While there is typically only one requirement to apply for unemployment compensation in Oklahoma -- losing your job -- there are several requirements you must meet to qualify for the program. While you are working, your employer pays premiums into a trust fund managed by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. If you lose your job -- and qualify -- the state will pay you weekly until you get another job, for 26 weeks or until you exhaust your trust fund.
Typically, you cannot have a job when you apply for unemployment, although if you meet earnings requirements, you can qualify when working part-time. While you should apply as soon as possible after you lose your job, you cannot apply in anticipation of losing your job. Oklahoma does not make payments retroactive to the date of your employment if you are late applying. There is a one-week waiting period before your benefits begin. If it takes the commission longer than one-week to establish your benefits, you will receive back payments for all but the one-week waiting period.
Oklahoma requires you have at least $1,500 in base period wages. The state determines your base period by looking at your total wages in the previous year that ended in the yearly quarter preceding your drop to less-than-full-time status. For example, if you lose your job in November, your base period is from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the current year. The total amount of your wages during your base period must equal at least 1.5 times your highest quarter. If in your highest earning quarter you earned $1,000, your base period earnings must be at least $2,500.
If you are not an American citizen, you must have documentation showing that you are in the country legally to receive benefits. Acceptable documentation includes your resident alien card, passport, Form I-20 and your Form I-94 from the U.S. Department of Immigration, according to the Social Security Administration. American citizens can show their Social Security card, birth certificate or driver's license to prove citizenship.
Quitting your job typically prevents you from qualifying for benefits. However, in some cases, you will qualify for unemployment after you quit. If you quit your job for good cause, including discrimination, the inability to relocate more than 50 miles and medical problems you -- or your minor child -- have, you may qualify for compensation. If you quit, you must have documentation that verifies your claims. Acceptable documentation can include witness statements and notes that you make regarding incidents that led to your resignation.