Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Oklahoma
When a petitioner files an OK unemployment benefits claim, the employer will be mailed a notice when the former employee files a claim. The employer can respond to this notice by submitting their input as to the circumstances of the job separation. Although the federal unemployment benefits claimant will not be paid for the first week of the claim (as that week is considered to be a waiting period), he or she must still file a weekly certification for that week, either by phone or the internet, in order to get credit for the waiting period. Following the waiting period, once the applicant files his or her weekly certification, he or she should receive a payment unless there are issues on the claim that are still being investigated, or the claimant is not monetarily eligible. Oklahoma unemployment insurance payments do not necessarily come on the same day of the week and could be delayed by holidays, computer failures or the former employee’s failure to respond to a request from the unemployment claims center.
When a candidate is claiming benefits for unemployment, the former employee will receive a Notice of Determination of Benefits (monetary determination). This determination will show:
• The employers that paid unemployment taxes on their wages during the base period.
• The applicant’s benefit year, which generally begins on the Sunday of the week he or she files the initial claim, and ends one year later
• The weekly benefit amount awarded
• The maximum benefit amount
• Any messages regarding eligibility for unemployment or overpayments on a prior claim
It is the responsibility of the unemployment insurance applicant to read the Notice of Determination and ensure all employers and base period wages are reported correctly. If claimants earned wages in another state, were in the military service or worked for the federal government during the base period, these wage credits will not appear on the Notice of Determination unless requested. If the unemployment registration wages on the Notice of Determination of Benefits are listed incorrectly or if there were other errors or omissions, the claimant needs to immediately contact his or her Unemployment Service Center. He or she may be instructed to provide check stubs or W-2 statements to show the correct wages.
If a candidate received worker’s compensation total temporary disability (TTD) during the base period and were not monetarily eligible for benefits, he or she also needs to contact the Unemployment Service Center so that the Center can file an extended base period claim. If an education employee desires to file for an unemployment claim, he or she is held to different criteria. If there is a historical pattern of reemployment, or the applicant has been notified in writing that he or she may be rehired doing the same or similar work, the wages earned from the educational institution cannot be used on the claim. The applicant must continue to file weekly benefit claims while wages are being investigated.
Regarding Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) unemployment benefits claims, TAA pays benefits to workers who either lost their jobs or experienced reduced working hours as a result of increased imports. A Trade Readjustment Allowance is essentially an extension of weekly unemployment insurance coverage.
Unemployment Benefits Claim Calculation in Oklahoma
For the applicant’s unemployment benefits claim in Oklahoma, the amount of unemployment he or she is are eligible for is based on taxable wages from covered employment during the base period. Covered employment is defined as work performed for an employer who is subject to unemployment tax laws.
The unemployment claim base period is the 12-month period consisting of the first four of the last five completed quarters before the effective date of the claim. Once a monetarily eligible claim is established, the base period cannot be changed. For the base period, the quarters change after the first Sunday in the quarter. As an example, if the former worker filed his or her claim after the first Sunday in August 2016, the base period would be April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.
In order to claim unemployment benefits in OK, the applicant must have earned a minimum of $1,500 during the base period and had total wages of 1 ½ times his or her high quarter. However, if a petitioner has base period wages equal to or more than the highest taxable wage that applies to the calendar year in which they filed their claim, they shall be deemed monetarily eligible.
When claiming benefits for unemployment, applicants can opt for deductions to be taken from the federal unemployment benefits he or she is granted. One such example is child support. Also, a pension, retirement, or annuity will reduce or possibly eliminate the weekly payment of benefits if the payment is from a base period employer and the employer contributed 100 percent to the pension. There can also be deductions for bonus pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, or wages in lieu of notice and severance pay.
Federal unemployment benefits are subject to federal and state income tax. The claimant must report unemployment benefits when filing his or her taxes. He or she may elect to have federal and state taxes withheld from the weekly unemployment insurance benefits. If they choose to do so, federal taxes of 10 percent and state taxes of 3 percent will be deducted from the gross amount of their payment each week.
Filing for the Weekly Benefit Payment in Oklahoma
Once a candidate has completed the online application for unemployment, he or she must file weekly claim certifications in order to receive benefits. Most weeks of filing begin Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and end on Saturday at midnight. A recipient cannot file a claim until the week is over. He or she may file a claim on Sunday for the previous week. If a beneficiary files the weekly claim certification15 or more calendar days after the week has ended, it will be considered late, and in most cases will not be paid.
To claim unemployment benefits, the former employee can use the internet (Oklahoma Network Initial Claims) or telephone (Interactive Voice Response). Both systems are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the applicant is filing a partial unemployment claim through his or her employer, neither of these methods will work. For a partial unemployment claim, he or she must report the amount of money earned before any deductions during the week, whether or not they were paid during this week. To file via the telephone, the claimant will need his or her Social Security number, personal identification number, and any information on earnings and hours worked during the week, including vacation, holiday, and severance pay.