Oklahoma Unemployment Extension
During hard economic times, the United States federal government and Oklahoma state government sometimes offer extended unemployment benefits programs in addition to regular unemployment compensation. These extended unemployment benefit programs usually occur during times of high unemployment, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States Department of Labor also offers disaster unemployment assistance to any state where the president has declared an emergency. Right now, the Oklahoma state government is not offering any additional benefit programs other than regular unemployment benefits. However, in the past, extended unemployment benefits have been available in the form of pandemic assistance and disaster relief.
American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, further extended benefits already extended by the Continued Assistance Act and put into place by the CARES Act. ARPA was effective from 3/14/21 to 9/4/21 at the federal level, but the state of Oklahoma ended them on 6/26/21.
During this time period, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation gave an additional $300 to a person’s weekly claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation was given to individuals who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was granted to individuals such as gig workers who are normally not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits.
Continued Assistance Act
The Continued Assistance Act (CAA) modified and added an 11-week extension to the three federal unemployment programs put into place by the CARES Act: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
Under the CAA Act, FPUC benefits were reduced to $300 per week instead of the original $600. The CAA Act also established the Mixed Earners Compensation program (MEUC) which gave an extra $100 weekly benefit to “mixed earners” who receive unemployment insurance benefits and at least $5,000 from a side gig or business. In Oklahoma, the Continued Assistance Act ran from 12/27/20 to 3/13/21.
The CARES Act established three federal extended unemployment benefits programs: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). FPUC and PEUC were effective from 3/29/20 to 7/25/20.
FPUC granted an extra $600 weekly benefit to every unemployed worker in the program. PEUC gave up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to individuals who exhausted regular Oklahoma unemployment benefits. PUA was effective from 2/2/20 to 12/26/20. The PUA program gave 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals as well as contract and gig workers who normally don’t qualify for unemployment compensation.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Eligibility
PUA, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, was a federal extended unemployment benefits program that provided unemployment benefits to citizens who do not meet the Oklahoma unemployment eligibility requirements under normal circumstances. Gig workers, contract workers, and self-employed individuals affected by the pandemic were eligible for PUA.
The program was created by the CARES Act and was initially effective from 2/2/20 to 12/26/20. An extension was provided by the CAA Act for 12/27/20 to 3/13/21. The federal American Rescue Act Plan further extended PUA benefits from 3/14/21 to 9/4/21, but the Oklahoma state government opted to end the program on 6/26/21.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Eligibility
Another federal extended unemployment program was PEUC, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (also referred to as Emergency Unemployment Compensation or EUC.) PEUC benefits were unemployment benefits given to unemployment insurance claimants who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits.
The PEUC program was established by the CARES Act from 3/29/20 to 12/26/20. The CAA Act extended PEUC from 12/27/20 to 3/13/21. An additional extension from 3/14/21 to 9/4/21 was provided by the ARP Act, but the Oklahoma state government stopped benefits early on 6/26/21.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Eligibility
FPUC, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (also referred to as Federal Additional Compensation or FAC) was another federal extended unemployment program put into place by the CARES Act. FPUC gave an extra $600 weekly benefit on top of regular state unemployment compensation, which can be calculated for the state of Oklahoma using an Oklahoma unemployment calculator, to individuals on unemployment from 3/29/20 to 7/25/20. The CAA and ARP Acts reduced the additional weekly claims amount to $300 and extended FPUC from 12/27/20 to 6/26/20.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation Eligibility
MEUC, Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, was established by the CAA Act. It added an additional $100 weekly benefit to unemployment insurance claimants who earned a minimum of $5,000 from a side gig or side business in the calendar year prior to filling out their unemployment claim. Unemployed individuals in Oklahoma who were eligible to receive MEUC were mailed a letter from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission with instructions on how to apply and receive compensation from the program. The deadline for application ended 1/14/22.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
When there is a natural disaster, the United States Department of Labor offers lost wages assistance to jobless workers affected by the event. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, or DUA, grants unemployment benefits to people who lose their job or have their work interrupted directly because of a major disaster. To qualify for DUA benefits, you must be an unemployed worker as a result of a disaster declared a national emergency by the President. You also must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
Eligible individuals will receive DUA compensation if they lose their job because of a major disaster, cannot work because of an injury related to the disaster, are unable to contact their workplace because of the event, cannot work because of damage to the workplace, or become the head of household as a result of death of the former head of household whose death was connected to the disaster. If a presidentially-declared major disaster occurs in Oklahoma, it will be announced on the state’s website. From there, you can find instructions on how to apply for DUA benefits and receive unemployment payments.
Currently, there are no Oklahoma unemployment extension programs in effect. In stressful financial times where there is a high unemployment rate and when there is a major disaster, additional federal unemployment benefits and state extended benefits may become available
Extended Unemployment Compensation
Extended unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits are a federal government program that continues benefits after regular state benefits have been exhausted. There are up to 4 tiers which depend on the unemployment rate of the state. Currently, 2 tiers are available in the state of Oklahoma –
Tier 1 EUC
Tier 2 EUC
Extended Unemployment Compensation benefit claims may now be filed through December 28, 2013. No new Tier 1 EUC claims may be filed after December 28, 2013.
Anyone who establishes a Tier 1 or 2 EUC claim on or after March 23rd will be required to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Required to register with Employment Services.
- Actively search for work and make appropriate employer contacts in light of the labor market, and your skills and capabilities.
- Maintain a detailed record of your contacts.
- Provide your work search records to the state upon request.
Attend Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment Activities at your Workforce Oklahoma office which will include –
- Labor market and career information
- An assessment of your skills
- Orientation to the services available through the Workforce office; and
- Review of your eligibility for EUC benefits relating to your job search activities.
Extended Benefits (EB) – Program Ended
Under federal law, EUC benefits are no longer available.
Extensions for collecting UI payments are in effect only during periods of high unemployment and only if the state or federal government take specific action to provide extended benefits.