Jobless Claims Break Records; Affects Families

Monday, 11 May 2020 21:41

Jobless Claims Break Records; Affects Families Featured

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For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA


Child Statistic of the Week Focuses on Water Safety Day, May 15

The way we all conduct business has changed due to COVID-19, with millions finding themselves without a stable income. Just last week, Oklahomans filed more than 68,000 jobless claims with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) during the week ending May 2.

That is up more than 15,000 claims from the week before. On the week ending April 25, OESC made compensation payments to nearly 155,000 people according to the U.S. Department of Labor data. U.S. unemployment rate for April hit a staggering 14.7 percent, the highest rate since the Great Depression.

The U.S. economy lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone. Before COVID-19, employers had added jobs for 113 consecutive months before that. There is an additional 5.1 million other Americans who have had their hours cut during the last month. A measure of the unemployed, plus full-time workers who reduced to part-time, is at 22.8 percent, which also is a record high rate.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is working to improve the application process to get claims approved, and questions answered as quickly as possible. OESC has expanded its call center to serve claimants better. Even so, you may still experience longer-than-expected wait times, so filing online remains the quickest way to file a claim. To learn more about how to apply should you be in need, go to to get more information and be directed to the online filing system.

There are two things to make certain of before you start: make sure you are qualified; and have all the right information on hand when you begin your application. To ensure you are qualified, you must meet these requirements:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You can work.
  • You are registered in and available to work.
  • You must have earned a minimum of $1,500 during your base period.

The information you will need to apply will consist of the following information:

  • Your Social Security number;
  • Name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address;
  • Alien registration number and expiration date if a non-citizen;
  • Oklahoma driver’s license or state-issued ID card number;
  • Name and address of the company on your paycheck stub or W-2 form;
  • Employment start date and end date;
  • Wages earned and how you were paid (hourly, weekly, monthly);
  • Form SF8 or SF50 if employed by the federal government in the last 18 months; and/or
  • DD214 form for military service in the previous 18 months.

Please remember that information that you enter may not save if you leave the application before completing it. For further questions, please use the OESC Virtual Agent located in the bottom right corner of the browser window on their website.

As the economy slowly begins to open, please take precautions to protect your health and the wellness of those around you. You can see Centers for Disease Control recommendations at for their best practices.

The Child Advocates of the Week are Cherokee Chief Chuck Hoskin and First Lady January Hoskin. The child statistic is brought to you by King Marlin Swim Club – “Every year in the U.S., 3,572 people die from drowning, including 945 children.”  Have a safe International Water Safety Day on May 15!



About OICA: The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens seeking to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk. Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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