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Oklahoma Unemployment Eligibility

Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to qualified individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and who continue to meet eligibility requirements of State law.

This program is not a right to all who have lost their job.

You have to meet certain requirements to be eligible for benefits. There are separate requirements to receive benefit payment each week, called weekly certification requirement. The basic requirement is, you must be unemployed at the time of filing or working less than full-time and earning wages less than your weekly benefit amount.

There are two types of eligibility requirements –

  1. Non-Monetary Eligibility Requirements
  2. Monetary Eligibility Requirements

Non-Monetary Eligibility Requirements –

These requirements usually depend on your ability to work and how you lost your job.

  • Unemployed for no fault of your own
  • Able to and available for work
  • Actively seeking suitable work
  • Register with Employment Service. You must register as directed with Employment services to be eligible to collect UI benefits.

The reason for you dismissal is what usually stands between you and unemployment benefits. The state will make a decision about your eligibility after getting information about your separation from both you and your employer. A written decision will be issued based on the information gathered.

Monetary Eligibility Requirements –

You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in the state of Oklahoma if you can meet all of the following requirements. This means, the monetary eligibility of an application means only that you have sufficient qualifying wages. After an application is monetarily allowed, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) must determine if you meet all of the eligibility requirements.

  • You must have a minimum of $1500 in covered wages in your base period
  • Total base period wages must be 1½ times your high quarter wages

Here are some of the potential reasons for disqualification even if you have sufficient covered wages in the base period –

  • Discharged or fired for misconduct
  • Voluntarily quit without good cause
  • Unable and Unavailable for work
  • Not a U. S. citizen and unauthorized to work
  • Have limited the wages, hours, days, or areas of a job you would accept
  • Do not report for or satisfactorily participate in reemployment services
  • Self employed
  • Involved in a strike
  • Not looking for work
  • Refuse suitable work

Please note that the law imposes a special “between-terms” disqualification whereby certain college and school employees cannot be paid benefits for any week of unemployment which begins during the period between two successive academic years or terms. Also, professional athletes cannot be paid benefits for weeks of unemployment between two successive sports seasons.

Eligibility Questions

The reason for the separation from your employment could make you ineligible to receive benefits even if you have enough wages in your base period to establish a benefit account. The state chooses to pay eligibility benefits to individuals who have lost job through no fault of their own but each case of unemployment is different and you may want to apply for unemployment to know if you qualify.

Can I avail Unemployment benefits if I quit my job?

In Oklahoma, applicants who quit their job are usually not eligible unless the quit falls into one of the following good cause categories:

  • Unsafe working conditions
  • A job which is damaging to your health (with medical proof)
  • The job must either cause your illness or make your medical condition worse
  • A change in working conditions that is harmful to you. For example, you may be asked to work longer hours, take a reduction in pay, or have to do very different job duties.
  • Your employer broke the original contract. For example, your employer did not give you a pay increase that was promised in your contract

Go ahead and apply for benefits to know if you qualify as the base line is, you should have lost your job through no fault of your own and unless you can prove that, you are good to go.

Will I receive unemployment benefits if I were fired?

If you were discharged for employment misconduct, you are ineligible to receive unemployment benefit payments. Employment misconduct means any intentional or negligent conduct that –

  • Displays clearly a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee
  • Displays clearly a substantial lack of concern for the employment.

Will my employer be notified?

OSEC is required by law to notify your last employer of 15 days or more that you have applied for benefits, and to obtain from them the information needed to process your application. Hence it is important to provide accurate information. If there is a difference in the information cited then you maybe denied benefits. Also note that your employer has the same rights as you if your are found eligible when it comes to appeal. If your employer appeals the decision, the appeal does not stop your benefits. However, if the employer wins the appeal, you will be considered as overpaid for any benefits you received. It is important that you participate in the hearing on the employer’s appeal so you may present your side of the case.

Can I work while receiving benefits?

Yes, you can go ahead and work part-time while receiving benefits but it is very important to declare all your earnings.
Any employment like full-time, part-time, temporary assignments, short term contracts, volunteer work or cash-in hand jobs such as mowing lawns & babysitting must be reported when you are filing for unemployment benefits. You may be entitled to a reduced amount of Unemployment Insurance benefits while you are working. You shall be considered “unemployed” any week that you perform no services and are paid no wages or any week that you work less than full-time and your earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount plus one-hundred dollars ($100.00).
Full-time work is defined as 32 or more hours of work per week. Remember, most “weeks” begin at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday and end at midnight on Saturday.
You must report the amount of money you earned before any deductions were made for each week, whether or not you were paid during the week. Earnings must be reported during the week you earn them, not when you actually receive the payment. Work is anything you do for wages, including self-employment, during the seven days of the week you are claiming Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Will I be eligible to receive benefits if laid off?

The case of lay-off occurs when the company is unable to allot sufficient work to its employees as a matter of many reasons and hence is forced to furlough its workers temporarily or permanently. This is clearly not the mistake of the individual and hence he / she will be eligible for unemployment benefits, provided the monetary eligibility requirements are met. Also, you can avail unemployment benefits if your work hours were reduced and it is less than 32 hours a week.

More on Oklahoma Unemployment –
Question on Eligibility answered here
Calculate your benefit amount
Know about weekly eligibility requirements

Questions & Answers

  1. Angi says:

    I work for the state, and I am only getting 28 hours a week if I am lucky my job is listed as temporary. could I collect partial unemployment in the state of Oklahoma?

    • Martin says:

      Please check with your employer if they pay relevant taxes into the system on your behalf and you can apply accordingly.

  2. Roy says:

    I am a salaried employee who works mostly by phone and computer from another state and made QA trips 3 days every other month. I did not usually work 32 hrs. a week at this job when not on site but was on call for any phone consultation and did R and D at least one day a week. I will be terminated at the end of the year due to lack of funds. I have been employed there for 2 years and meet income requirements. Can I collect from Oklahoma where company is located or Colorado where I live?

    • Martin says:

      Please consider applying from the state where your employment was based since the Unemployment Taxes would have been paid to this state.

    • Martin says:

      Please consider applying from the state where your employment was based since the Unemployment Taxes would have been paid into this state.

  3. Chili says:

    My workplace is shutting down and giving us the option to take a two week pay cut from our final paycheck to find a new job and still receive our severance package. I found a job, but it is only seasonal/part-time. After my contract ends with my workplace in a few weeks, can I apply for unemployment while working seasonal? Or should I wait until my seasonal job is over then applied?

  4. Kris says:

    Does a part time employee qualify for unemployment benefits? never been full time, position has always been a part time position.

  5. Bryan says:

    How long after being laid off am I still eligible to file?

  6. Zadim says:

    I work at the same place as my son-in-law, he is part of the company management and we work with each other daily. My son-in-law has been charged with assault of my daughter in the presence of children (my grandchildren) and is out on bond to return to work.

    I feel I will be unable to work in the same facility with him without altercations occurring.

    If I quit, in regards to Oklahoma Unemployment laws, is that considered “no valid reason”?

    • Martin says:

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office by calling them.

  7. Stephanie says:

    If my pay is reduced by a significant amount but my hours remain the same will i be able to receive partial unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      If the number of working hours were reduced, you can claims unemployment benefits for the lost hours. Please consider applying.

      • Richard Alexander says:

        Hello, I started a new job about 3 months ago and it is VERY physically demanding & with me being out of shape & 50 years old I have been having a difficult time keeping up with the 14-18 hour days and the extremely heavy work. I have a lot of back & knee problems and arthritis and due to all the heavy lifting and using a dolly to push in stacks of product to customers I’ve injured my left arm. The doctors don’t know where the nerves are damaged but I have severe pain and stiffness in by left arm at the elbow joint and In the muscle where the bicep meets the forearm and 95% loss of sensation in my hand and fingers. My boss sent me home and told me to get well but didn’t write it up on workers comp and I have no paid time off or leave so I’ve already lost 9 days pay and counting and they are acting as if the injury was a preexisting condition and asking me if I’m going to be able to continue to preform the job or if they should be looking to replace me. I don’t have any answers to these questions but I am concerned as to if I can continue to do this highly demanding work as the nine days off with medical treatment and my arm has not got any better and the loss of sensation and weakness in my hand have gotten worse. Can I quit and be eligible for unemployment while I’m looking for another job? And if so, what documentation will I need? What will I need from my doctor if any?? Thanks

        • Martin says:

          Well, in most cases, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. However, there are exceptions.

          Please call the Unemployment Office for further details and decide accordingly.

  8. Marie says:

    If I have a verbally abusive boss, can I quit and get unemployment until I find another job?

    • Martin says:

      Yes, you can be eligible to quit and claim under circumstances such as hostile work environment. Be sure to gather supporting documents in case of a dispute raised by your employer. You may be asked to prove your case.

  9. Chimera says:

    I am currently on unemployment. My wba is $500. I spoke with a rep and inquired the impact a part-time job would have on my wba. The rep stated any weekly earned amount over $100 would subtract from my wba. He stated “For example: if I earned $150 in one week. I would only get $450 from my wba as the excess of $50 would be subtracted from my wba of $500″

    However, according to this website – as long as I do not earn $100 over my wba, there should be no impact.

    For example: if I earn, through PT work, $599 per week. I will still be eligible for my $500 wba. However, if I earn $601 per week for PT work.. I will only be eligible for $499 in wba.

    Can you tell me which information is correct?

    • Martin says:

      From what I understand, the info provided on the website should be correct.

      Can you please provide a link to the page where you saw the relevant information?

  10. Lindsey says:

    I receive unemployment benefits here in Oklahoma. I recently have been working in partner with a lady from the workforce center. She has helped me get information and lead me in the direction for getting a funded pell grant the “WIOA” since I qualify. I’m looking to start this (semester- fall) but I will be paying for it myself since I cannot get the WIOA until spring. While I am in school can I still draw my unemployment benefits, or will they cancel. Even though I will still be looking for work because I will only be a part time night student?

    • Martin says:

      You may want to confirm this with the Unemployment Office since some do not accept schooling.

      Please call them to understand how it works in your state.

  11. Brenna James says:

    If my employer lays me off for one week and then calls me back to work the next. And continues to do this every other week am I elligable for unemployment benefits on the weeks that I am not working?

    • Martin says:

      You can apply for partial unemployment benefits for the weeks where you’re not working.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm the mechanics if this is an ongoing deal.

  12. Alexander Balk says:

    I was laid off in april I did not apply for unemployment at that time I found a temp job thru a temp service that I was going make work. I worked there for two months and on a Monday I had a family emergency and there was ni supervisor on duty so I let the guy I worked with know I had to leave and when I came back the next day the fired me for leaving without notice. I worked there for two months. I filed for unemployment and am now awaiting the final decision. Am I eligible for unemployment.

    • Martin says:

      With the preliminary information supplied, it looks like you should be eligible.

      Please chase the Claims Center over phone if you do not hear from them in about 7-10 business days.

  13. Catherine says:

    My husband works with OKC Public Schools. They reclassified his job title, reduced the job requirements, and the expected level of pay. OKCPS is terminating all of these positions under the old contract effective 6/30/16 and forcing everyone to re-apply and interview for their jobs. They are offering my husband the lesser job with a significantly lower rate of pay than the previous job. If he chooses not to accept the “new job”, is he still eligible for unemployment while he searches for another job?

    • Martin says:

      It may be considered quitting voluntarily.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to ascertain the treatment.

  14. Michelle Box says:

    I took a new job a month ago and last week I was told not to come in because there is not enough work. The communication with my manager is very poor on his part, he just said he would let me know when I can come back. I have no idea when I will be able to resume work, can I apply for unemployment, partial unemployment or any assistance to compensate for the monetary loss?

    • Martin says:

      You can be eligible for partial unemployment compensation.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information in this regard.

  15. Mike says:

    Ok so is the limit for full-time to part-time 32 hours? Because I have had more weeks with less then 32 hours. I guess what I’m saying is would I be eligible for unemployment since I’m considered a full-time employee that isn’t getting full-time hours?

    • Martin says:

      Yes, that is correct.

      You can be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for any reduction in the number of hours worked.

  16. Gina says:

    I work at a state University. I have been employed with them over 10 years. The last year in a program that is grant funded. The program has been asked to leave the University. The program is being moved to a nonprofit in the community that I worked for before leaving to go to the university. I left in good standing and connected the nonprofit with the current program as a possible partner. I learned today that everyone will have jobs there except me per the decision of the nonprofit. Will I be eligible for benefits when my time ends at the university and everyone else transitions to the nonprofit? The university keeps emphasizing that I am in a grant funded program and my position is dependent upon grant funding as though I will not be eligible for benefits.
    Thank you

    • Martin says:

      Not really sure how it works in your state.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for precise information.

  17. Kim says:

    If I lose my employment at a part time job, will I still be eligible for unemployment benefits?

    Thanks,
    Kim

    • Martin says:

      Part time jobs are generally not eligible.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  18. Chelsey says:

    I currently receive unemployment benifets, but was called for jury duty and currently serving on a jury. My question is do I claim that I will be getting paid? I don’t know how much I will be getting paid nor when I will be getting paid. It can take up to a month. It should only be around 80.00. So will I loose my unemployment pay for the week?

    • Martin says:

      Its better if you keep the authorities informed about your temp job. Please call the claims center for further instructions in this regard.

  19. Brian says:

    I filed for unemployment benefits last week I have a part time job which this week I was able to work 40 hrs this week by luck wondering will they consider it as me having a Fulltime job and I not recieve unemployment benefits

    • Martin says:

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to ascertain the impact of the part time income on your claim.

  20. billy says:

    I meant unemployment insurance

  21. billy says:

    My husband is disabled, and his conditions are becoming more acute, to the point that I need to be with him, to help him with every simple activities, such as showering, cooking, dressing. To the point tgst I need to quit my job. Can I apply for disability benefits????

    • Martin says:

      We do not have any details on Disability Benefits provided in your state.

      If you’re talking about quitting the job to draw Unemployment Benefits, you may not qualify since personal and family reasons are generally not accepted.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  22. Cassandra says:

    Can you quit and receive unemployment benefits for sexual harassment?

  23. jane says:

    can employees who only work during cotton harvest file for Oklahoma umemployment

  24. Larry Musgrove says:

    My doctor released me to work but with the restriction of no standing. My employer will not accommodate that restriction and put me on 12 weeks of unpaid leave. I can work but only at a sit down job. I can’t go 12 weeks without a pay check or my landlord will evict and I will lose my vehicle. Can I draw unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, voluntary reasons such as health issues are not considered.

      Please inquire further with the Labor authorities in your state.

  25. Kris Montoya says:

    I was laid off after 4 months. However I was not eligible for a monetary claim. I went to work for a temporary agency. The work slowed down. I filled a claim,this time I was awarded monetary benefits. However the second company is fighting my claim. I have received benefits twice. Can my claim be terminated or do I still have a claim from the first company.

  26. David Melter says:

    I was laid off my job about 4 months ago when the oil field took a plunge. I have almost ran out of unemployment but im attending a technical school full-time. Is there a way to file for more weeks once i run out of benefits while im attending school?

    • Martin says:

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  27. Karmen says:

    If a person leaves their job to move out of state with their spouse to find a new job would they be eligible for unemployment benefits? They worked for their employer over 8 years in Oklahoma so should they be filing through Oklahoma or state they are looking for new employment?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  28. R. Ryder says:

    I suffer from depression and had not had my meds for a couple of months due to no insurance. I started working at a job at the beginning of July (I live in Oklahoma). At the end of September, I had a depression episode which made me unable to work. At first, my employer said to take as much time as I needed. Four days later, I was terminated for excessive absenteeism. Would I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  29. Rasheed Bracey says:

    I am looking to relocate to Oklahoma, having a difficult time obtaining work ( I work for a telecommunications company as a Supervisor), it appears it is harder to get an interview living in NY. Would I be eligible if I left my job in NY and moved to Oklahoma?

  30. mcsmetzger says:

    I worked at this job for 2 months, twice I was having stomach problems and was told go home and do not return until you have a letter from your do to stating you can return. I have no insurance but I am Indian so I go to an Indian doctor and it takes a long time it is a long process. I then got a message asking where I was after a few days. If I was fired for this do I qualify? In Oklahoma.

    • Martin says:

      With just two months of employment, you will not qualify.

      One needs to have full employment in the last 4 calendar quarters.

  31. Patsy W. says:

    My husband was off work for his back, we did not file workers comp because it was not an injury that we know of. His employer did not communicate anything to us until he had been off for 2 months, they said he had to return in 3 weeks or be terminated. He was ordered to do 4 weeks of therapy and needed 2 additional weeks to complete it then he could return with no restrictions. He could have returned when asked but he would have had a lifting restriction and would have needed 2 hours off to go to therapy each day. They are in violation of the FMLA requirements but we did everything we were supposed to, we just didn’t realize it was FMLA. Now he has been terminated, can he draw unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      If he was laid off in a hasty manner, please consider applying and be ready with supporting documents if there is a dispute.

  32. Tommy says:

    If I was terminated for “work productivity” am I eligible to draw ui?

    • Martin says:

      Not sure if you qualify for “Performance” related issues. Please check with the labor authorities in your state.

  33. E B Thrasher says:

    I am 71 and laid off can I draw

    • Jeff says:

      Please check if there are any legal limitations for your age.

      You can call the customer service wing of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  34. Dena says:

    I’ve worked for a company for 8 years, have gone down to part time hours for a two year period in order to attend school. Life happened and I had to go back to full time for the last 9 months. I am able to go back to school again and in speaking with my employer to return to part time, I was told that that might not be possible again. If I am laid off, would I qualify for benefits?

    • Jeff says:

      Unemployment insurance is only provided to those who lose job due to involuntary reasons such as lay offs.

      You may not be eligible. Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  35. Carolyn Edwards says:

    I was relieved of my previous job as a teacher at Cushing High School. That dismissal came as a result of a series of misunderstandings and the lack of forthcoming information from my supervisor that would have aided in my dealing with the situation. I tried to talk with my students about their issues rather than always calling a parent. As high school students, I felt they should learn to be responsible for their own actions as opposed to blaming others. This administrator wanted students to come to her if they had a complaint against the teacher. Problems were always resolved when I could work with a student where we showed mutual respect. I hold myself accountable, and I expected my students to learn that skill that is so lacking in society. Respect and Accountability

  36. Heidi says:

    I was laid off in May after working for 22 months for an agricultural business in their office. My annual salary was $42,000. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits while I am searching for another job?

  37. tam says:

    I recently took a new job which had a 90 day probation clause. I exceeded the 90 days and was scheduled for a business trip when I hurt my back. As a result I missed several days work, which can be substantiated by multiple doctors. When I returned to work I was told they decided not to continue my employment because of the absenses. I am clear to work now but am I eligible for unemployment?

  38. Kimberly says:

    A girl at my work whom is best friend’s with the owner’s daughter yelled and screamed at me because I asked her a question our supervisor told me to ask her. Three weeks has gone by and I am constantly being mistreated and belittled. The owner told me I need to get over it or quit. Several people have told me this is harassment and I need to quit and apply for unemployment. This is not the first time the owner’s daughter’s best friend has literally yelled at a co-worker. I am so stressed out from how I am treated at work that I have been thinking about taking anti-depressants or gong to see a doctor. What do I do?

    • Adrian says:

      Please speak to your immediate supervisor and if need be, speak to a representative from the labor dept in your state.

  39. Janel Briscoe says:

    I just had my second back surgery I was released to go back to work after 3 months. Was only at work for three days before I had to take medical leave (Drs. Advise)due to pain until futher notice. Do I qualify for benneifits

    • Adrian says:

      You will mostly not be eligible as UI is extended only to those who are available to work.

      If your illness is work related, you can explore Workers compensation to see if there are benefits for you.

  40. latasha burks says:

    i was rushed to the er from my job about two weeks ago suffering from a severe panic attack. the doctor believed it was stressed induced and work related. i now have a panic attack every time i think of going to work and i am concerned because it is an hour and a half commute round trip. luckily i have been out with jury duty for the last week i am afraid to go back. wgat should i do?

    • Adrian says:

      Please speak to your immediate supervisor or the HR rep and let them counsel you. Please be open and tell them your problems and the stress undergone.

  41. Michael Billingsley says:

    I was put on unpaid sick leave because my doctor put me on a 10lb limit for lifting. The company was going to let me go, but decided at the last minute to put me on unpaid sick leave. Would I qualify for benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      Please explore the option of applying for “Workers compensation” benefits in your state.You may not be eligible for UI compensation.

  42. Kim Long says:

    My second Job site will be closing they have assured us they will not deny unemployment. However this job was a supplemental Job I have a Full
    Time Job also am I eligible for Unemployment in this situation?

  43. Linda Streun says:

    We have a part time employee file for Unemployment saying she is not getting enough hours. This is a part time position and the employee is used on an as needed basis. However, she applied for Unemployment and the letter received states Rule 240: 10-1-2. Where can I find that rule? And, she does not work 32 hours a week as it is usually 10-15 hours a week.

    thanks, Linda

  44. Lawerance says:

    I had just been in training for 1 month. There is a 90 day probation period. The company then laid off a lot of employees and I was let go. Do I qualify for benefits.?

    • kathy says:

      You are eligible to apply for unemployment.

    • sherry sides says:

      HI I was working for a temporary services at a company for almost 3 months. My supervisor told me they loved my work and wanted to hire me full time. I was always at work on time never called in and done my job. then i started having problems with another employee threatening me I called my temp superviser about this and she said the employee caused problems with everybody she sent to this company. then the company made her the boss over me and i really started having problems. i think the last straw was when she physically threatened me, and I told the company i wanted to write a statment against her. It was on a friday they told me we would have a meeting monday and take care of it. the temp service told me that they called them right after i left and they said they wanted to end my contract with no reason as to why. THE TEMP SERVICE SAID NONE OF IT WAS MY FAULT AND I WAS IN GOOD STANDING WITH THEM. thats great but i am not working. can i draw unemployment on the temp service for this.

      • Adrian says:

        Depends on the type of employment.Not sure if you’re on their pay roll.

        Please read all the literature in this page and apply for UI if you’re confident.

  45. Lester J. Travis says:

    I am applying for my unemployment benefits with the state of Oklahoma. I have exhausted my benefits with California and I am no longer receiving any unemployment disability this is why I am trying to draw my benefits of which I have worked at Winnewood, Oklahoma. If you need to contact California unemployment the number is 866-333-4606 and I can be reached at 985-351-8858. I am asking that someone please contact me as I have tried to apply online and it would not let me through. I would like to speak with someone regarding this. It would be a pleasure to speak with you as soon as possible so that I can know what I am entitled to. Again, my number is 985-351-8858 and I thank you kindly.
    Lester J. Travis

    • Lester J. Travis says:

      The California EDD website if you need to further research my ended claim is http://www.edd.ca.gov. and again the number is 866-333-4606. Again please have someone to contact me at 985-351-8858
      Thank you kindly,
      Lester J. Travis

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