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The natural disaster caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other our nation has encountered in modern history. Its impact is severely felt across the whole of society, hitting hard and fast in a matter of days and weeks. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act delivers critically needed economic help to Americans who are facing difficult times by no fault of their own. For American workers who have unexpectedly lost their jobs due to the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19, the CARES Act provides some extra support.

Economic Relief for Workers

The CARES Act included $250 billion to offer support for hardworking Americans who are experiencing unforeseen unemployment as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program
  • Expands coverage to more workers – including self-employed, contractors and those furloughed
  • Provides an increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits for the next four months
  • Makes available 13 additional weeks of unemployment for those who need it
  • Includes funding to offset 50 percent of the costs of state and local government and non-profits for paying unemployment to their workers
  • Supports short-time, work share programs as an alternative to layoffs

Getting Support

If you lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can file a claim to receive unemployment insurance through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC).

Filing Options and Resources

Online resources from OESC:

Contact Information:

  • To speak directly with an OESC representative, call 1-800-555-1554
  • If you have questions about filing a claim or unemployment benefits, you can also communicate with OESC via email:
  • OESC’s website: