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Oklahoma Unemployment Eligibility

Updated : June 25th, 2019

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

  1. I had approved ADA medical leave when my site was shut down. I put on my unemployment application that I had medical restrictions due to degenerative disc, meaning I couldn’t lift much and needed to change positions every couple hours. I was contacted by the unemployment office and asked if I was able and available to work, if I was trained in a field that could accommodate my restrictions, and if I had been released by a doctor. I told them that yes, I was able and could work, had training and years of experiences with call center work, and had not actually been on a restriction, just had ADA leave that ended the last day of my employment. I wanted to ask, will that cause problems in me getting approved for Unemployment?

    1. Joe,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  2. I worked for a company out of Oklahoma and was terminated due to them cutting costs. I know live in Alabama. Can I claim in Alabama but draw the amount of benefits from Oklahoma?

    1. Joe,

      You can apply from the state where your employment was based. I suggest you reach out to the Unemployment Office in OK for clarification.

  3. I live in claremore and im a over the road driver working for a company out of salt lake city, Utah im on a probation for medical reason for 3 months with no pay for the three months. on the 3rd month once cleared from concentra then i can return to work. Can i claim for unemployment benefits/insurance? For the 3 months i will have to see my dr. And continue blood test until im cleared of the reason i was on the probation

    1. Wayne,

      UI benefits are only offered to claimants who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  4. Hello, I was fired just today for a large variance, which I’m not sure how it happened. I scanned all tickets and used the currency counter for large amounts of money, but I was fired for it. I’m just wondering if I can apply for unemployment or would the termination count as being at my fault?
    Thank you

    1. Ana,

      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.

    2. my job is temporary part time and for restructuring changes i going to have my job until 1 more week.
      can i got the unemployment benefit?

      1. Elizabeth,

        Please note UI benefits are not offered to temporary/contract jobs since employers’ don’t remit Unemployment Taxes into the system. Please check with your employer.

  5. Am I able to collect unemployment if I am going to school full time via the VA chapter VA Vocrehab/GI Bill/Post 911?

    1. Kimberly,

      To be eligible, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings. If you’re schooling full-time, you may not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  6. I am a military spouse. My husband received orders to PCS this September. I was not expecting us to be here only less than a year. I’ve been employed at my job for 8 weeks now, but did have a stable job in Texas in 2018. Can I still be eligible for Oklahoma unemployment?

    1. Antonette,

      You can be eligible to claim UI benefits as a “Military Spouse”. Please call the Unemployment Office in your current state of residence before filing.

  7. Since starting my current job in November my workload has quadrupled because of other workers having been moved to different departments of the company and another that left for health reasons. Everyday I am given more of a workload and there is no way to complete all of the work. My boss constantly tells me I just need to work longer hours and says that “you’re salary, you can work as much as I want” this is affecting my job performance as I can’t get everything done in time and it has caused me to start to have panic attacks. I’m going to the doctor to see if I can get help but I’d like to know if there is anything I can do as far as unemployment benefits so that I can have time to look for another job.

    1. Chris,

      I can only imagine the ordeal. You can be eligible to quit and claim UI under hostile work conditions. Please make sure to call the Unemployment Office before resigning. Also, keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  8. I am going be starting school in the summer and im work so If I quit so I can go to school. can I get unemployment

    1. Nicole,

      To claim weekly unemployment benefits, you’re required to be able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. Fired for not being earlier than scheduled to work but my signed contract says “I will report to work as scheduled” would I qualify?

    1. Shaun,

      You may not qualify since UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  10. I am on medical illness and surgery about 3 months. The employer does not allow me to work until full duty (Per doctor I can on lift 20 lbs under treatment and able to perform full duty after surgery)
    Can I collect unemployment benefit while I am on medical sick leave -unpaid ?
    OK UI denied my claim because “job attached” and “claimant must be able to work each week benefits are claimed”

    1. Hue,

      Unfortunately, the system does not consider personal reasons such as health issues. You may not qualify. Please contact the Unemployment Office.

    1. Daniel,

      Contract workers do not generally qualify since employers’ don’t remit unemployment taxes into the system. For clarification, please get in touch with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  11. We left work at 5pm, my boss told me and 4 other guys to clock us out at 7. He does our time. Well company find out about it..and fired him and everyone that has those 2 extra hrs. Can i still be el4for unemployment? Even tho i was not in control of the hrs and my boss was, since he does the time.

  12. I’m in the state of Oklahoma. I quit following harassment. My employer is ignoring my claim. What happens if they do not respond? I have not received payment. It’s been 3 weeks. Who will make the decision now?

    1. Corinna,

      Please chase the Claims Center (Unemployment Office) at regular intervals. If you’re denied on the basis of a dispute raised by your employer, please ask for an “Adjudicator”.

  13. I worked 20 years plus with this company. The company fired me because I did not meet their performance. Can I eligible for unemployment benefit?

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

  14. So I work at a convenient store and had recent knee surgery and my store manager asked me if she could get some of my narcotic medication and I told her no. Multiple employees heard the incident and it was reported to vp and hr of the company and they refuse to drug test her and my witnesses haven’t been questioned about the ordeal. They also refuse to drug test her and said any drugs in her system are irrelevant. If they don’t get rid of her and she continues to make remarks like I’m faking my knee issues is there anything I can do? I have all documentation of conversations. Would I be eligible for unemployment? Any info is greatly appreciated

    1. Chris,

      If you’re inquiring about resigning and claiming UI benefits, I suggest you tread carefully unless you’re being threatened by your colleague in question. Before making a decision about your employment, please call and speak the Unemployment Office and take their opinion.

  15. My employer is going to miss payroll this week. They cannot give me a timeline for when they will be able to pay me. If I quit after they miss payroll will I qualify for UI?

  16. 8 year term employee working in Michigan but have residence in Oklahoma. My term is not being renewed. Do I qualify for Oklahoma UI?

  17. I was laid off after 22 years on March 2018 but was able to find employment elsewhere. Unfortunately it is not working out. My medical has gotten worse and would like to given my two weeks notice. If I do will I be able to draw unemployment from the company that laid me off.

    1. Alicia,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for more information.

  18. We hired a young lady for an office position. She on her phone a lot. I have spoken to her about this twice and while I was on vacation, my old boss filled in, and she did the same thing. I spoke to her and explained to her this job might not be the right fit for her, we are a very small company 5 employees total, and she seemed to do better for a couple of days, but I just don’t think this is going to work out. She has been here eight weeks. We have a probationary period of 120 days. If we let her go, can she file for unemployment benefits against us this early in the job?

    1. Jeanie,

      I am not completely sure of the time frame. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to find out the procedure as it differs from one state to another.

  19. I worked for the state 9 years. Child welfare [Foster Care/Adoption] has changed so much with too much work it is very hard to complete on time without mistakes. Due to medication changes add that on the job stress I made a big mistake. I was told that I could give 2 weeks notice and submit a letter of resignation or be fired. I was on FMLA and my doctor said I was unable to make critical decisions due to type of medication. I worked average 50 hours a week but off to doctor visits frequently. Due I qualify for unemployment insurance? I am 61 years old.

    1. Moninya,

      I am not sure if you can claim for loss of employment due to personal reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for a detailed discussion.

  20. I worked for a company for 14 years and in 2017 came down with labrinthitus and could not drive, tolerate noise, light from computer screen and had difficulty concentrating and reading. I went on FMLA and steadily began to improve and started working part time on my low light iPad from home. My manager assured me everything was okay, saying my job Could be done remotely. This went on for months until 1 day HR called and told me my FMLA was up and in 2 days I was finished working. They gave me the option of either filing for disability and if denied I’d loose my medical insurance or I could retire and keep it. I had to keep my insurance so I was forced to quit. Would I qualify for unemployment?

    1. Dawn,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to discuss further.

  21. I worked for a private college that informed us in a meeting on June 28th that the campus where I worked would close its doors in July, and as of the 28th, would not be accepting any new students; we received this same information in writing. We were informed that current students and some employees at that campus, would be transitioned to one of the other two campuses. We were also told that the Executive Director would meet with each one of us regarding our individual situations. I was informed that afternoon, that my position was being eliminated and there was not another position for me to transition into. I applied for UI benefits the week of July 1st. I was informed by UI that there is a pending issue on my claim because I worked for an educational institution. I will not be returning to work for that employer due to the campus closure and lack of work. Will I receive my benefits soon? It’s been two weeks and I’m having a hard time finding another job relative to the one I lost. Thanks!

    1. Rebecca,

      I think they should approve your claim considering the information provided. Please chase the Claims Center at regular intervals for an update on claim status.

  22. I’m having a hard pregnancy. My doctor but me on a no heavy lifting restriction. My job is making me taking a leave of absence. Can I apply?

    1. Natasha,

      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.

  23. My husband has worked for a public school system for 23 years. Last week he was sent a letter stating that his job is being eliminated because they are outsourcing the maintenance department effective June 30th. Since he only works monday through thursday his last day was yesterday, June 28th. Does he have to wait until after the 30th to file?

  24. I left two weeks of deposit in my car and was took by a person i bought car from because car was still in his name. Cops said i do a thing because car was still in his name and we asked cop if we could retrive the deposit and owener said we could look thew car, there was nothing thier. I took owener to court and only received 2000 cars worth with proof of title being notary signed, judge said no proof he took money. So work fired me for unproper handling of company money and not making weekly deposit which i can prove i many deposit every two week for a year.Will i be denied?

    1. Mike,

      Most likely, you might be denied since the whole situation might go against you until you have sufficient proof otherwise.

  25. I accepted a job that starts in 2 weeks. How do I file since I will still not be working for two weeks, but will begin full time in two weeks? Thank you for any help.

  26. My company just informed us with he have a 60 day transition before they are shutting us down. I tried to fill out unemployment for the last day, which will be 07/31/18 and it would not let me. Is this something I will have to wait for until I am no longer working, or can I put it in now for that time.

  27. Okay here’s my issue. I work for a company that is cotracted by a university. I experience lay offs throughout the year. I have been with the company for 3 years now and just recently I’ve been laid off for the summer. My problem is when I filed my claim this time I was denied because I have a return to work date in which I always have a return to work date when I’m laid off. So I’m wondering if this is a knew law because as I stated I’ve worked for the same company for three years and this has never been an issue.

  28. I just found out my employer is eliminating my position and the position they have offered is a 25% pay cut. Do I qualify for unemployment while looking for a new position?

    1. Jodi,

      Not accepting it may be considered voluntary on your part. Please call the Unemployment Office for a detailed discussion.

  29. I am a manager at my store with a over store manager that makes the scheduling and does the paper work which I will be doing when she leaves but she is training someone else because she does not want me to be manager she has cut my hours and has written me up for things that are not right, like mopping to early, I also think that there might be something illegal goin on there if I quit without a two week notice would I qualify for unemployment

    1. Kat,

      If you can prove these misdeeds at work, you can be eligible. Please tread carefully and make sure to consult the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  30. I am a military spouse (currently stationed at TAFB in OK) and have held my current job for 3 1/2 years. We just received order to WA in August. Can I apply for unemployment for resigning from my job with good cause when we are getting ready to PCS?

  31. 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

    1. Amy,

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

  32. I was terminated (wrongfully) over something I published on facebook, that had nothing to do with my job/company. Am I eligible for unemployment?
    *Side note* However, old co-workers that still work for that company post offensive things about their job/company and still have their job.

    1. Val,

      If you can prove you were terminated wrongfully, you can claim UI benefits. Please gather supporting paperwork and consider applying.

  33. 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?

    1. Brandi,

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

  34. 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.

    1. Joe,

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

  35. 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?

  36. 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?

    1. Victoria,

      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.

  37. 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?

  38. 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?

    1. Samantha,

      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.

  39. 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?

    1. Melanie,

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

  40. 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

    1. Stephan,

      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.

  41. 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

    1. Steve,

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

  42. 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.

    1. Angela,

      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.

  43. 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?

    1. Joe,

      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.

  44. 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?

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

  45. 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?

    1. Jennifer,

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

  46. 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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