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.
Oklahoma Unemployment Eligibility Calculator
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Oklahoma unemployment insurance provides temporary financial assistance to jobless individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
Oklahoma Unemployment Eligibility Requirements
Not everyone in the state of Oklahoma is eligible for unemployment benefits. You have to meet a list of criteria to qualify for Oklahoma unemployment benefits and continue receiving weekly benefits.
To qualify for Oklahoma unemployment benefits, you must meet specific monetary requirements. You must have earned at least $1,500 in the state of Oklahoma during your base period and your wages must total at least 1.5 times the wages you earned during your highest quarter.
In Oklahoma, your base period is the 12-month period composed of the first four out of the last five calendar quarters prior to the date of your unemployment claim. Quarters begin after the first Sunday in each quarter, with 1st quarter being January-March, 2nd quarter being April-June, 3rd quarter being July-September, and 4th quarter being October-December. Your base period is also used to calculate your weekly benefit amount, which you can find using an Oklahoma unemployment calculator.
In addition to monetary requirements, you must also meet several non-monetary requirements to be eligible for Oklahoma unemployment benefits. Most unemployment eligibility requirements are non-monetary. These criteria mostly focus on how you lost your job and your willingness to work. The reason behind your job separation is usually what stands between you and receiving Oklahoma unemployment compensation.
First, you must be an American citizen or legal resident who is unemployed by no fault of your own (like being laid off). This means you must have quit your former job for good cause, such as unsafe working conditions or a compelling family circumstance.
If you were fired for misconduct, you will not qualify to receive unemployment benefits. Self-employed individuals, contract workers, and gig workers are also not eligible for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma. In order to reach a decision, the state will gather information from both you and your former employer regarding the reason for your dismissal. Once decided, you will be given a written determination on whether your unemployment claim is accepted or not.
You also must be available and willing to work. There are Oklahoma unemployment work search requirements that you must meet in order to qualify and maintain eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.
Oklahoma requires you to perform at least 2 work search efforts at different employers every week you claim unemployment insurance. You must keep track of your work search efforts in a log provided to you at the back of your Oklahoma unemployment guide. You will also be required to register for work on OKJobMatch.com.
After your initial claim is accepted, your eligibility for Oklahoma unemployment benefits is closely tied to your weekly claim. To maintain eligibility and continue receiving unemployment payments, you must file your Oklahoma unemployment weekly claim every week, actively search for work, record your work search efforts, and accept suitable job offers.
You must also keep the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission informed of your employment status. This includes reporting all wages (including commission, cash, or bonuses) the week you earn them, job offer or referral refusals, enrollment in school or training, changes of address or contact information, errors made when filing your claim, or reasons you are unable to look for or accept work. If you are selected for the program, you must also participate in RESEA to maintain your UI eligibility.
Can I quit my job and still get benefits?
In Oklahoma, unemployment benefits are a privilege, not a right. Unemployment insurance is only available to individuals who lost their job through no fault of their own. In order to qualify, an unemployed worker must have been laid off or quit their previous job for “good cause.” The burden of proof falls on you to provide evidence that proves you left your job for one of the reasons that count as “good cause” for quitting.
Reasons you can quit your job for good cause include:
- Your work situation has become harmful or threatening to your safety, health, or morals
- You experienced unfair treatment or your employer made working conditions difficult
- Your employer violated employee rights
- You were not paid for your work
- You have compelling family circumstances, such as medical conditions, an immediate family member you must care for, domestic violence, or you quit because you had to move for your spouse’s new job over 50 miles away
Reasons why you may be disqualified:
- You were fired due to misconduct, wrongdoing, dishonesty, excessive tardiness or absenteeism, violation of Oklahoma law or work policies, or an intentional breach of your job duties
- You are unwilling or unavailable to actively search for work
- You refused a suitable job offer or work referral
- You are not a U.S. citizen or authorized to work in the U.S.
- You refused to participate in reemployment services
- You restricted the hours, wages, days, or areas of work you would accept
- You received bonuses
- You are self-employed
- You are a member of a union involved in a strike
- You are working full time
- Your gross earnings, severance payments, vacation payments, or bonus payments are $100 more than your Oklahoma weekly benefit amount
- Your retirement payment is higher than your weekly benefit amount
Some claimants, often those who have been collecting unemployment benefits for a while without finding work, are selected to participate in Worker Profiling and Reemployment Services, known as RESEA.
If you are chosen for this program, you must participate or risk losing your benefits. If selected, you will receive a notice to report to your local Oklahoma Works office for the program.
The goal of RESEA is to connect unemployment claimants with suitable work as quickly as possible. You may be required to attend an Oklahoma Works American Job Center Orientation Session to get an overview of the services available to you through the program and create a reemployment plan.
You will be required to register for work on the OKJobMatch website, where you will fill out a resume and connect with employers. After that, you will be given job referrals based on your qualifications, skills, and knowledge. You will need to continue actively searching for work and keep track of your work search efforts. The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission will randomly audit your work search records to make sure you are still looking for work.
During your time in RESEA, you may also participate in Job Search or Job Skill Workshops for training on resume writing, job application and interview skills, social media, and more. Thirty days after receiving employment services, you will have a follow-up meeting to discuss your progress and any barriers to employment you might be experiencing.
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.
If Your Oklahoma Unemployment Claim Is Denied
If your Oklahoma unemployment claim is denied but you believe that you are eligible to receive UI benefits, then you still have the right to file an appeal. Your Oklahoma unemployment appeal must be submitted in person, through email, by mail, telephone, or fax within 10 days of receiving your determination notice.
Be sure to include your name, Social Security number, phone number, date of determination, and section of law you wish to appeal, which is found on your determination notice letter. Include a statement that explains why you do not agree with the Oklahoma state government’s decision.