FILING THE CLAIM:
When to file your claim: Claims cannot be filed until the separation occurs.
How to file your claim: Claims can be filed one of two ways.
1. By telephone: Call 525-1500 (inside OKC) or 1-800-555-1554 (outside OKC)
2. By Internet: www.unemployment.ok.gov.
Due to the high unemployment rate the quicker of the two methods will be to file by
The first call/contact you make will establish the claim. This gives the claim an effective
date and sets the benefit amounts. Claims are effective the week you make the initial call.
Claims will not be backdated.
When you file you will be asked a series of questions. This will include personal
information such as name, SSN, address, etc… and information relating to your ability to
work and past employment.
If you are filing by telephone, do not hang up until the claims taker advises you the claim
If you are filing by internet, do not disconnect until you are given a claim complete
message. If you exit the application before the claim is complete you will not be allowed
to file weekly certifications for payment.
You must meet two requirements in order to be monetarily eligible for unemployment
1. Earned at least $1500 during the base period.
2. Total wages must equal or exceed 1 ½ times your high quarter of unemployment
The base period: The base period is the time period we use to determine your monetary
eligibility for unemployment benefits. We always use the first four of the last five
completed calendar quarters. For example, if a claim is filed before April 2nd, 2011 (the
last day of the first quarter for 2011) the base period will be October, 2009 through
The monetary determination: A monetary determination will be issued to you once the
claim is filed. This determination will only reflect wages earned by you from Oklahoma
employers subject to unemployment tax. If you had earnings during the base period that
have not been reported on the monetary determination you need to notify the
Unemployment Claim Center in your area by using one of the numbers listed above. This
includes wages earned in another state, while in military service or while working for the
The monetary determination will also provide information regarding your weekly and
maximum benefit amounts. The highest weekly benefit amount for any initial claim filed
after 1-1-2011 is $358 per week and $7400 maximum. (This would require a high quarter
of $8234 or $2745 per month on average to qualify for the high WBA)
Be sure to review the monetary determination for discrepancies. Remember, this will
only reflect wages earned in Oklahoma. If you worked out of state or for the military or
federal government, or if you have missing Oklahoma wages, contact the Service Center
at the telephone number listed above and file a wage objection.
The waiting period: Every individual has to serve a one-week waiting period. This is the
first allowable week of a claim. For example, if you have been denied for a week due to
receipt of severance, the waiting period week will be the first week after the severance
Your claim is good for a one-year period of time. This means that if you go back to work
in three weeks then lose that job some time within the one-year period of time you will
reopen your existing claim. However, the benefits available will not last for an entire
year. You have one year to draw out the maximum benefit amount. For example, if you
were eligible for the maximum amounts of $358 and $7400 you would draw benefits for
Extended benefits: The federal government has been providing federal extended benefit
payments to individuals who have exhausted their state unemployment (UI) claims. The
parent state unemployment insurance claim must be exhausted before a request can be
made for the federal extended benefits. There are a total of 3 tiers of federal extended
benefits for which an individual may be eligible. To be eligible for the federal extension
the individual must have exhausted state benefits, or Tier 1 or 2 of the federal extension,
on or prior to week ending date 12-24-2011. No payment will be made on any extended
benefit claim after week ending 6-9-12. All regular UI requirements, such as being able
and available for work and losing your job through no fault of your own, apply to the
Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) payments: The FAC program is not
available for any new claim filed after 6-2-10. The last payment date for this program
was 12-11-10. It has not been extended.
Weekly Certification: After your claim is established you must file weekly certifications
in order to request payment for each week. Weeks run from Sunday to Saturday and the
weekly certification cannot be filed until after the week has passed. For example: Let’s
say your claim is effective Sunday, April 3rd. The first weekly certification you can file is
for week ending Saturday, April 9th. You cannot file for that week until Sunday, April
10th but you must file it no later than 14 days from the week ending date. In this scenario
the weekly certification must be filed no later than April 23rd.
You must file a weekly certification for any week that you wish to receive payment.
Untimely weeks will not be paid.
Remember, the first allowable week is considered a waiting period week and you will not
be paid for that week.
If you have worked during the week you are claiming you MUST report all wages earned
during the week in which the wages were earned, not the week in which they were paid.
Debit Cards: Oklahoma no longer issues paper checks. When a claim is filed you have
to options for payment, either by Debit Card or by Direct Deposit.
If you elect to receive payment by debit card, no action is necessary. When your waiting
period week is processed you will be mailed a debit card. You must then activate it when
your first payment is loaded onto the card. You have received a handout regarding the
Direct Deposit: If you elect to have your payments direct deposited you will need to call
1-866-320-8699 and tell the operator that you would like to enroll in direct deposit. You
will then complete the form and mail it or fax it back. The direct deposit information is
on the same handout that contains debit card information.
NOTE: Do not call to obtain direct deposit information until after 10:00 on the first
working day after your claim is filed. If you call too early the company handling the
direct deposit will not have your claims information.
Can I work and draw unemployment: Yes, provided your work is less than full-time
and you report all earnings during the week they are earned. There will be a certain
amount of your weekly earnings that will not be deducted from your unemployment
check but after that amount is reached the earnings will be deducted dollar for dollar.
Again, you must report all earnings from any source during the week in which they are
earned, not paid.
Work search requirements: All individuals, with the exceptions of those in approved
training, must search for work. We require two work search contacts each week benefits
are claimed. These contacts will be kept in the Information for Workers Who are
Unemployed booklets that you will receive in the mail once the claim is filed. Any
individual who is considering approved training will still be required to make work
search contacts up until the week the training begins. Work search can be done in person,
by resume, telephone, fax or email.
The OES 339 Information for workers who are unemployed booklet: This booklet
will be mailed to everyone who files a claim. It contains a brief summary of our rules for
individuals who are filing claims as well as instructions for filing claims along with
pertinent telephone numbers and email addresses. It also contains the work search forms
to record your weekly work searches.
Approved Training: If your training is approved you are not required to make work
search contacts but you must attend class each week and your counselor must complete a
Progress in Training form each week. You will not receive benefits for any week that you
did not make satisfactory progress in training. Contact your local Workforce Oklahoma
office to see if your training can be approved.
Individuals who are not approved for training may still attend school. However, if school
is a barrier to re-employment you will be denied benefits. For example, if you are taking
classes during your normal work hours and you are unwilling to withdraw from school or
re-arrange your classes if suitable work is offered, you will be denied benefits.
Severance, retirement and other payments: If you are entitled to receive severance
pay, retirement pay, bonus or other payments, these payments may be deducted from
your unemployment insurance claim.
Severance payments will only be deducted when you receive the check.
Retirement paid in a lump sum is only deductible during the week of receipt but
retirement paid on a continuing basis will be deducted each week on a dollar by dollar
basis. Retirement is deductible if the employer contributed to the retirement account.
Bonus payments are deductible during the week in which they are received. All of these
payments must be reported when you file your claim and also on the weekly claim filing.
401K’s that are rolled over within 60 days are not deductible. However, if the 401K is
withdrawn or not rolled over within sixty days it is deductible during the week of receipt.
You must be able and available the majority of the week to remain eligible for benefits.
Registering for work: Oklahoma no longer requires that you register for work with our
agency at the time the claim is filed. However, it is strongly suggested that you do so and
that you take advantage of any placement services offered. If you are selected to attend an
orientation group or a job search workshop you will be required to register for work.
Failure to do so will result in a denial of benefits.
Availability issues: You must be able and available for work each week that you claim
benefits. If, for some reason, you find yourself unable to work or unavailable for work
stop filing your claim. When your circumstances change and you are able to work or
available for work contact the Commission and re-open your claim.
This is a screen shot for those filing by internet.
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