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.


  • H C R

    My husband started working in January through a Texas based company. The job was in Oklahoma so we moved in February. On August 31st he was let go. Is he eligible for unemployment in the state of Oklahoma?

    • Assuming the TX employer reported the wages to OK, he should be eligible. However, if he has a work history in TX in 2016, he may have the possibility of two back-to-back claims (TX and then OK) and should in apply TX first, assuming he doesn’t already have an active claim there. Then, when the TX claim is exhausted, he can apply in OK.

      Otherwise, applying now, using its alternate base period, OK will consider wages July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. In order to qualify, OK requires two quarters of earnings (in your case 3/31/2017 and 06/30/2017) and that total base period wages equal at least 1.5x your high quarter, or you have total wages of at least $18,700 in the base period.

  • Ashley

    I was just approved for benefits from a job I was laid off of in may, the benefits started in July. I started a new job July 17th then was fired on August 25 for no real reason other than “the direction the company was going”, he said it was nothing I had done.

    There was a young employee there that was responsible for my training that acted very rudely and very unprofessional-such as making shooting noises as I was walking away, not telling me important procedures needed for the office to run correctly.

    I filed for unemployment again on the 28th but haven’t heard anything yet. Am I still covered by my first claim or have I worked enough for the second job to cover it? What is the process from here? I have just completed the first week of not working after the second job (which they also have not paid me, I am owed a check for 60 hours that was due on the first).
    I hope that I have not lost the benefits that I was just awarded because I took a job that treated me so badly them let me go for no reason.

    Thank you.

    • You REOPEN the existing claim. Oklahoma needs to investigate the separation. Whether or not you resume benefits will depend on what employer tells OK on why you were discharged. You say “I do not know.” If employer lies and accuses you of some form of misconduct, you will need to appeal before benefits resume. Do not venture any reason on your discharge other than company said it was going in a different direction. Your issues with the coworker are irrelevant. Monies owed you are irrelevant.

  • VS

    I have been employed off and on since April of this year. I have been working steadily through a contract company on long term assignment since the first of July. In December the plant will shut down. Not sure when it will reopen but should bring us back on when it does. No guarantee so I will still be looking for work. My last month working with my former employer was listed as January 2015. During 2016 I was on disability through the Insurace I had through the employer. Will I qualify in December for unemployment during the layoff?

    • Yes – if you apply in January 2018. OK does not use an extended base period for disability. Therefore, you apply for benefits the first week in Jan. 2018. Using its alternate base period, OK will consider wages July-December 2017. You will qualify as OK requires two quarters of earnings (in your case 9/30/2017 and 12/31/2017) and that total base period wages equal at least 1.5x your high quarter, or you have total wages of at least $18,700 in the base period. You should meet that criteria. If you apply before January, OK can only review wages through 9/30/2017 and you will not qualify.

  • AY

    Hi. I was on unemployment in December 2016. Got s job in May 2017 and I just for let go because business just isn’t picking up! Me along with a few other people. So technically, I’ve only been off unemployment for 3 months. Can I refile or am I qualify until I find a new job?

    • Your current benefit year has not yet expired. Therefore, you cannot file a new claim at this time. You can REOPEN your existing claim if there are any remaining benefits to be paid out. If you have exhausted all your benefits under the December 2016 claim, there are no benefits available at this time.

      That said, you can file a new claim in December 2017. You will qualify for a new claim at that time because you worked May-August.

  • 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 *