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January 5, 2012

Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tier 3 benefits can be filed Jan. 8

— The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) announced Wednesday that Oklahoma unemployment claimants who have exhausted Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tier 2 benefits can file for EUC Tier 3 benefits beginning Jan. 8, 2012.  EUC is a 100 percent federally funded program that provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular state benefits.

To offer EUC Tier 3 benefits, a state must have a three-month average seasonally adjusted employment rate above 6.0 percent. In Oklahoma, EUC Tier 3 benefits in originally triggered off in July 2011, when the state’s average unemployment rate dropped below the 6.0 percent threshold.  With the release of the state unemployment rate on Dec. 20, 2011, Oklahoma’s three-month average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate topped 6.0 percent, leading the state to re-open enrollment for EUC Tier 3 benefits.

Oklahomans who exhausted EUC Tier 2 benefits between July 10, 2011, when EUC Tier 3 originally triggered off, and January 7, 2012, are eligible to apply for the newly available EUC Tier 3 benefits.  Notifications will be sent to those claimants to inform them of their potential eligibility.

Because the OESC call center already receives a high volume of calls, claimants are being asked to file their EUC Tier 3 claims online at www.unemployment.ok.gov.  If a claimant needs to file their claim by phone, he or she is encouraged to contact the OESC call center on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays at (405) 525-1500 in the Oklahoma City area and (800) 555-1554 elsewhere.

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