by Dana George | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on March 31, 2020
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Losing your job can be a shock, and you may have questions regarding how to file for unemployment benefits. Here's what you need to know.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many Americans hard. In fact, the state of Oklahoma has experienced an unprecedented number of unemployment claims. If you're an Oklahoman and find yourself without a job, you may have questions regarding unemployment insurance. Here, we provide answers.
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In order to qualify for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma, you must:
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) recently announced that it was closing all public access to its offices in an attempt to protect the health of employees. Although OESC staff are working remotely, office closures mean the easiest, most efficient way to file an unemployment claim is on the website.
If you need to speak with an unemployment claim representative, call (800) 555-1554.
The amount you receive will be specific to how much you earned. OESC calculates your benefits by locating the amount you earned during the highest quarter of your base period and dividing that number by 23. For example, if you earned $7,000 during your highest quarter, your weekly benefit would be $304 ($7,000 ÷ 23 = $304). The maximum weekly benefit is $539.
You will be asked to choose between two payment options: direct deposit to your bank account or a preloaded debit card.
Unemployment benefits can be collected for up to 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If your unemployment claim is denied for any reason, you have a right to appeal to an Appeal Tribunal. You will be sent a Notice of Hearing informing you of when a hearing will be scheduled. Register for your hearing by signing in online or calling the telephone number found on your Notice of Hearing. If you're unhappy with the decision of the Appeal Tribunal, you can appeal again -- this time to the Board of Review. You have 10 days from the date the Appeal Tribunal's decision was mailed to you to appeal to the Board of Review.
You probably have a cascade of thoughts running through your mind right now, but your immediate job is to avoid financial disaster, and unemployment benefits can help you do that.
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