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Frequently Asked Questions

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Claim Support

You can update your contact information by visiting unemployment.state.ok.us, calling our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500, or going to your nearest Oklahoma Works office.

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 (for example, if you returned to work) simply discontinue filing weekly certifications. No additional payments will be issued.  To cancel a submitted claim, please contact our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500 or visit your nearest Oklahoma Works office.

Weekly certifications must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the week ending date to be considered timely.  Weekly certifications which are filed untimely may not be paid.

Contact our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500 if you encounter any problems when filing your weekly claim. Additionally, you may also visit one of our local Oklahoma Works offices to receive assistance.

To reset and establish a new PIN online, visit UI.ok.gov and click the "Manage Claim" button. If you are unable to change your PIN online, please contact our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500 or visit your nearest Oklahoma Works office. For resetting your debit card PIN, please contact our card vendor Conduent at 866-320-8699.

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. 

Everyone with an active claim is required to conduct and keep a record of at least two work search efforts for each week they file for unemployment benefits. When filing weekly certifications, claimants will attest that they have completed and documented the required work searches. These records may be requested in the event of an audit.

The only individuals exempt from work searches are those who:

  • are on a temporary layoff with a definite return-to-work date within 8 weeks of the last date worked
  • are a member of a certified labor or trade union with a business agent or hiring hall
  • are in an approved training program such as training provided through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

Work searches were waived for the benefit weeks ending 03/28/20 through 11/07/20. No documentation is required for that time period.

  • Submit a resume or application to an employer by fax, email, mail, in-person, or online.
  • Participate in an interview for a job. The interview may be in-person, over the phone, or any method determined by the employer. Contacting an employer to determine if any job openings exist does not count.
  • Participate in reemployment services. These services include job-search workshops or any customized job readiness workshop. These workshops do not have to be presented by a state agency and will count as one work search contact in the week the workshop is attended. 
  • Register with a placement service of any professional organization to which the claimant is a member. This activity counts as one work search contact at the time of registration.
  • Register with a placement service of any school from which you graduated. This activity counts as one work search contact at the time of registration.
  • Take examinations for work with governmental agencies. This will count as one work search contact for each examination taken, provided they were for different jobs or different agencies.

Applying to different positions with the same company can count as separate work searches as long as you document the different jobs being applied for. Example: work search #1 at ABC Company, Customer Service Rep, job reference #1234 | Work search #2 at ABC Company, Receptionist, job reference #5678.

Work searches may be done through okjobmatch.com, as well as other websites such as Indeed.com or LinkedIn.com.

The best way to record work search efforts is by adding them to your OKJobMatch.com account. By adding your work searches here, you can keep your work registration and work searches all in one place, and you don’t have to worry about keeping track of a paper form in case you’re audited. 

Work search documentation should include:

  • date of contact
  • company name, address, phone number
  • job title or position applied for
  • email, website link, and job reference number (if job was applied to online)
  • person contacted (if applicable)
  • method of contact
  • results of contact

View a sample documentation form and template.

To record work searches on OKJobMatch, navigate to your home screen after logging in and click “Job Search Activity” on the left navigation menu. From that screen, select the tab labeled “External Job Search Activity.” Click on the button labeled “Add Activity” to fill in the information associated with your work search activity.

Claimants should retain documentation of their work search activity for two years, even after finding employment. In the case of an audit, individuals are required to provide the needed information within 5 business days of the notice being mailed. OESC will then contact the employers listed on the work search documentation to confirm the work search activity.

New Claims

Anyone is unemployed may file a claim for unemployment. Typically, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible.

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You are able and available to seek and accept work
  • You earned a minimum of $1,500 from a covered employer during your base period.

Since Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an insurance paid by Oklahoma employers, it is not available for self-employed, contract, or gig workers. 

If you quit or were 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 for leaving their 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 for misconduct, reference  Oklahoma Employment Security Act section 2-406.

In order to complete your application, you'll need the following information and documents.

  • Social Security Number
  • Name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Alien registration number and expiration date, if a non-citizen
  • Oklahoma Driver's License or state-issued ID card number
  • Name and address of the company on your paycheck stub or W-2 form
  • Employment start and end date
  • Wages earned and how you were paid (hourly, weekly, monthly)
  • Form SF8 or SF 50 if employed by the Federal government in the last 18 months
  • DD Form 214 for military service in the previous 18 months

The amount that an individual qualifies for is based on wages earned from covered employers during the base period. The base period is the first four of the previous five completed calendar quarters (appx. first 12 of the last 15 months).

The weekly benefit amount is one twenty-third (1/23) of the highest quarter of taxable wages in your base period, not to exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount allowed by Oklahoma law. Taxable wages are is a tax paid by your employer and is not taken from your paycheck. If monetarily eligible, the weekly benefit amount will not be less than $16.00 nor more than the maximum allowed by law. For 2021 the maximum weekly benefit amount is $461.00. For example, if your highest quarter of earnings during your base period is $14,000, you would divide this by 23, which would be $608.70. Since the maximum weekly benefit amount allowed by law for 2021 is $461, your weekly benefit amount will only be $461. Please note that this amount does not reflect any special programs that provide additional monetary benefits on top of the weekly benefit amount.

All unemployment benefits are taxable. Individuals who filed for and received unemployment benefits 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. When filing your yearly income taxes, you will include the 1099-G as part of your income documents and report accordingly.

Once your claim is filed, OESC must first determine if you are monetarily eligible for benefits.  We may need to request wages from other states, complete investigations on missing wages, request federal agency or military wages, or adjust your claim’s base period to accurately determine monetary eligibility. 

Once determined monetarily eligible, we will review your claim to determine if you are allowed benefits under the Oklahoma Employment Security Act. The U.S. Department of Labor has established that this eligibility determination should be issued within 21 days of a claim becoming monetarily eligible. After a determination is met, you will be mailed a letter detailing the decision and further information.

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.

All individuals filing for unemployment are required to serve a one week waiting period per Oklahoma law (§40-2-206). The first week individuals file a weekly certification during which all eligibility requirements are met will be considered the waiting period and will have no payments issued. This will not subtract from your total benefit amount.

  • 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.
    • This can be done through okjobmatch.com, as well as other websites such as Indeed.com or LinkedIn.com. A log must be kept of efforts for auditing purposes. OESC has provided a template log, as well as an example log to assist with tracking.
  • 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.

It is possible to work part-time and still draw unemployment. Full-time is defined as 32 hours or more. You must report the hours worked and gross 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. “Work” means anything you do for wages during the seven (7) days of the week you are claiming unemployment 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.

Identity Verification

All claimants filing unemployment must verify their identity to protect your information and prevent fraud. Those filing on UI.ok.gov may verify online, but 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.

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.

Accepted forms of ID for online verification include: Driver’s License from any US State, State-issued ID, Resident Card / Green Card, and a Passport (only as a secondary ID). No other forms of ID are valid for online verification.

You can t​​​​ake a picture of your ID and face with a phone or tablet and upload directly into the application. You can also 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.

Identity verification can be done online with a computer, tablet, or mobile device. If you can’t verify your identity online, you will need to visit an Oklahoma Works Office near you to complete your verification or contact our Unemployment Service Center at (405) 525-1500. You can also visit a local library or other public facility with computer access if you don't have internet or computer access.

If verifying in-person, you must bring two (2) forms of identification, one primary and one secondary ID. See below for a list of acceptable primary and secondary IDs. Please note, these differ from the accepted forms for online verification.

Primary

  • 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

Secondary

  • Social Security Card
  • Native American Tribal document
  • Certified Birth Certificate
  • Voter’s Registration Card
  • Other State-issued ID with photo
  • Medical Marijuana Card
  • Concealed Carry Permit

Payments & 1099-G

Unemployment benefits are paid to a debit card provided by the state's vendor, Conduent. The card will be issued to you at the time your first eligible week processes. It normally takes between 10-14 days to receive the card. Do not throw the debit card away. You have two (2) options to receive payments. 

  • You may receive your payments via the debit card, or
  • You may transfer the payments from the debit card into your own U.S. banking account, for no fee. 

To access payments through either option, you must activate the card by following the instructions sent with the card. To set up this recurring transfers, you must activate your card and then visit GoProgram.com or call 866-320-8699 and use the automated system to enter your banking information. If you have previously been issued a debit card for benefit payments 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.

Your unemployment debit card will be mailed the day after your first eligible weekly certification has been filed. Please allow 10-14 days to receive the card. If it has been more than 14 days since you filed your first eligible weekly certification, and you have received confirmation from OESC that you are eligible for benefits and payments have been issued, please contact Conduent at 866-320-8699 to resolve your missing card. 

If no payments are showing as issued, there may be an issue with your claim, and you will need to call our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500 to speak with a representative or contact your nearest Oklahoma Works office for assistance.

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. To expedite a card please contact our Unemployment Service Center at 405-525-1500, your nearest Oklahoma Works office, or Conduent at 866-320-8699.

All unemployment benefits are issued to a pre-paid debit card provided by our card vendor Conduent. If you would like these funds automatically transferred to your personal banking account, you can do so after receiving and activating your card. To set up recurring transfers, contact Conduent at 866-320-8699 or visit their website at goprogram.com.

If your claim is valid and you file an eligible weekly certification, payments are typically issued the following day to your unemployment debit card. Please keep in mind that weekends and holidays may delay deposits. Also, if you have set up recurring transfers to your personal banking account, an additional day may be required depending on your bank's processing time. 

Conduent is a third-party vendor for the State of Oklahoma. For all debit card related inquiries, such as delays, recurring transfers (direct deposits), suspensions, or other activity, please contact them at 866-320-8699 or by visiting their website at goprogram.com.

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 tax year.

Additionally, if you received federal unemployment benefits such as FPUC, extra payments were issued on top of your standard weekly benefit amount. If you believe there are still incorrect funds showing, please contact OESC's Unemployment Service Center at (405) 525-1500 for assistance or contact your nearest Oklahoma Works office.

You can access a digital version of your 1099-G form on Unemployment.state.ok.us. If you have trouble accessing it, please contact OESC's Unemployment Service Center at (405) 525-1500 for assistance or contact your nearest Oklahoma Works office.

If you received a 1099-G form, and didn't file for unemployment benefits, you may have had a fraudulent unemployment claim filed in your name. Please contact OESC's Unemployment Service Center at (405) 525-1500 for assistance or contact your nearest Oklahoma Works office.

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)

RESEA Appointments

Your first RESEA appointment and any follow up appointments are designed to provide employment assistance and a mix of services. These services include customized resume assistance, reemployment workshops, new career and wage exploration services, interview workshops, and job referrals to employers based on your experience and qualifications.

During your initial appointment, you will also complete a Reemployment Needs Inventory which helps to determine your readiness to return to work. It evaluates your job search activity, job search skills and confidence, and any barriers that may impact your chances of being hired. During this initial visit,  RESEA staff will review your work history, collaborate with you to determine an employment goal, and discuss customized employment opportunities within the job market.

Yes, all your RESEA appointments are mandatory and failure to attend will result in your UI benefits being stopped.

You can request accommodations when you schedule and confirm your RESEA appointment date and time. Please view the Online RESEA Orientation or read the scheduling tool quick reference guide for a step-by-step description on the RESEA appointment booking process.

If you require an accommodation after confirming your appointment, please contact your local Oklahoma Works office to submit your request.

You now have the flexibility to schedule and reschedule your RESEA appointment, but you must attend your appointment before your RESEA eligibility deadline. Please note, appointment availability varies day-to-day.

Yes, attending your RESEA appointment counts as one of the two weekly required work search activities, which is required to receive weekly unemployment benefits.

There is not a preferred internet browser for scheduling your RESEA appointments. The OESC website is compatible with several commonly used browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

Yes, you must attend your RESEA meetings, even if you work part-time. UI claimants may still receive unemployment benefits while working part-time hours. Part-time employment is considered as working less than 32 hours per week. If you work 32 hours or more per week, you are considered a full-time employee.

No, you only need to attend the RESEA program’s initial appointment once per benefit year.

You will need to use the scheduling tool to reschedule your appointment, and then attend that appointment to reinstate your UI benefits.

If you decline a job referral or do not apply for a job referral provided by a RESEA specialist, your claim will be under review and your benefits may be stopped. 

Federal Unemployment Benefits

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) further extended the benefits previously extended by the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) and established by the CARES Act.  ARPA extended benefits from 3/14/21 to 9/4/21, but Oklahoma discontinued these federal benefits 6/26/21.

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $300 per week to an individual's weekly benefit amount between 3/14/21 to 6/26/21.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) was extended from 3/14/21 to 6/26/21 for those who exhausted their traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was extended from 3/14/21 to 6/26/21 for self-employed, contract, and gig workers who are typically not eligible for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.

The Continued Assistance Act (CAA) changed or extended the three federal unemployment programs established by CARES. It also added a new MEUC program.

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $300 per week to an individual's weekly benefit amount for up to 11 weeks between 12/27/20 and 3/13/21. 
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) was extended up to an additional 11 weeks between 12/27/20 and 3/13/21 for those who exhausted their traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was extended up to an additional 11 weeks between 12/27/20 and 3/13/21 for self-employed, contract, and gig workers who are typically not eligible for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) 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. 

The CARES Act created three new unemployment programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $600 per week to an individual's weekly benefit amount between 3/29/20 and 7/25/20.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provided up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits between 3/29/20 and 12/26/20 to individuals who had exhausted their traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provided 39 weeks of unemployment benefits between 2/2/20 and 12/26/20 to self-employed, contract, and gig workers who are typically not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was a federal unemployment benefit provided to US citizens not traditionally eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) such as self-employed, contract, and gig workers. PUA was established through the CARES Act (2/2/2020 to 12/26/2020), extended through CAA (12/27/20 to 3/13/21) and ARP Acts (3/14/21 to 9/4/21), but discontinued in Oklahoma on 6/26/2021.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), sometimes referred to as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) was a federal unemployment benefit provided to US citizens who have exhausted their traditional Unemployment Insurance benefits. PEUC was initially established through the CARES Act (3/29/2020 to 12/26/2020), extended through CAA (12/27/20 to 3/13/21) and ARP Acts (3/14/21 to 9/4/21), but discontinued in Oklahoma on 6/26/2021.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), also called Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) is the extra $600 or $300 weekly payment that was added to all claim types. This federal benefit was created under the CARES Act (3/29/2020 to 12/26/2020), extended through CAA (12/27/20 to 3/13/21) and ARP Acts (3/14/21 to 9/4/21), but discontinued in Oklahoma on 6/26/2021.

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 will have 21 days to submit proof of employment. For continued PUA claims that were effective prior to January 31, 2021, individuals will have 90 days to submit proof of employment.

OESC has updated the online filing process at UI.ok.gov. A new prompt will be provided to indicate this new requirement, and then give you options to upload the documents when filing your claim.

Yes, legislation in 2021 required that all PUA claimants submit or resubmit proof of employment.