If you are a diligent worker and lose your job in Oklahoma, you most likely will be entitled to unemployment benefits. Every employer is required to pay unemployment insurance to cover displaced workers unemployment compensation for a limited period of time or until they find another job. This article explains how to file for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma.
Most of the information provided here about filing for unemployment is available in the following video produced by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. If you think you may be eligible for unemployment benefits, take a few minutes to watch the video, or read the article below to learn how to apply for unemployment in Oklahoma.
After filing for unemployment, if you are denied benefits, you have a right to appeal the decision. Call Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681 if you were denied benefits and need to appeal your claim for unemployment benefits. The Tulsa unemployment attorney offers free consultations.
How to Apply for Unemployment in Oklahoma
To claim unemployment, Oklahoma workers can apply for unemployment benefits online at www.unemployment.ok.gov or call the state unemployment phone number – (800) 555-1554.
An unemployment claim starts on Sunday of the week you file a claim. Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible after you lose a job or after your work hours are reduced. The longer you wait to file, the longer it will take to receive benefits. If you are out of work a month but wait two weeks to file for unemployment, you could lose half of the benefits to which you are entitled.
The fastest and easiest way of applying for unemployment is to file unemployment online. Local unemployment centers provide free access. Local public libraries also provide Internet access. You can file unemployment online any day of the week.
Find your local unemployment office here: https://unemployment.state.ok.us/LocalOffice.asp
If you choose to file for unemployment by phone, you must call the Oklahoma unemployment office on a weekday between 8 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. The state unemployment offices are closed and do not take calls on holidays.
Monday and Tuesday are high-traffic days so if you file unemployment by phone, you may have a better chance of getting through on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Call from a land line to avoid problems using the unemployment phone system.
To qualify for unemployment you must meet these general requirements:
- You must have worked and received enough wages during the past 18 months,
- You must be able, available and looking for work,
- You must not have been fired for misconduct or voluntarily left your job,
- You must be lawfully in the United States and
- You must file weekly claims for unemployment.
When applying for unemployment, you will need to provide certain information. To avoid delays, gather all the necessary information before filing for unemployment, including:
- Your Social Security number,
- Complete names you used for work during the past 18 months, including initials or maiden names,
- Your mailing address,
- Your telephone number,
- Your drivers license number, state identification card number or – for international guest workers – your alien registration number and expiration date and
- If you were recently in the military, your military status and basic documents.
You will also be asked to provide information about your most recent employer:
- Your most recent employer’s company name,
- The employer’s complete mailing address, including zip code,
- The employers phone number,
- The name of your supervisor on your most recent job and
- The reason you were separated from employment or your hours were reduced.
After you file an unemployment claim, you will first receive a monetary determination that tells you how much unemployment you may be eligible to receive. That notification does not guarantee you will receive unemployment benefits. Your most recent employer will also be mailed an eligibility notice based on your reason for separation. The employer’s response to that notice will influence whether you will get unemployment benefits.
If your most recent employer claims you were fired for misconduct, or that you voluntarily left your job, you will have an opportunity to appeal. Unemployment appeals are usually conducted by telephone.
Wirth Law Office often represents clients in unemployment appeals. Every case is different and outcomes depend on the circumstances of that case, but our office has lately boasted a winning track record in unemployment appeals. Read about our winning track record here then call us at (918) 879-1681 for a free consultation.
During an unemployment appeal hearing, an employer has the burden to show that you were fired for misconduct or voluntarily left your job. If not, you may be found eligible to get unemployment benefits even if you employer said you were fired for a reason. You may be represented by an attorney at your unemployment appeal, but you do not have a right to be appointed an attorney if you cannot afford one.
How to Collect Unemployment
Once your Oklahoma unemployment claim has been approved, you must still meet certain weekly requirements to continue collecting benefits. Your must
- Look for work each week,
- Record your work search activities,
- Report any wages, earnings or other income you receive and
- File weekly unemployment claims.
Your unemployment benefits will be dispersed either by a debit card or by direct deposit to your bank account. Recipients are automatically enrolled for a debit card. You may request direct deposit no sooner than 24 hours after filing for unemployment.
It can take as long as four weeks for the first payment to arrive after you file an unemployment claim. To receive unemployment benefits from the time you first apply. You may be required to file weekly claims and meet work search requirements during those weeks.
How to Get Unemployment After Your Claim is Denied
Wirth Law Office often helps clients receive Oklahoma unemployment benefits after a claim was initially denied. Typically, an employer may claim the employee was fired for cause, but then fails to show they were fired for misconduct.
Employers often dismiss employees for many reasons other than misconduct. For example, an employee who follows all of an employer’s instructions but fails to meet sales or production goals can be fired but may still be eligible for unemployment. Employees who were not warned or advised beforehand of reasons they might be fired might be eligible for unemployment.
Certain forms of misconduct are obvious and may be easy to prove, such as assaulting a coworker for example. But allegations are not proof. Employers are often unable to show proof of alleged misconduct. An employer might even contrive reasons to get rid of an employee during a slow business environment.
Barring discrimination based on race, gender or other broad classes, employers may terminate some employees for little or no cause. Those employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits. An employer’s business decisions might be completely irrelevant to the employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Unemployment Attorney
If you recently were denied unemployment because your former employer claimed you were fired for good cause, contact an Oklahoma unemployment attorney immediately. Unemployment lawyers often work on a contingency basis and offer payment plans for clients who were unfairly were unfairly denied unemployment benefits.
Even if you do not retain an unemployment attorney, a consultation can provide valuable information about how to proceed with your appeal.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with a Tulsa unemployment attorney, contact the Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681. You may also send a question to the unemployment lawyer using the form at the top of this page.