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OESC Distributes Unemployment Benefits Under New Relief Bill

Monday, March 22, 2021

Eligible Oklahoma Claimants Receive Benefits the First Week They are Available

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) paid out the federal unemployment benefits that were extended as a result of the COVID-19 relief bill, American Rescue Plan (ARP), on Monday, March 22. Payments come just 11 days after President Biden signed the ARP, meaning OESC is distributing benefits to claimants the first week they are available.

“OESC paid out benefits to more than 63,000 claimants totaling more than $46 million on the first day payments could be distributed without a delay in payments from the previous benefits package, which is a first for the agency. I want to recognize the incredible hard work and dedication of our team members,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “This turnaround time is an impressive accomplishment, especially considering the agency's 40-year-old technology. Our team came up with innovative solutions based on our experience with implementing the previous COVID relief packages to significantly reduce the implementation time for distributing these benefits. We are thrilled that we were able to get these payments to claimants in such a short timeframe.” 

The new COVID-19 relief bill, ARP, extends federal unemployment benefits, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through Sept. 6, 2021. 

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