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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. AmyT says:

    I am diabetic, I have been working at a convience store where I’m up on my feet 9 hours a nite 3 days a week. I also have severe diabetic neuropathy in my feet which causes intense burning and pain. I go to doctor each week to get 4-10 shots per foot per week with little relief. Being on my feet causes intense pain, do I qualify for unemployment if I quit my job due to medical reasons

    • Sam says:


      Hope you get well soon. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office.

  2. Brandi says:

    I was terminated from my job, but qualified for unemployment, which I am receiving. If I go back to school full time, will that disqualify me from receiving unemployment? What if I’m able and available to work all but the hours I’m in school?

    • Sam says:


      If schooling affects your time being employed full-time, you may not continue to be eligible. Please call the Claims Center for details.

  3. Joe says:

    If I give my job 2 weeks notice because my job has caused me headaches and it’s only getting worse, do I qualify? I have documented doctors letters stating that working in my work environment has caused me increased stress and the migraines.

    • Sam says:


      You can be eligible under such circumstances. Before you decide to resign, please call the Unemployment Office for a discussion.

  4. Cindy Evans says:

    I was hired with a 3 month probationary period. My employer let me go on the last day of the 3 month probationary period. He told me that I was not catching on quick enough to the new job. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Sam says:


      Please note Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who’re able and available for work.

  5. Victoria says:

    My mother has been diagnosed with brain cancer, and has been given 6 months to live. As her next of kin and soon to be caregiver, I will have to leave my fulltime job in order to provide her with in home 24hr care. Is being a caregiver to a terminal relative something Oklahoma recognizes for UEMP?

    • Sam says:


      I am sorry to hear about the situation. Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  6. Erin says:

    I was terminated because of paying out jackpot to wrong person. I will not receive my last paycheck because I have to pay it back which my last check will be about 200 shy. Will I be able to apply for unemployment?

  7. Samantha says:

    I quit my job a week ago. My manager decided to ridicule me in front of employees and patients. Long story short, I asked for an apology via inter- office messenger. He wouldn’t reply. The next day I asked again, no reply. Finally, since he wouldn’t acknowledge my existence via messenger, I asked him face-to-face why he wouldn’t respond and if he would please talk to me. He begrudgingly told me then that he would send me a message. He told me he owed me no apology and told me not to make a scene or I’d be asked to leave. This animosity combined with his unprofessional attitude toward me was overwhelming so I quit. The first day when he ridiculed me in front of everyone I asked him if he wanted me to quit and he said, “l don’t care”. Do you think I would possibly qualify?

    • Sam 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 Claims Center by phone.

  8. melanie says:

    I’m sure I do not qualify, but just asking. I didn’t really quit and I didn’t really get fired. Combo I guess. Two mos. ago, due to fact that my provider did not take my insurance, I was let go from Northcare ( mental help facility I had been going to for 15 years ) It was like I was being punished for having insurance they didn’t take. The problem? I couldn’t get the help anywhere else so I proceeded to self medicate. — alcohol — I had no other way to combat the anxiety attacks anymore. But my job got wind of it …. and though I have been a faithful, hardworking and Sober employee for 9 yrs- just the situation at the time? I was let go.. I know, I know. I don’t qualify, but just thought I would ask. How do I get a new job w/ possibly a bad reference from my former employer of 9 years?

    • Sam says:


      I can understand your situation. It all depends on your convincing skills and confidence. We wish you the best for your job search.

  9. Stephan lee says:

    Pleas I worked for the same employer since 2009 in Oklahoma I had have had back problems he told me that it’s a pre-existing injury so I tried to file unemployment and I am not able or available so I mean I’m f***** I need some help I don’t know what to do I mean this maybe my life right here

    • Sam says:


      I can understand your situation. To qualify, the claimant should have had active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to ascertain.

  10. Steve says:

    I was fired for violating company absence policy. Missed several days due to medical issues / Dr appointments. Company frequently requested employees to leave work and take PTO when not busy (call center). Am I eligble for unemployment.. I fell that I am unemployed thru no fault of my own, employer asked that I resign before being fired

    • Sam says:


      If you were fired due to voluntary issues including health reasons, you will not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  11. Angela says:

    My husband was asked to do a pee test at work. He did and it came out clean but because it was 2 degrees lower then there limit he was told it didn’t count and had to do another one the next day. He went to the place to do it again and because he had a hard time peeing with someone directly in front of him they said it took to long he was sent away. Now he’s been fired from his job for not complying. Could he get unemployment? He was perfectly willing to pee for them.

    • Sam says:


      If he has the proof and supporting paperwork that it was not his fault, he can be eligible to claim UI benefits until he finds a job.

  12. Joe says:

    Ive worked for the same employer for over 10 years. Last year i offered a 2 week notice which they declined in favor of changing my job duties. They have since had me do the jobs that were agreed at that time that i would no longer be doing. Add in an intense animosity toward me since that time and the fact they will not communicate with me when i try to discuss the situation. I need to resign before a conflict arises. Will that qualify me for benefits?

    • Sam says:


      Please tread carefully. If you leave voluntarily, you may not qualify. Make sure to gather supporting documents and please call the Unemployment Office for advice before making a decision.

  13. Smith says:

    Is “trailing spouse” still eligible?
    My spouse got a new job 3 hours away, I will have to quit my job for our move. Can I collect unemplyment?

    • Sam says:

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

  14. Jennifer says:

    can I still get benefits if I turn down a job that was only 15 hours a week and too far to travel. I would also have to have someone watch my child which makes me end up with only $20 a week. if I turn down the job, do I claim so for the week, how does that work? do I need to explain why I refused work?

    • Sam says:


      I suggest that you call the Claims Center of the Unemployment Office to get specific answers to all your questions.

  15. Jeff says:

    I was suspended pending investigation today because my supervisor says I falsified company documents I do not recall doing this it happened 2 weeks ago can I get unemployment benefits

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