may have extenuating circumstances or qualify for an exception, we recommend that they contact the Oregon Employment Department.  Please note, the state of Oregon has relaxed some rules regarding such benefits due to COVID-19. The new rules allow for payment of benefits in new situations, such as if an employee is forced to quit work or is unable to currently search for work due to certain new qualifying COVID-19-related reasons.  The new rules are available here:  https://govstatus.egov.com/ORUnemployment_COVID19.

To file for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19, students should follow the instructions available at this link:  https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Pages/COVID-19.aspx.  If you file an unemployment insurance claim, the state will contact OSU to verify employment information. Your employment information may be an education record under the Family Educational Rights and Policy Act (“FERPA”).  Accordingly, OSU may require a FERPA-compliant signed consent to release your information to the Oregon Employment Department.  This applies to most student employment, including employment of graduate assistants.

Last Modified: 
April 1, 2020