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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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
OESC may contact you by phone or email if there is suspicion that a claim has been fraudulently filed under your name. If you are unsure whether you’re speaking or communicating with an OESC representative, you can call OESC directly at 405-525-1500 or by visiting an OESC field office in-person. To find your nearest office, visit https://oklahoma.gov/oesc/locations.html.
Anyone is unemployed may file a claim for unemployment. Typically, individuals 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.
- You meet the "1 and 1/2 rule". More information on this rule can be found in section § 2-207 of the OES Act (Oklahoma Statutes Title 40)
Since Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an insurance paid by Oklahoma employers, it is not available for self-employed, contract, or gig workers.
For individuals who quit or were fired, a hold will be placed on their claim until a determination of eligibility can be made by OESC. Leaving work voluntarily without good cause may cause individuals to be ineligible for benefits. For more information about what is considered "good cause", reference Oklahoma Statute §40-2-405. There are also certain provisions for leaving work due to compelling family circumstances (O.S. §40-2-210). For information on being discharged or fired for misconduct, reference §40-2-406.
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 full method of calculaton for weekly benefit amounts and maximum benefit amounts can be found in sections 2-104 and 2-106 in the Oklahoma Employment Security Act.
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.
- Create an OKJobMatch account within seven (7) days of your initial file, and complete or upload your resume to the site.
- Perform two (2) work search efforts each week benefits are claimed.
- File weekly certifications at Unemployment.oesc.ok.gov for every week you are unemployed. Weekly certifications are necessary to receive benefits.
- Attend all required 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.
To complete work registration for unemployment insurance, you must have an active job seeker account and an active resume:
- Answer all questions in My Personal Information (accessible from My Profile).
- Select an occupation in the Work Wanted section.
- Create a resume and select Publish to activate it.
- Maintain an active resume at all times.
Log in regularly to prevent your account from being disabled due to inactivity.
All claimants must verify their identity to file for unemployment. Identity verification helps to protect your information and prevent fraud. It must be completed every 90 days to continue filing for unemployment.
Once you begin, you will have 15 minutes before your session times out. If you do not complete the process within the 15 minute window, your progress may be lost.
Accepted forms of ID for online verification are a driver’s license or state-issued ID from any US state (except PA), or a resident card / green card. In rare cases when the information from an ID can't be validated, a secondary ID may be requested. At this time, only a passport is acceptable as a secondary ID online. No other forms of ID are valid for online verification.
When verifying in-person at an OESC office, claimants must provide two forms of identification, one primary and one secondary ID. Below is a list of acceptable primary and secondary IDs for in-person verification, which are different than those accepted for online verification. Out-of-state residents will need to have the workforce office FAX the front and back of the IDs to 405-962-7524 and include the claimant's SSN and email on the FAX.
- 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
- 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
When verifying in-person at a USPS facility, claimants must provide a current (i.e., not expired) photo identification. The only approved forms of identification are below. These differ from the approved IDs that can be used when verifying at an OESC office. Additionally, the address listed on a photo ID must match the address that was provided to OESC.
- US Government-issued ID
- State driver’s license
- State non-driver’s identification card
- Uniformed services identification card
- US Passport (requires secondary form of ID)
If the address on your ID does not match the address you provided to OESC, or if it does not have an address listed, you must provide a secondary ID or document containing the address provided to OESC in addition to the photo ID above. Acceptable forms of secondary identification are:
- Lease, mortgage or deed of trust
- Voter registration card
- Vehicle registration card
- Home or vehicle insurance policy
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, which may include: regular unemployment compensation, federal unemployment benefits (PUA, FPUC, and PEUC), child support deductions, any backpay or lump sum deposits made during the year, as well as any benefits used to offset an overpayment(s) during the tax year.
If you believe there are still incorrect funds showing, please contact us. You may need to provide all monthly Conduent statements for review.
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 us.
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)
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 unless waived for a valid reason. Failure to attend will result in your UI benefits being stopped.
Contact the office listed on your appointment letter if you require accommodations or interpreter services.
If you are unable to attend the scheduled appointment, contact the Oklahoma Works (OESC) office listed on your letter prior to the appointment date to reschedule. You must have a valid reason or good cause to reschedule.
Yes, attending your RESEA appointment counts as one of the two weekly required work search activities, which is required to receive weekly unemployment benefits.
Yes, you must attend your RESEA appointments, 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 contact the office listed on your appointment letter 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.