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Oregon, partners launch $500 emergency COVID-19 relief check program

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Eight credit unions, two banks partner in distribution of funds

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Starting Wednesday, Oregonians facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for a one-time payment of $500.

This first-of-its-kind project is a collaboration between the Oregon Legislature, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Central Willamette Credit Union, Clackamas Federal Credit Union, InRoads Community Credit Union, Old West Federal Credit Union, OnPoint Community Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union, Rogue Credit Union, SELCO Community Credit Union, Umpqua Bank, and Columbia Bank.

There are more than 150 locations in all regions of the state where eligible Oregonians will be able to receive relief checks.

To be eligible, a person must: 

  • Be a current resident of Oregon and 18 years or older.
  • Be able to prove their identity and that they are an in-state resident.
  • Attest that they are experiencing severe financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive orders.
  • Have earned $4,000/month or less pre-tax prior to their income loss due to COVID-19.
  • Not have received all unemployment payments they are owed.

Oregonians who think they may qualify should go to starting Wednesday. It will direct them to the nearest participating credit union or bank’s website. There, they can follow the instructions on how to apply at that location and complete their application. Each applicant must adhere to public health protocols when applying in-person.

“While we know these limited funds aren't enough and won't allow us to help everyone, we felt it was important to try something,” House Speaker Tina Kotek said.

“After months of hearing from increasingly desperate Oregonians who were doing everything right and still not getting the unemployment they were owed, we hope this effort offers a streamlined way for some financial relief. The state is stepping up, and I hope Congress will act soon to provide more support that is desperately needed.”

“The Governor’s order prevented thousands of COVID-19 cases and saved hundreds of lives,” Senate President Peter Courtney said. “But it also impacted many people’s income. With such a huge jump in unemployment, some people are still waiting for their benefits. We know $500 isn’t going to solve all of these problems, but if we can help a family buy groceries for the month, pay for child care or cover an unexpected repair, it’s worth it.”

On July 14, the Legislative Emergency Board allocated $35 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to provide $500 one-time payments to Oregonians who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The unique public-private partnership with participating financial institutions will allow approximately 70,000 Oregonians across the state to conveniently access relief funds during a time of great economic uncertainty. 

If eligible Oregonians are unable to access the state website, they should call 211 and ask about the Emergency Relief Check Program. 211 is also a useful resource for those who need help with rent/mortgage payments, food assistance, child care, or other COVID-19 related issues.

News release from OnPoint Community Credit Union:


PORTLAND, Ore., August 19, 2020—OnPoint Community Credit Union is partnering with the State of Oregon to administer COVID-19 emergency relief funding to individuals experiencing extreme financial hardship due to the pandemic. OnPoint began accepting applications today for the one-time, $500 relief checks from the state. OnPoint members and non-members are welcome to apply.

“We’re proud to partner with the state on this vital program that has the potential to help tens of thousands of Oregonians,” said Rob Stuart, OnPoint Community Credit Union President and CEO. “These checks will provide relief to families struggling to put food on the table and pay for other necessities during these unprecedented times. We invite anyone in our community who is eligible – members and non-members – to apply for the funding, so we can help extend a financial lifeline on behalf of the state.”

In July, the Oregon Legislature approved funding for the $35 million Oregon Emergency COVID-19 Relief Program. The aid can support payments to as many as 70,000 Oregonians. OnPoint has volunteered to be one of the financial institutions helping to distribute funds. Full eligibility requirements can be found on the Oregon Emergency COVID-19 Relief Program application and include:

  • Applicants must be a current Oregon resident, age 18 or older, and provide acceptable photo ID and current address documentation.
  • Prior to experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the individual’s income did not exceed $4,000 per month, before any deductions for taxes, insurance or retirement contributions.
  • Applicants are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor’s Executive Orders 20-07 or 20-12, resulting in the closure of their primary place of employment or substantially reduced income.
  • Applicants are NOT current on their unemployment benefits. If an individual has received all payments for weeks claimed except for the current claim week, they are not eligible. Those who have been denied unemployment may be eligible.

Eligible OnPoint members can complete and submit an application online and receive a deposit to their checking or savings account, or a check. Non-members will need to print out an application and deliver the completed document to any OnPoint branch. If approved, OnPoint will provide applicants with a $500 cashier’s check.

Because the funding is limited, it is expected to be distributed in full. There are several other resources for those experiencing economic hardship, including:

OnPoint is not accepting administrative fees from the state to ensure that the money set aside helps as many Oregonians as possible. To learn more about the Oregon Emergency COVID-19 Relief Program, visit the state website at or call 2-1-1.


Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving more than 406,000 members and with assets of $7.5 billion. OnPoint membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at or 800-527-3932.

News release from Northwest Credit Union Association:


Tigard, Oregon (Aug.19, 2020) — No one escaped the impact of COVID-19, and for those who were hit financially, the pandemic dealt an especially tough blow.

The Oregon Legislature approved $35 million to provide one-time $500 relief payments to Oregonians facing those hardships. The state asked the private sector to help get that money into the hands of consumers who most need it, and eight credit unions agreed to lend a helping hand by distributing the funds.

“Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperative financial services providers, and put consumers’ needs first,” said Jennifer Wagner, Executive Vice President of the Northwest Credit Union Association. “Throughout the pandemic, as they always have, credit unions stepped up to offer flexible financial solutions to their members, from loan payment deferrals that helped families have money available to make ends meet,  to Paycheck Protection Program loans that protected jobs. Once again, they are here to serve Oregonians.”

The credit unions worked closely with legislative leadership to develop the program logistics as quickly as possible. They are not accepting any fees from the state, ensuring that the funds set aside assist as many Oregonians as possible.

The program launched this morning and will continue as long as funding is available. Oregonians needing assistance should apply as soon as possible. They do not need to be credit union members.

To be eligible, a person must: 

  • Be a current resident of Oregon and 18 years or older.
  • Be able to prove their identity and that they are an in-state resident.
  • Attest that they are experiencing severe financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive orders.
  • Have earned $4,000/month or less pre-tax prior to their income loss due to COVID-19.
  • Not have received all unemployment payments they are owed.

Participating Oregon credit unions include:

To find a participating financial institution with a location near them, consumers can visit the website,, or dial 2-1-1 — a live operator will direct them to a location nearest their zip code.

The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 7.3 million consumer members. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions look out for their members’ financial well-being. Everyone should open their eyes to a credit union. For more information, please visit:

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