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Applying for Oklahoma Unemployment Benefits

Ten Things You Need to Know

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Applying for Oklahoma Unemployment Benefits
Photo: Comstock / Getty Images
1.) To Qualify: Basic eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma center around your previous earnings. Determine how much in wages you earned in the year prior to the beginning of the most recent completed calendar quarter. A calendar quarter is three months (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sept, Oct-Dec).

For example: If you will be filing in April, you look at the previous completed calendar quarter (which would end March 31st) and count back one year from its beginning (January 1st).

You are eligible if, in that time, you earned at least $1500 from an insured employer and your total wages are at least 1.5 times your highest calendar quarter.

2.) Quitting Your Job: One of the most popular questions is whether someone who has quit their job is eligible to receive unemployment. The short answer is no. Leaving a job voluntarily will not allow you to receive benefits unless you can show there was a very good cause.

3.) Must Be Looking For Work: To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be available and actively seeking work.

4.) Other Eligibility Requirements: You will likely be denied unemployment benefits if you were fired for misconduct, have limited hours you can work, are not authorized to work in the US or are involved in a strike.

5.) Living Out of State: Unemployed individuals outside of Oklahoma can still apply for Oklahoma benefits but only on wages earned in the state of Oklahoma.

6.) Benefit Amounts: Oklahoma figures weekly benefit amounts by taking 1/23rd of your highest earnings over the "first four of the last five completed calendar quarters." The amount can never exceed $392 weekly and cannot be less that $16.

7.) Benefit Period: If approved, unemployment benefits can be paid until the total reaches the lesser of 26 times your weekly amount, 25% of the average annual wage or 50% of your wages.

8.) Application Procedure: Application for unemployment benefits can be done online at www.unemployment.ok.gov or by calling (405) 525-1500 in OKC (1-800-555-1554 elsewhere).

When applying, have ready your social security number or driver's license number, the physical information of your last employer and the dates during which you worked there.

9.) Filing Claims: If approved, you must file weekly claims. They must be filed within 14 days of the week ending date. Weeks are Sunday through Saturday.

Claims, like your application, can be filed online or by calling (405) 525-1500 in OKC (1-800-555-1554 elsewhere) only from 8am-4pm, Monday through Friday.

10.) Wages During Unemployment: All wages earned while unemployed must be reported when filing your weekly claim. The income affects your benefit amount.

And Just a Bit More Information... It is a good idea to file immediately upon becoming unemployed. The sooner you file, the sooner you'll begin receiving your benefits. There is a "waiting week" the first week of unemployment in which no benefits can be paid.

If you need more information than is provided here, get in touch with the Unemployment Service Center at (405) 525-1500 in OKC (1-800-555-1554 elsewhere).

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