Oklahoma governor signs unemployment insurance indexing bill

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed House Bill 1933 into law on May 20, which will cut the maximum length of unemployment insurance benefits from 26 weeks to 16 weeks starting Jan. 1, 2023. The law will index unemployment insurance benefits starting Jan. 1, 2025, tying the length of benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. Oklahoma will provide shorter periods of benefits during times of low unemployment (with a minimum of 16 weeks) and longer periods of benefits during times of high unemployment (with a maximum of 26 weeks).

At least five states have already implemented some form of unemployment insurance benefits indexing: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, and North Carolina.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

For more information on Oklahoma’s unemployment insurance program, click here. For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.

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