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OESC Provides Information to Help Claimants File for New Benefit Year

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Oklahomans Who Filed for Unemployment Benefits in March 2020 Should Reapply for Benefits

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans who began receiving unemployment benefits in March 2020 may need to reapply when their 52-week benefit year expires, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC). OESC wants to ensure Oklahomans receiving unemployment benefits are aware of the benefit year expiration timeline and have the information they need to determine their status and whether reapplying is necessary. 

Once a claimant files for unemployment, their 52-week benefit year begins. When the pandemic began in March 2020, and over the early months of the pandemic, the employment of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans was impacted, requiring them to file for unemployment assistance. Now, many Oklahomans may be reaching the end of their benefit year in the coming weeks. 

“We know we have a number of Oklahomans who initially filed at the beginning of the pandemic and who may still be in need of unemployment benefits,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “It’s important for those claimants to check the online portal to see if they need to reapply to continue receiving state and federal benefits. If a claimant does not reapply for benefits, they will stop receiving them once their benefit year expires.”

Oklahomans who are currently receiving benefits can find the start date of their claims by reviewing initial determination documents in their claims portal or on ui.ok.gov. Claimants may also receive a notice in their accounts when filing a weekly claim. To reapply for benefits, claimants should visit ui.ok.gov and follow the instructions to start a Traditional Unemployment Compensation application.

With the federal relief packages and extensions, there are many nuances to eligibility. Claimants on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) can visit OESC’s website to find the frequently asked questions that provide details depending on the claimant’s specific situation. Claimants are encouraged to visit https://oklahoma.gov/oesc/individuals/faqs.html for more details.