By Attorney Earl LawsonFiling for unemployment in Oklahoma is not that difficult. The best part is, it is all done by telephone or online. The bad news is, one wrong answer could cost you months of unemployment benefits, leaving you without income while you look for another job.
Upon becoming unemployed from a job, one must call the Oklahoma unemployment office. Here in Oklahoma, that is the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, (OESC). When you call the OESC, you report that you are unemployed and that you would like to file for your unemployment insurance.
When you call the Oklahoma unemployment office, be patient. The wait time is usually long. It can be up to 1 hour before you get to talk with an actual person. At least you are not standing in line in some shabby unemployment office.
Eventually, an OESC intake person who will talk with you. The unemployment official will ask you the reason for your separation from your employment. Unless you are absolutely certain your former employer will support your unemployment claim, it is important that you talk with legal representation prior to calling unemployment office.
A lot is riding on the answers you give the intake person about your separation. One small mistake in your answer can mean the difference between receiving unemployment benefits and being denied unemployment benefits.
Unemployment benefits are actually paid by an insurance policy an employer takes out on each employee specifically for that purpose. When the employee becomes separated from employment, that employee makes a claim on that insurance policy. That makes the unemployed person a Claimant on that insurance policy.
The people at the unemployment office should have no interest in whether you receive unemployment. Whether they are sympathetic or otherwise, their conduct is governed by Oklahoma unemployment rules. They listen to your answers, ask your employer why you were separated from your job and make decisions accordingly.
For employers, it is a different matter. Employers’ unemployment insurance rates are set according to how many claims are paid out to their former employers. An employer has a financial incentive to interfere with your right to collect Oklahoma unemployment benefits. Some might even be ideologically opposed to unemployment benefits. They might think they get to determine whether you deserve unemployment benefits or not. For the most part, that is not their decision to make.
Because a former employer might deliberately or even unintendedly block your right to collect unemployment benefits your earned, you need to talk to an unemployment attorney before you call the unemployment office. If you say the wrong thing about why you were separated from your job, you might lend credibility to your employer’s claim that you were fired for good cause.
Presuming you are qualified for Oklahoma unemployment benefits, once your claim is approved, you will need to call the Oklahoma unemployment office each week to keep your claim active. An automated system will prompt you for answers. In most cases, you will need to be able to work, actively seeking work and not attending school.
Before you risk losing your unemployment benefits, call an Oklahoma unemployment attorney to find out what mistakes could ruin your unemployment claim. Each case is different, and details matter. For a free, no-risk consultation with an Oklahoma unemployment attorney, call the Unemployment Expert today or click the “Protect My Benefits” button below to ask the attorney to call or email you.