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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. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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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