Many workers who are between jobs are eligible for unemployment benefits, which come in the form of weekly payments that are designed to help them fund their daily living expenses until they are able to find a new job. This financial safety net is an asset for those who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves unemployed for whatever reason. That said, unemployment benefits come with a lot of red tape and limits, and not every laid-off worker is eligible for them. If you made a mistake and lost your job because of it, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, to know for sure, reach out to an Oklahoma employment law attorney to learn more about your rights and possible financial relief options.
Every state's unemployment program is slightly different, as each state is allowed to create its own policies. However, the federal government oversees each program and funds them via the payroll taxes that employers pay.
The federal government designed unemployment benefits to help American workers who were laid off or fired to cover their bills between positions. Those who qualify for benefits will receive weekly benefits until they either find a new job or they meet their state's benefits limits. In Oklahoma, the maximum weekly benefit limit is $520.00. The maximum benefit limit is $11,300.00. Oklahoma, like other states, allows recipients to draw benefits for only a certain number of weeks. The numbers states set are not arbitrary and are dependent upon workers' wages. A person may receive less than the $520.00 a week amount but never more.
As mentioned above, unemployment benefits are not available to everyone. For a worker to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma, he or she must meet three criteria:
● He or she must be involved in an active job search;
● He or she must have made a certain amount of money during a certain period, which is known as a "base period"; and
● His or her job loss must have been no fault of his or her own.
If you were fired for misconduct, you do not meet all three eligibility requirements. Therefore, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits.
If you meet the aforementioned criteria, you should be eligible for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma. However, if you were fired for misconduct, chances are your application will be denied. That said, do not not try to apply for benefits. The unemployment application will ask you for details about your termination, previous employer, and the department to contact for additional verification. It may turn out that you did nothing glaringly wrong, in which case the unemployment office may not deny your benefits. However, you never want to lie on your application, as the office will surely find out about the untruth and use it against you.
If you were fired for something you did wrong, you still need financial assistance while between jobs just like those let go through no fault of their own. Our Oklahoma employment law attorneys at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker will review the circumstances surrounding your termination and try to determine if your employer's reasoning was invalid or inflated in any way. If we determine it was, we can help ensure your former employer is honest with the unemployment office and that you receive the benefits you need to get back on your feet. Contact our Oklahoma law firm to schedule your free consultation today.