How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma defines an employer as having paid employees:

a minimum of $1,500 plus 1.5 times the HQW


  1. the highest taxable base wage in a single quarter [Note: the current highest taxable base wage is $18,700]

To qualify for unemployment insurance in Oklahoma, you must have a total base period earnings of at least $1,500. You also must have worked during at least two quarters of the base period. Further, your total base period earnings must be at least 1.5 times your HQW.

This causes the minimum HQW to be $1,000.


Your total base period earnings meet the minimum requirement of being at least Oklahoma’s maximum taxable wage base, which is $18,700.

Oklahoma offers both an extended base period and an alternate base period. The alternate base period, which considers the last four completed calendar quarters in the base period (instead of the first four), is available for those who fail to qualify under the regular base period. The extended base period is made to include the four quarters preceding the regular base period.


  • Kathleen Hudson

    My husband has been unemployed for almost 3 years now and is waiting to get approved for disability,( he’s been denied 2 times). He goes before the judge end of this month. If denied again can he still draw unemployment, if he doesn’t appeal again? He is a diabetic and had to quit working because of foot ulcers and his doctor advised him to try for disability,he tried numerous times to go back to work but could not. He worked for Walmart for 11 years.

    • Your husband is not eligible for unemployment benefits because he has had no earnings in the past 18 months. Even if he had earnings, he would need to prove fitness for work. Unemployment benefits are never paid to those who cannot work. If he cannot work, his other option is SSDI.

      That said, in some states, SSDI is almost impossible to get – especially in consistently red-leaning states like Oklahoma. If you haven’t already, consult an attorney who specializes in SSDI. That’s your only chance.

  • Angie Epperson

    I was let go from my job of 14 years back in December. I started receiving unemployment benefits through Jan 18, I took a job with an insurance agency. My base rate is $10/hr plus commission. This is a new agency and really haven’t made any commission. I feel like I have been set up to fail. He is never in the office to help me learn. There was no proper training. I am unable to look for other work because I don’t want him to know I am interviewing places. Am I able to quit and go back on my original unemployment

    • Most insurance products require you have a license to sell them. If you aren’t licensed, you can’t sell them. That said, resuming unemployment benefits under circumstances like yours isn’t easy. Some states are more forgiving than others of a quit in your circumstances. If you can convince Oklahoma the job you took wasn’t as it was represented to you – or better yet, you are expected to sell a product which you are not licensed to sell – it is possible they will resume benefits, eventually. Realistically, expect an initial denial and a need to appeal to have the facts of your case properly examined.

  • DA

    My current employer, a physician, has made the decision to retire rather quickly. He is closing the door next week and he just informed us yesterday. I’ve only been with him for 6 weeks. However, I was with a previous physician for 14 mths. I left him to join the other Dr and I had no gaps in employment. Am I eligible for unemployment?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *