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Oklahoma Unemployment Benefit Questions

Oklahoma Unemployment Benefit Questions

How do I apply for Oklahoma unemployment benefits?

Unemployed individuals can apply for Oklahoma unemployment benefits online through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. To be eligible, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own, be available to work, and meet Oklahoma’s other requirements for earnings during the base period.

To begin the application process, you must create an account on the website. From there, you can answer questions about your unemployment to help the Commission determine whether you’re eligible. Be prepared with information about your job, such as an employer contact name and number, earnings documentation, and the circumstances surrounding your unemployment. 

Individuals who would rather apply for Oklahoma unemployment benefits by phone or in person can do so by locating their nearest Oklahoma Works office.

How much money will I receive?

The amount you earn on unemployment in Oklahoma depends on how much you’ve previously earned from your employer during the first four out of five of the prior quarters, also known as the base period for unemployment. The higher your wages during this time, the more you’ll receive in Oklahoma unemployment benefits. Those who qualify can receive up to 1/23rd of the amount of wages they received during their highest-earning quarter of that base period each week they’re eligible for unemployment.

Calculating the amount of unemployment you may be entitled to can be confusing. We suggest using the Oklahoma unemployment calculator to help you estimate your benefits. To use it, simply input your wages for each quarter during your base period. The calculator automatically updates with an estimate of your weekly benefits.

How long can I receive benefits?

Oklahoma allows unemployed individuals to receive benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks during a benefit year. These weeks do not need to be consecutive, however. For instance, you may receive four weeks of unemployment benefits, find a job, get laid off two months later, and receive 22 more weeks of benefits as you search for a new job. When a new benefit year starts, you may be eligible to receive another 26 weeks of unemployment benefits so long as you meet the requirements for maintaining your benefits.

To continue receiving unemployment benefits for the full 26 weeks as you work to find employment, you must meet Oklahoma work search requirements. With this requirement, individuals can only receive benefits for a week that they are available and actively searching for employment. Oklahoma requires proof that claimants actively apply for jobs during any week for which they claim benefits, and the same employer cannot be used as a work search contact within four weeks of the previous contact.

What is a base period?

A base period for Oklahoma unemployment refers to the amount of time the state of Oklahoma considers when calculating your wages and how much you’re eligible to collect each week on unemployment. In Oklahoma, the base period is 12 months in total and includes the first four of the previous five quarters before you filed your claim.

When calculating your unemployment benefits, Oklahoma considers your eligible wages made during those four quarters of your base period. Your weekly benefit will equal 1/23rd of your earnings in the highest-earning quarter during your base period. So, if you made $10,000 in your highest quarter during your base period, your weekly benefit would likely be about $434, assuming that all wages you earned during that period are eligible wages.

What is a benefit year?

Unemployment beneficiaries are eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits for a benefit year, in most cases. A benefit year is a 12-month or 52-week period in which your unemployment case remains active, and you will only be eligible for those 26 weeks of payments. Your benefit year begins on the day you were found to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma.

What is the Oklahoma unemployment waiting period?

Oklahoma requires eligible unemployment beneficiaries to wait for one week after filing and becoming eligible for benefits before they can begin receiving payments. This waiting period is required by Oklahoma law. Individuals must still file their weekly unemployment claim and meet all eligibility requirements for the waiting week to be considered effective.

How do I stop benefits if I find a job?

Oklahoma unemployment beneficiaries are typically only able to receive unemployment benefits if they are not currently working. Therefore, if you do find a job while receiving unemployment benefits, you’ll need to stop filing weekly claims for benefits. On any week you don’t file a claim, Oklahoma will not pay you a weekly benefit.

If you find a job after submitting a weekly claim form for unemployment benefits, you should cancel that weekly claim. Beneficiaries can do so by visiting or calling their local Oklahoma Works office or contacting the state’s unemployment center at (405) 525-1500.

What if I am denied benefits?

If you disagree with the decisions of the Commission you may file an appeal to the determination by following the directions on your determination. All appeals must be filed timely. Usually, parties have 10 calendar days from the mail date of the determination to appeal the determination. Please continue to file your weekly claims during the appeals process to receive benefits if your are determined eligible.

Can anyone apply for unemployment compensation benefits?

Yes. However, to qualify you must be unemployed at the time of filing or working less than full-time and earning wages less than your weekly benefit amount. You must have a minimum of $1500 in covered wages in your base period and your total base period wages must be 1½ times your high quarter wages. If you are not a citizen, you must present evidence to establish you were lawfully admitted to the United States during the period of your employment. Please note that unemployment benefit will not be granted to each applicant as this has many other requirements apart from the ones mentioned above and the most important one is, to have lost the job through no fault of your own.

Are Oklahoma unemployment benefits taxable?

Unemployment Insurance benefits are subject to federal and state income tax. You must report unemployment benefits you receive when you file your income taxes. By January 31st of each year, the Commission will send you a form 1099-G with the amount of benefits you received the prior year. You may elect to have federal and state taxes withheld from your weekly unemployment benefits. If you choose to have the taxes withheld, federal taxes of 10% and state taxes of 3% will be deducted from the gross amount of your payment each week.

How will Pension, Annuity or Retirement Pay affect my unemployment benefit amount?

Retirement/pensions may reduce your weekly benefit amount and in some cases could make you totally ineligible to receive benefits. You must advise a claims representative if you are receiving or have applied for retirement/pension or a disability pension.

The payments will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount if:

  1. The pension or payment is from a base period employer(s) and
  2. The employer contributed to or maintained the pension

Deductible monthly pension/retirement payments will be prorated on a weekly basis. Your weekly benefit amount will be reduced dollar-for- dollar of your deductible weekly pension amount. If you receive a lump-sum distribution from a retirement plan, the payment will be deductible in the week in which you receive the payment. You must report any other type of pension payment you receive, including 401K plans. If you fail to report a pension or payment you may be required to repay any Unemployment Insurance benefits that you received.

  1. I am losing my teacher/bus driving position due to a RIF. I currently receive a teacher retirement benefit from Oklahoma. Will my teacher retirement affect the amount that I can receive from Oklahoma unemployment?

      • Hey Sam.. sry to cut in here.. I have a non Mon pending.. and have had it going on for a month maybe a tad bit a good thing to take this long? I was workin stillwater, living in Cushing,.. my car broke down, also wife had breast cancer, and needed to. Be w her at times, I called in and or txted for 1.5 weeks, as I always had.

  2. I was terminated from a job after 5 1/2 years. I was told I will be paid unused paid time off amounting to 175 hours in my last paycheck. How will this payment affect unemployment benefits? I also receive a monthly pension payment. When I resided in another state this pension payment was determined not to affect my eligibility for unemployment benefits and did not reduce my UI benefit payment. That state (Missouri), after that determination, told me I should not report the pension payment on future unemployment claims. Will this pension now be used to deny unemployment benefits in Oklahoma?

    • James,

      I don’t think you’ll be denied benefits on the basis of pension. For specific answers to all your questions, please call the Unemployment Office.

  3. I worked for a company while I lived in Texas and when I moved to Oklahoma in June 2019 my position was then a remote position. I was laid off in September 2019 and I just received my last severance pay today. How long do I have to wait to file for unemployment now? Do I file in Texas or Oklahoma? Thanks!

    • Spring,

      If the severance was a one-time payout, you can apply for UI right away. Please file from the state where your employment was based.

  4. I got laid off August 9th 2019. Filed for unemployment the 18th. It says that its effective on the 18th so Will I still get unemployment for the week of August 12th?

    • Christopher,

      UI benefits will only start from the time they’re officially approved. You cannot claim retrospectively.

  5. Recently laid off, involuntarily. I have 4 questions;
    1. Is there a time restriction to file? I am going to take 3-4 months off work before I start the job search process in order to go visit grandchildren and do some projects around the house. Would this create a problem.
    2. I will be receiving severance pay equal to about 3 months income. How would this affect unemployment compensation?
    3. If I receive a job offer, but refuse it due to inadequate pay, based on my experience and job skills, what effect would this have on the unemployment compensation benefits?
    4. I am eligible for Social Security, but not receiving it, nor do I plan to apply for several years. Is this a consideration for receiving unemployment compensation?

    • Boyd,

      Thank you for writing to us. Please see specific answers to your questions below.

      1) The sooner the better. We recommend you apply within weeks after being unemployed.
      2) If the severance is a one-time payout, you can apply after its completely paid out.
      3) Yes, it will have an impact. To understand more, please call the Unemployment Office.
      4) You can be eligible to claim SS benefits and simultaneously. The Office will help you understand its impact.

  6. My previous job of 2 years and 8 months only paid in on my unemployment insurance twice each year I worked there instead of paying in quarterly like they were supposed to which has caused my unemployment to be way less than what it originally would be if they had paid in like they were supposed to, I have filed an appeal and sent in all needed information proving I worked for the company with no breaks in employment…how long will it take back to hear about whether my unemployment will be corrected and I’ll get my correct pay?

    • Kim,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center for assistance in this regard. They can set up the Direct Deposit or offer you guidance on how to do it yourself.

  7. I had to resign from my current position of five yrs due to medical reasons a stroke I can no longer perform the job duties required for my position due to a decrease of memory and slow brain and vision capability I filed my claim on July 22 2018 it is now August 16 and they have still not made a determination they say there is an issue with the desperation from my last employer my last employer says shen he talked to them he explained and told them the situation and if I recover my position will be there for me they’re acting like I just quit my job cause I don’t wanna work what do I do I am a senior and my bi weekly check is all I had to live on I have been putting in applications every where for something I could possibly do but at my age and disability it looks grim

    • Patricia,

      We can understand your situation. Unfortunately, the system does not consider age and ill health for valid reasons. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Best wishes!

      • I would think that a stroke would be involuntary! Who voluntarily has one? I mean really?! Maybe if Patricia was to go back to work, not be able to perform the duties required due to the stroke that was undoubtedly involuntary, get fired as a result, then would she be eligible?

  8. I have a pending claim. I have a medical situation that will prevent me from searching for work for a couple of weeks. Will my claim be ineligible?

  9. I have a friend that in the middle of a appeal and wants to know is she would be ineligible if she on bed rest because going to have a baby

  10. I just got my benifits Thursdayabd am tryingbto file my weekly claim but it went let me it keeps telling me to try again later. Why is it doing this?

    • Cole,

      It might be a temporary system glitch. Hope you were able to apply successfully. Please make sure you’re applying only during the window hours.

  11. I live in Oklahoma. I called the unemployment services to see if a withdraw of 401k lump sum would affect my unemployment and I was
    told just the week I received but now I’m not getting a second check don’t understand? They money I got from 401k was gifted to my daughter for closing on her house.

    • Angela,

      It will be considered as “income” and will have a bearing on the Unemployment Insurance. Please call the Claims Center and ask them for an explanation in detail.

  12. I will be getting severance pay equal to a months wages. When filing my first weekly claim it asks if I received severance payment for the week that I am filing for. How do I answer this question? Will I say yes for the first 4 weeks, the payment will be a lump sum payment?

  13. I was approved for $8900 on an unemployment claim from sept 2009 to sept 2010. I never used any of that. My claim this year has already ran out. Could i use those benefits awarded back on 2009?

      • I live in Oklahoma and after 24+ years, Walmart did away with my position. They offered a severance package, so will that stop me from getting unemployment? Also if I cash out my 401k, does that effect my unemployment benefits? Thanks

        • Della,

          Severance pay will not stop you from claiming UI benefits. Please apply once the payout is complete. Cashing 401k will have a bearing. Make sure to declare this income at the time of application.

  14. My wife just lost her job. We moved to Oklahoma in October 2016 and so she had very limited Oklahoma pay for 2016. We moved from Texas, should she file for unemployment in Texas as well? How does that work?

    • She should only be filing from one state at a time. Please ask her to file from the state where she was previously employed.

  15. the web site was down fed24 thru 26th and apparently still down. i have tried calling the 1-800 # says they can’t process my claim? so when will i get paid and anyone else to call?

    • The systems (phone and online) are back and running now. Please try now.

      There will be a 1-2 days delay in receiving the payment from the day of filing.

      • Just one question. I was laid off Aug 8 (company closed) and 2 weeks later received my severance pkg (Aug 23). I can now file for benefits. So, do the benefits start the week after severance was paid (Aug 26), or do I get benefits from the first date of unemployment (Aug 12)? I have a new job and start Sept 3, just wondering if it’s worth the effort.

        • Jake,

          The benefits will not be paid out in retrospect. You can only claim after you’ve been officially approved.

    • If the payment day is a national holiday, the payment is likely to happen the next business day.

      Please call the Claims Center for up to date information.

  16. That wasn’t clear, I didn’t file for unemployment. I deleted my package and out of fear, ran down to file for social security. I have not tried to file for unemployment as of yet.

  17. I have received all my severance pay after working for a company for 15 plus years. I received Social Security Benefits. Can I apply for Oklahoma Unemployment Benefits

    • You can apply for UI benefits if you were involuntarily laid off from the job. Application for benefits can be done after the expiry of the severance payout.

      However, the SS benefits will have a say in the eligibility. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

      • The first question above is about being laid off, depleting your package from employer and filing for unemployment. I did this and in a panic ran down to file for social security. Which by the way, if your are not of your retirement age is less you will receive at retirement and I am allowed to make no more than $15,700 per year or they will deduct. I recently was asked why I didn’t file for unemployment. Was this gentleman being told that your unemployment benefits will also be predicted by how much social security you receive and is there a way to find out? You can’t get through on the phone. I have tried.

        • Hello,
          I am wondering about involuntary termination. My position is being eliminated. I’ve applied for other positions, but so far nothing has come from it. Once it gets to the tentative deadline, they may offer me a fallback, but I don’t want to take it because the hours likely required will affect my family. If I don’t take that position, will I still be eligible for unemployment in Oklahoma?

        • Well, I suggest that you visit the nearest Unemployment Office to get a precise answer since each state has specific rules in this regard and I am not really sure how it works in Oklahoma.

  18. Also, I was paid a lump sum for 5 weeks vacation that I had yet to take for 2016.
    Does that payment for a 5 week duration for vacation deny my unemployment benefits for that 5 week period of time?
    Thank you . . .

  19. I am recently laid off due to reduction in force.
    I haven’t decided yet to accept my severance package due to all the restrictions if I sign that contract.
    Do you think that is why I’m not currently eligible for unemployment benefits?
    I have 45 days after my termination to accept the severance terms.
    Also, if I accept the severance terms I will be paid in a lump sum totaling 16 weeks.
    Will I only be ineligible for unemployment benefits for the week that I receive the lump sum or will I be ineligible to receive unemployment benefits for the 16 week duration that I would be paid for in that lump sum?

    • You can apply after expiry of the severance pay period.

      For further information, please call the Unemployment Office on the phone numbers provided.

  20. I filed for unemployment benefits last week I have a part time job and worked 39 hrs this week by luck will this automatically disqualify me for unemployment benefits? I normally work around 25 hrs week but might have to quit part time job because of legal reasons and not being able to work there anymore also ?

  21. How do I file a claim? The state website just sends me to the OKJobMatch website. Also, will the state of Oklahoma hire me to fix their website?

    • Not sure if you’re filing on the right site. Here is the url –

      Please check with the Unemployment Office if they have suitable opportunities in the web maintenance wing. You can call them.

  22. Why wasn’t federal taxes taken out of my unemployment checks just state was taken out I want federal takin out from now on please

    • Please note we’re not associated with the unemployment office in your state.

      Please contact them or your employer to ascertain the reason for non deduction of taxes.

    • If you’ve been paying taxes and laying them off, they should be eligible.

      Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  23. My employer terminated me due to “economic downturn”. I will be filing a claim soon as my severance has now run out. I am also considering a move to Alabama. Should I file my claim now here in OK and then contact Unemployment in Alabama to continue my benefits if I move? OR should I wait about filing in OK, make my decision to move,and then Begin the filing process from Alabama?

  24. Two questions:

    1. I am on FMLA due to having to take care of elderly parents with significant medical issues. Can I apply for unemployment while on FLMA.

    2. My job requires significant travel which I am no longer able to do, because of needing to be home every night to take care of parent with medical issue. If I quit my job because of not being able to travel, will I be eligible for unemployment benefits while I look for local employment?

    • 1) Some states allow provision of both unemployment insurance while some don’t. For more clarity on the first question, please contact the labor authorities in your state.

      2) If you quit voluntarily, you may not qualify.

  25. Its been 3 weeks and I haven’t received letter in mail to state if I was approved or denied benefits. How do I find out if I was approved or denied benefits?

    • Please call the phone numbers provided or log into to your account and check online, if you filed over the internet.

  26. While attempting to find a new job, that you can afford to live with. Is there a pay percentage you can decline, and still receive unemployment legally.

    • Each state has its rules, specific in this area.

      It would be apt for you to get in touch with the labor dept in your state to find out more.

  27. I am a resident of Oklahoma. I have been on unemployment and it is now exhausted. The benefit year was July 14, 2013 to July 14, 2014. Can I file a new claim for unemployment now? Also in August of 2013 I worked in the state of Kansas and was laid off once the job ended. Can I file a claim for unemployment on the Kansas wages? Thank you, Kathy L Turner.

  28. I have been on FMLA for the past year but it has now ran out. The company I worked for informed me that they did not have a position for me with my “disability” so I no longer have a job. I have filed for SS disability but have not heard anything yet. Can I apply for unemployment even though my doctor will not release me to work?

  29. I was directly recruited from Alabama over three years ago to work in Oklahoma. Since I work straight commission, it is hard to assign a weekly rate. In the last few weeks, my pay has declined to approximately 1/2 of what I originally made for the same amount of hours. Can I file for benefits since my pay has been so severely reduced? I have asked my employer to terminate me on more than one occasion, but he will not. I have been documenting specific instances where I was denied the opportunity to work, even when I was involved in the particular sale of the ob. Please help me and let me know what I can do. Thanks Greg

    • Depends…on various factors. Generally,any reduction in worked hours in a week is considered. Not sure of reduction in pay.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state and file accordingly.

  30. i was approved for benefits effective 04/27/2014,.i recieved my first payment on 05/16/2014. my question is shouldnt i recieve back pay from the effectie date to my first payment?

  31. a friend of mine was a previous partner or co owner of a business that was closed down jan 1 2014. he has no income and has filed for benefits, why is there a dispute???

  32. I have been receiving unemployment benefits for 3 months. This week I took a new job. I worked for 2 days and quit after realizing the job wasn’t a good fit for me. I am wondering if I can still receive unemployment benefits or will I be disqualified now.

  33. I have been laid off or terminated from my job of 11 years and 11 months, they told me my services were no longer needed, I have filed for unemployment benefits however I want to check in withdrawing my retirement benefits to pay off some of my bills which will be a hardship for me, how will this affect my unemployment benefits, and I am also going to begin proceeding to file for disability how will this affect my unemployment benefits because I have to have some sort of income at this point. Thank you

    • Hi Sheila,
      In order to receive unemployment benefits, you should have lost job through no fault of your own. Also, you will have to be able to and available to work. If you file for disability, this means you cannot work or something is hindering you from working. Usually, it is not possible to receive unemployment and disability. I am unable to comment on retirement benefits. But, it is possible to receive UC benefits if you have severance pay, holiday pay or vacation pay. If you have a part time job, you will have to mention about that as well during weekly claims.

  34. Where do I find the information regarding direct successor. I was previously on unemployment myself. I am looking to purchase a daycare. The purchase will include all inventory in the building. I will not purchase the name. The children enrolled will have the option to stay. We do not wish to keep the employee’s. We do want to give them the option to apply for a job. The staff is the reason for this sale. They have been written up multiple times and have not followed DHS recommendations. Several do not have the qualifications for the position they hold and have not attempted to obtain them per DHS requirements. Several have been written up by DHS for inappropriate language around children and mishandling the children. These behaviors should have been reason for dismissal but was not by current owner. For these reasons DHS has decided not to issue him a license and he will have to shut down. Will I have to pay unemployment to his workers that I do not keep?

    • Hi Diane,

      If you lay off workers or state the removal as lack of work, they will be eligible to receive unemployment from the state provided they meet other eligibility requirements. You will have to continue paying employment taxes to the state.

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