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American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) added an extension to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims that increases the number of benefit weeks available and extends the effective dates of these programs from 3/14/21 to 9/4/21.
This legislation also extended the $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) weekly benefit for all claim types. Unlike the Lost Wage Assistance Program (LWA) that ran between 8/1/20 and 9/5/20, these FPUC payments do not require the $100 minimum benefit amount. Claimants receiving any amount of benefits from UI, PEUC, or PUA are eligible for the weekly $300 for FPUC.
This legislation picks up where the Continued Assistance Act left off, which ended 3/13/21. Individuals can begin receiving the new ARP benefits beginning 3/14/21. Under this legislation, the last week of unemployment for FPUC, PEUC, and PUA is the benefit week ending 9/4/21. There is no phase-out period under the American Rescue Plan.
Claimants do not have to file a new initial claim to receive these extended benefits. To receive these benefits, individuals only need to continue filing weekly claims.
The only time an individual needs to file a new initial claim is at the end of their benefit year if they are receiving traditional UI or the PEUC extension. If there is a new separating employer, different than the separating employer listed on the previous initial claim, a new UI claim may be established. If the separating employer is the same as the previous initial claim, the claimant may be put back on the PEUC claim.
Those who are filing PUA will not need to file a new initial claim, and only need to continue filing weekly claims. At the end of each quarter, the system will check if the PUA claimant is eligible for regular UI, and if so the claimant may be switched to a UI claim. More information about your benefit year is available in the “claim support” section of this FAQ.
All claim types (UI, PEUC, and PUA) are eligible for the $300 weekly benefit payment. Individuals must receive at least $1 in benefits from UI, PEUC, or PUA to then receive the additional $300.
OESC implemented the new ARP program the first week it was effective, which began 3/14/21. This means claimants experienced no gap in receiving benefits.
Continued Assistance Act
The Continued Assistance Act (CAA) included an extension for PEUC and PUA, as well as a new round of FPUC benefits.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) has both been extended up to 11 weeks, and were available between 12/27/20 and 3/13/21.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) was also included in this legislation which provided an additional $300 weekly federal benefit for all claim types for up to 11 weeks between 12/27/20 and 3/13/21.
This legislation also included a new program called "Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation" which adds an additional $100 weekly federal benefit for "mixed earners" that are UI claimants who received at least $5,000 in wages from a side gig or business. OESC will post additional FAQs when more information is available for this program.
This legislation picks up where the CARES Act left off, which ended 12/26/20. CAA benefits were available 12/27/20 through 3/13/21.
All active claim types, including regular UI, PEUC, and PUA, are eligible for this $300 weekly federal benefit. FPUC does not have the same minimum benefit threshold as the previous LWA program; claimants receiving any amount of benefits will be eligible for FPUC on top of their weekly amount for that claim week.
Possible proof of employment includes:
- Paycheck stubs
- Earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address
- W2 forms
Proof of self-employment:
- State or federal employer identification numbers
- Business licenses
- Tax returns
- Business receipts
- Signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations
Proof of employment with organizations such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and educational or religious organizations includes:
- The documentation provided by these organizations
- Signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations
Proof of planned commencement of employment:
- Letters offering employment
- Statements/affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment
Proof of the planned commencement of self-employment includes:
- Business licenses
- State or Federal employer Identification Numbers
- Written business plans
- Lease agreement
For new PUA claims filed on or after January 31, 2021, individuals had 21 days to submit proof of employment. For continued PUA claims that were effective prior to January 31, 2021, individuals had 90 days to submit proof of employment.
Yes, under the new CAA legislation, all PUA claimants must submit or resubmit proof of employment.
OESC has a dedicated phone support line to assist individuals with questions about their IRS tax form 1099-G. This support line is for information about your 1099-G tax form, but will not provide tax advice or assistance with filing your taxes. Before calling, we encourage claimants to review the frequently asked questions below.
Yes, all unemployment benefits (including UI, SEB, PEUC, FPUC, and PUA) are taxable income that must be reported on your federal and state tax returns. If you received unemployment benefits in 2020, you will receive a 1099-G tax form from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. When you file for unemployment, you have the option to choose to have taxes taken out at the time benefits are paid. If you opt to have the deductions taken out of your unemployment benefits, the standard deduction used is 10% for Federal taxes, and 3% for State taxes.
Your 1099-G reflects the total amount paid to you or on your behalf. This includes child support deductions as well as benefits used to offset any overpayment(s) during the 2020 tax year.
Additionally, if you received unemployment benefits between March 29 and July 25 of 2020, the $600 FPUC payment was added to your weekly benefit amount.
Similarly, if you received unemployment benefits between August 1 and September 5 of 2020, you may have the $300 LWA payments added to your weekly benefit amount.
Your total unemployment benefits for the year add up quickly. Before calling OESC, carefully review and add up all benefits you received from all programs and before any deductions. After reviewing your tax form, if you feel the information is incorrect, please submit a 1099-G form inquiry through our Virtual Agent found in the bottom right corner of the screen. Follow the prompt, then select "Claimant" and then "1099-G Form Inquiry". If you have additional or general questions, call the hotline OESC has available for 1099 inquiries at 405-521-6099.
All 1099-G forms were mailed out by January 28, 2021. Please allow time to receive this form in the mail at the address you have on file with us. You can also access an electronic version available to view and print at https://unemployment.state.ok.us.
If you received unemployment benefits in 2020, but did not receive a 1099-G form in the mail, or can’t access it online, please call the available hotline at 405-521-6099 or submit a 1099-G form inquiry through our Virtual Agent found in the bottom right corner of the screen. Follow the prompts, then select "Claimant" and then "1099-G Form Inquiry".
If you received a 1099-G form, and didn’t file for unemployment benefits in 2020 which leads you to believe you are the victim of fraud or identity theft, you may call OESC’s available hotline at 405-521-6099 to flag the fraudulent case or submit a 1099-G form inquiry through our Virtual Agent found in the bottom right corner of the screen. Follow the prompts, then select "Claimant" and then "1099-G Form Inquiry".
Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service has provided resources to help you navigate this issue. You will find detailed information on what steps you should take by accessing the following link: Employment Related Identity Theft | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)
Online Identity Verification
All claimants filing unemployment must verify their identity. Those filing on UI.ok.gov may verify online, while all others must verify in-person or via fax. Online identity verification must be completed every 90 days. If you are unable to verify online, visit one of our local Oklahoma Works offices. Individuals using the automated phone system, or the old website with the blue and grey header, to file weekly claims are NOT required to verify their identity online at this time, but must still submit ID's in-person or via fax.
To further protect your personal information and prevent fraud, we have implemented this identity verification security feature.
Visit a local library or other public facility with computer access, or your nearest Oklahoma Works office for computer access. Also, identity verification is available and optimized for mobile devices, so you can use your smartphone or tablet to verify your identity.
- Take a picture with a phone or tablet and upload directly into the application
- Use a digital camera to take your picture, or use saved photos on your computer or even social media (ensuring it fits the guidelines).
- If scanning IDs on a printer, you will need to save them as a JPG/JPEG or PNG format. Depending on your printer, you may need to convert from a PDF to these required formats.
Accepted Forms of ID Online
- Driver’s License from any US State
- State-issued Identification Card
- Resident Card / Green Card
Invalid Forms of ID Online
- ID not issued by the US
- Letter of introduction
- ID without a photo
- Military ID
- Tribal Card
- Medical Marijuana Card
- Concealed Carry Permit
If you can’t verify your identity online, then you will need to visit an Oklahoma Works Office near you to complete your verification.
Bring two (2) forms of identification, one (1) primary and one (1) secondary ID. See below for a list of acceptable primary and secondary IDs. Please note, these differ from the accepted forms for online verification.
- Driver’s License or State issued ID
- US Passport or Foreign Passport with I-551
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card
- US Military ID, including spouse or dependent’s ID
- Native American ID with photo
- School ID with photo
- Social Security Card
- Native American Tribal document
- Certified Birth Certificate
- Voter’s Registration Card
- Other State-issued ID with photo
Once you begin, you will have 30-minutes before your session times out. If you do not complete the process within the 30-minute window your progress may be lost.
Unemployment insurance is a temporary income intended for individuals who have experienced a loss of work due to no fault of their own when suitable work is not available. In some cases, workers who quit their jobs may qualify. When filing your initial claim, you will be asked to provide the reason for separation from your last employer of 15 days or longer.
Traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an insurance paid by Oklahoma employers, and is not available for self-employed, contract, or gig workers. Certain Federal programs may extend unemployment benefits to these groups though, such as Pandemic Unemploye Assistance (PUA).
If you quit or resigned, an issue (hold) will be placed on your claim until a determination of eligibility is made by OESC. An individual shall be disqualified for benefits for leaving his or her last work voluntarily without good cause (reference Oklahoma Employment Security Act section 2-405 for more information). There are also certain provisions for leaving work due to compelling family circumstances (reference Oklahoma Employment Security Act section 2-210 for more information).
If you were discharged or fired, an issue (hold) will be placed on your claim until a determination of eligibility is made by OESC. An individual shall be disqualified for benefits if he/she has been discharged for misconduct connected with his/her work. The applicable law regarding this topic can be found in the Oklahoma Employment Security Act under Section 2-406.
The U.S. Department of Labor has established the timeliness standard of twenty-one (21) days for a determination of eligibility, whether it is an approval or denial. Please note that the 21-day timeframe is calculated from the day a claim becomes monetarily eligible.
To check the status of your claim, visit ui.ok.gov or unemployment.state.ok.us where you can find information regarding the status of your application, recent activity, monetary entitlement, and determinations of eligibility.
After your initial application for unemployment, OESC will send a Monetary Determination stating your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) and Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA). You can also access information about your claim, including monetary entitlements, by visiting ui.ok.gov. For information on how these amounts are calculated, please refer to the Oklahoma Employment Security Act Article 2, sections 104 & 106
All claimants filing new unemployment claims will be required to serve the one week waiting-period per Oklahoma law (§40-2-206). The first week individuals file a weekly claim during which all eligibility requirements are met will be considered the waiting period and will have no payments issued. Please note, no funds are lost due to this process. It is just a delay, to allow identity and employment verification, prior to dispersing funds.
- Verify your identity online at UI.ok.gov, or by visiting a local Oklahoma Works office. Please note that you will need 2 forms of ID when verifying in-person.
- Create an OKJobMatch account within seven (7) days of your initial file.
- Perform two (2) work search efforts each week benefits are claimed.
- File weekly claims on UI.ok.gov for every week you are unemployed. Weekly claims are necessary to receive benefits.
- Attend all required groups and appointments you may be scheduled for.
You can file an appeal in person, by mail, fax, telephone or email. Include your name, social security number, phone number, date of determination, section of law you are appealing and a detailed explanation of why you disagree with the decision. The mailing address, fax number, telephone number and email address will be listed on your determination.
The separating employer is the most recent employer for whom you have worked 15 days or more. This applies to individuals who are temporarily laid off and to those who have completely separated from employment.
You may file a claim upon separation from employment. However, when filing your initial claim you must report the details of the severance package, and any other payments made to you by your employer after separation. A determination will be made as to whether or not the severance payment is deductible from your unemployment benefits.
To receive Unemployment Insurance, you must be unemployed to no fault of your own, and be monetarily eligible. There are two requirements to be monetarily eligible.
- You must have earned at least $1500 during the base period.
- Your highest quarter of taxable wages must be less than 2x’s the total wages in the remaining three quarters of the base period. This rule is waived if base period wages have met or exceeded the taxable limit. The taxable limit are below
- 2019 - $18,100
- 2020 - $18,700
- 2021 - $24,000
If a claim is ‘not monetarily eligible’, that means there were not sufficient covered wages in your base period. The base period is the period of time that we look at to determine monetary eligibility, which is the first four of the previous five completed calendar quarters (appx. previous 4-17 months). This means your most recent employer may not be included in the base period.
Yes; however, you must report the amount of money you earned before any deductions were made. Earnings must be reported during the week you earn them, not when you actually receive the payment or paycheck. Work is anything you do for wages, including self-employment, during the seven days of the week you are claiming Unemployment Insurance benefits.
If you are the victim of domestic violence or abuse and if it has resulted in your separation from employment, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Oklahoma law states: “If the claimant separated from employment due to domestic violence or abuse, verified by any reasonable or confidential documentation, which causes the individual to reasonably believe that the individual’s continued employment would jeopardize the safety of the individual or of any member of the individual’s immediate family.”
For additional information and assistance, please visit your nearest Oklahoma Works office.. For those transitioning between careers, OESC provides training, educational opportunities, skill-building, resume assistance, networking, and job referrals.
If there is an 'issue' on your claim that is preventing payment, OESC must investigate the issue and determine whether you are eligible to receive benefits. That process can take varying amounts of time to resolve depending on the issue. If you are approved, payments will be backdated to the date the claim was filed.
To stop your claim, simply discontinue filing weekly claims. No additional payments will be made. To cancel your claim please submit a copy of your Social Security card and government issued ID, along with a written statement detailing the reason for the request. You may fax the request to 405-962-7524.
Weekly claims must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the week ending date to be considered timely. Claims which are filed untimely may not be paid.
If you are medically impacted by COVID, you are exempt from making weekly work search efforts. When completing a weekly claim, answer "yes" to the question, "Did you make the required number of work search efforts for the week ending ___?"
Claimants should keep personal files of medical impact documentation, as these may be requested in lieu of work search efforts.
State Extended Benefits (SEB) provided UI/PEUC claimants with up to thirteen (13) additional weeks of benefit payments. This is a state program, and is not part of any federal legislation that has passed. This program ended 12/12/2020.
Your benefit year is the 52-week time period that your unemployment claim is considered active before you need to reapply. This starts when you first filed and were approved for unemployment benefits, and last for 52 weeks (one year) from when you were eligible. This does not necessarily mean you will be eligible for benefits all 52 weeks, which depends on your individual situation and federal extensions.
Your benefit year ends 52 weeks after the effective date for your claim. You can find this date by looking back at your initial determination documents or in your claims portal on UI.ok.gov. To find this information online, log into UI.ok.gov and click on “Claim Status” in the claimant profile box. The Claim Status page will show the claim’s effective date, and the benefit year will end 1 year after the date shown. Claimants may also see a notice in their account when filing a weekly claim.
If you are on regular UI claim or the PEUC extension, you must file a new initial claim when your benefit year ends.
If your separating employer has not changed, and/or you are NOT monetarily eligible, you may be placed back on your previous PEUC claim. This is only possible if you have benefits remaining, and the current PEUC extension has not ended.
If you have a new, covered separating employer, and/or are determined monetarily eligible, you may be placed on a new UI claim. Please note that your weekly benefit amount may change.
For information on what “monetarily eligible” means, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page and look under the “New Claims” topic.
If you are on a PUA claim, and your benefit year ends, the system will determine if you are eligible for regular UI. If you are determined monetarily eligible for regular UI, you will need to file a regular UI claim.
If you are not monetarily eligible and have benefit weeks remaining, you may continue receiving those benefits as long as you remain eligible, and until they are exhausted or the ARP extension ends on 9/4/21, whichever comes first.
CARES Act Programs
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a federal program that provides extended benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. The CARES Act of 2020 provided up to thirteen (13) weeks of this benefit, which was available 3/29/2020 to 12/26/2020.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a federal benefit made available to self-employed, contract, and gig workers who are not traditionally eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The CARES Act of 2020 provided thirty-nine (39) weeks of unemployment benefits, which was available 2/2/2020 to 12/26/2020.
To file for any type of unemployment claim, please visit ui.ok.gov.
In order to apply for and establish a PUA claim, individuals must first be denied regular or traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
The computation of the weekly assistance amount for PUA will be based on the gross wages for an unemployed worker and net earnings for self-employed individuals. All wages earned for the performance of services in the most recently completed tax year (2019) will be used to compute the weekly assistance amount.
The weekly assistance amount will be calculated in accordance with Oklahoma Employment Security Law. The weekly amount shall be the weekly amount of compensation that the individual would have been paid as regular unemployment insurance compensation unless the weekly benefit amount is less than 50% of the average weekly payment of regular unemployment insurance benefits. The maximum weekly assistance amount shall not exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount of regular unemployment insurance benefits payable in the state. Employment, wages, and self-employment that are not covered by the Oklahoma Employment Security Law shall be treated in the same manner and with the same effect as covered employment and wages. Employment and wages that are prohibited by federal law shall not be included in the computation of weekly assistance amount.
Payment & Conduent
Due to a spike in fraudulent activity, the one-time transfer rule, which allows customers to transfer money from the debit card to a bank account, is suspended. This will not affect direct deposit transfers or debit card registration. In addition, individuals will still be able to complete a bank teller withdrawal free of charge. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
- I have my card but I need to reset my pin.
- I have an account with GoProgram.com, but no longer have a card.
- Use the self-service option online to verify your address, and then request a new card.
- If you last received benefits more than 3 years ago a new card will be automatically issued.
- I have a forwarded address with the USPS or a PO Box as my address. Debit cards will not be forwarded automatically by USPS or delivered to a P.O. Box. Addresses need to be updated through OESC, not Conduent and then a new card requested.
- Note: There are many apartment buildings that are not receiving expedited packages to individuals.
- I’ve received confirmation from OESC that I am eligible for benefits and have a payment or deposit on my account, but I don’t have a card.
- If you have recently applied for benefits then a card may be on its way. Check your self-service options, if that is not possible call Conduent and have the status of your card.
- I have my card, but I don’t know my pin.
- Check the website self-service option below first and then call.
- Conduent provides online and access to your account balances and transaction through both phone 1-866-320-8699 and web site.
Conduent is not able to answer these questions:
- When will I receive a payment or a deposit?
- Deposits are sent from OESC to Conduent based on the determination from OESC and claimants successfully completing their weekly certification claim.
- When will I receive a card?
- Cards are mailed within 2 business days and are delivered by USPS. Mail delivery times can vary in your area. Expedited cards cannot be delivered to P. O. Boxes. Cards issued via USPS are not eligible to be forwarded.
- I’m receiving errors on my weekly filing, what do I do?
- When will my benefits be approved?
- I’m self-employed, how do I receive benefits?
- I have received my letter indicating that I have benefits and I’ve lost my previous card that is older than 3 years?
- In this case, a new card will be issued with a new expiration date to the address on file. Check the web portal self-service option to validate your address.
When filing for unemployment, benefit payments are issued to a debit card issued by the state's card vendor, Conduent. Once the card has been received and activated, it can be used as a regular debit card or set up to automatically transfer funds from the debit card into a personal U.S. banking account for no fee.
Please note that OESC does not issue paper checks, or handle claimants' banking information.
If a debit card has been issued within the past three (3) years, payments will be issued to that card unless otherwise specified. If that card is no longer accessible, please contact our debit card vendor Conduent at 866-320-8699 or by visiting www.goprogram.com
An Unemployment Insurance benefit debit card will be issued to you at the time your first eligible week processes. It normally takes between 7 - 10 days to receive the card. Do not throw the debit card away. It is valid for three (3) years. If you have previously been issued a debit card within the past three (3) years, your payment will be issued to that debit card unless otherwise specified. If you no longer have your previously issued debit card, please contact Conduent at 866-320-8699.
Cards can be expedited by Conduent, but there is a fee for the additional mailing costs. These will be deducted from the balance on the card. There is a limited number of debit cards Conduent can issue in a single day, so in rare cases claimants may be unable to expedite cards.
Benefit payments are typically made within 1-3 days of the weekly certification claim being filed. By law, the first payable (or allowable) week of the claim is considered to be a waiting period. Although you must still file your weekly claim (either by phone or internet), you will not be paid for the waiting period week.
No benefits will be paid if:
- there are insufficient wages to establish monetary eligibility
- there are issues are being investigated, or
- you do not file your weekly claim.
Please call our debit card vendor Conduent at 866-320-8699. You will need to verify your identity with them so they can remove the flag.