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Applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available for those who were impacted by the severe weather that occurred on April 25, 2024 through May 9, 2024 in Carter, Craig, Hughes, Johnston, Kay, Lincoln, Love, McClain, Murray, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Washington, and Washita counties. The deadline to submit a claim for DUA 4776 is July 1, 2024. Applications submitted after that date will be considered untimely unless the individual provides good cause for filing after the deadline. All individuals must file an unemployment insurance claim at For more information or questions, individuals can call the Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500 or visit one of the OESC’s field offices.

Employee Separation

Visit our Employee Separations page for more information on this topic.

When an unemployment claim is filed by an individual, a "Notice of Application for Unemployment Compensation" (OES-617) is mailed to the separating employer. Employers can also access our new Employer Portal and receive electronic notifications whenever a new OES-617 is issued.

The separating employer is a claimant's most recent employer before they filed for unemployment benefits.

A base period employer is any employer that reported wages on their quarterly report for the claimant in question during the claimant's base period. The base period is the first four of the previous five completed calendar quarters from when the claimant filed their initial claim. This means employers may receive a notice for a former employee who separated anytime during the previous year and a half.

Only the separating employer may protest or respond to the "Notice of Application for Unemployment Compensation" (OES-617). Separating employers must respond to a notice within 10 days of the mailing date to retain protest rights to future activity against their account regarding the claimant in question. 

Protests/responses may be submitted by completing our Employer Response Form or your own formal correspondence, and submitted via FAX or mail.

FAX: 405-962-7524

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
ATTN: Unemployment Service Center
PO Box 52006
Oklahoma City, OK 73152. 

If an employee works full-time (i.e., 32 hours or more per week), but has their hours reduced to less than 32 per week, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If they are eligible for benefits, they must report any earnings the week they are earned. Earnings over $100 are deducted from the individual's unemployment benefits. Subsequently, if the individual earns $100 more during a week than the weekly benefit amount, no benefits will be paid. 

If an employee is temporarily laid off (i.e., has a return-to-work date within eight weeks of the last day worked), they may be eligible for unemployment benefits. The eight week return-to-work date normally suspends the work registration and work search requirements.

It would depend on why they quit. Various sections of the Oklahoma Security Act may apply. You can access the most recent Oklahoma Employment Security Act on our Policies page. Sections 2-404, 2-404.1, 2-404.2 and 2-210 all cover various situations surrounding voluntarily quitting a job. If the claimant can show good cause for quitting, benefits will be allowed. Section 2-405 provides a list of good cause reasons. Section 2-210 indicates: if the claimant quit on the advice of a doctor, to relocate with a spouse who has accepted employment outside of commuting distance or quits due to domestic violence or abuse benefits will be allowed. In the 2-210 situations, benefit wage charges may be waived provided the employer protests the payment of benefits and protests the benefit wage charge. 

To learn more about mass claims and the requirements to submit one, visit our Employee Separations page.

Pursuant to Okla. Stat. tit. 40, § 1-210 and Okla. Admin Code 240:10-1-7, services performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to the Employment Security Act of 1980 if the services are performed by the individual in an employer-employee relationship with the employer by using the 20-factor test used by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of Treasury in Revenue Ruling 87-41, 1987-1 C.B. 296.

While each of these cases are fact-specific and not one single factor is determinative of the classification of employee or independent contractor, the following bullet points provide a helpful reference.

Employee Independent Contractor
Working for someone else's business Running their own business
Paid hourly, salary or by piece rate Paid upon completion of a project
Uses employer's materials, tools and equipment Provides own materials, tools and equipment
Typically works for one employer Works with multiple clients
Continuing relationship with the employer Temporary relationship until project completed
Employer decides when and how the work will be performed Decides when and how they will perform the work
Employer assigns the work to be performed Decides what work they will do

Benefit Wage Charges

Visit our Contribution Rates page for more information about Benefit Wage Charges.

If a claimant is allowed benefits based on the reason for separation from the most recent employer at the time an initial claim was filed, and a valid benefit year is established, a "Notice of Benefit Wages" (OES-502) is mailed to each base period employer showing the amount of base period wages being charged. This form is sent after the claimant is issued their fifth week of unemployment benefits in the benefit year.

Employers can also access our new Employer Portal and receive electronic notifications whenever a new OES-502 is issued.

Benefit wage charges are the taxable base period wages reported by an employer to OESC through the quarterly wage reports. Benefit wage charges are used to create an employer's benefit wage ratio, which is used to calculate an employer's annual contribution rate. 

Once a benefit wage charge is applied to the account, it will remain for three calendar years before it is removed from your annual rate calculation.

Employers who wish to protest a “Notice of Benefit Wages” (OES-502) must do so within 20 days of the mailing date on the notice. Protest can be submitted online through our new Employer Portal. Employer representatives can also sign-up to receive electronic notifications for future notices; although, the paper notices will still be mailed.

The second option is completing and submitting a Benefit Wage Charge Protest Form (OES-502P), which can be faxed, mailed, or emailed.

Each employer who has reported wages on their quarterly report for the claimant in question during the claimant's base period* will receive a "Notice of Benefit Wages" (OES-502). This means employers may receive a notice for a former employee who separated anytime during the previous year and a half.

*The base period is the first four of the previous five completed calendar quarters (appx. first 12 of the previous 15 months).

Employers may receive one of two notices.

  • A "Notice of Cancellation of Benefit Wages" is issued if the base period charge has been canceled and will not be used in computing the employer's annual contribution rate. 
  • A "Notice of Determination to Base Period Employer" is issuedif the base period charge will remain and be used to compute the rate. 

Employers have the right to appeal this determination in writing within 20 days from the date the determination was mailed.

Contribution Rates

Visit our Contribution Rates page for more information on this topic.

This notice is sent at the end of September each year and includes your rate for the upcoming calendar year. 

If there are any significant changes to your account (i.e., increase in unemployment benefits claimed against your account, adjustments to the taxable wages, removal of a benefit wage charge, etc.) additional notices will be mailed for each year that has a rate impacted by the change.

You can protest both the annual and daily rate notices; although, errors in the computation of rates are very rare. If you wish to protest a rate, you can do so by completing an Employer Contribution Rate Protest Form (OES-048P) within 20 days of the notice issue date. If a protest is submitted after 20 days, it will be denied.

State law does not allow for a reduction of employers' rates. A rate protest can only challenge benefit wage ratio calculations and timely taxable wage numbers.

The best way to keep rates low are to respond to all notices, review determinations, submit quarterly contribution reports and pay the applicable tax in a timely manner.

To aid in this effort, OESC now offers electronic notices and response options for all "Notice of Application for Unemployment Compensation" (OES-617) and "Notice of Benefit Wage Charges" (OES-048), which allows employers to receive and respond to notices online within minutes. To access these features, employers will need to utilize the new OESC Employer Portal. Employers must login to their EZ Tax Express account first to get started.

All new employers will start out at a rate of 1.5% until they build an experience history of at least four quarters within a rate cycle.

Established employers who have filed four consecutive no-wage reports will revert to the new employer rate during the next calendar year.

Employers can pay their balance through our EZ Tax Express portal.

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