Oklahomans Make Facebook Group For Unemployment Issues

Thursday, April 30th 2020, 8:31 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero


The state is trying to meet the demand of the thousands of Oklahomans trying to file for unemployment.

Elizabeth Mann contacted News On 6 and told us a Facebook group "Unemployed in Oklahoma" is helping her and thousands of Oklahomans.

Mann was furloughed from her job at Hillcrest South earlier this month. She said she filed for unemployment -- but ran into problems.​

"I was naïvely thinking okay -- someone is going to contact me --- but nothing was happening," Mann explained. ​

She says she filed for an "Way to Go" card on the website GoProgram.com. Mann says the website is owned by the company, Conduent. ​Mann says the site won't even let her file for the card - which is how recipients get their unemployment money. ​

Mann walked News on 6 through the difficult process. She says she keeps getting an error message everytime she files, saying "the page cannot be displayed because an internal error has occurred." 

"I'm not the only one everyone is having this problem," Mann said. She joined "Unemployed in Oklahoma" on Facebook, and instantly connected with more than three thousand Oklahomans going through the same thing.​

"I quickly realize that my problem were not as bad compared to all the others -- who are waiting for hours on the phone only for calls to be dropped, cards that are not received," Mann explained. ​

We reached out to Secretary David Ostrowe with Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. ​He replied saying: 

"OESC has state employees working around the clock to find technology-driven solutions to issues that are plaguing the outdated infrastructure the state unemployment system operated under for decades. We have made significant improvements in very little time like allowing claimants to apply online for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and creating a new, easy to navigate website where claimants can check the status of their claims, input information for their weekly claim attestation, or utilize the chatbot to ask questions instead of calling the agency.

While these improvements will likely not solve every problem from the record number of claims we are receiving, we will continue to push out new information and solutions to the issues that have arisen and make sure every submission has been vetted and reviewed.

Mann says if she doesn't get paid this week - she can't pay her mortgage. She hopes the state steps up. ​"Oklahoma needs to help their people to get the hard money that they have worked for get back to them," Mann said. ​

The OESC says individuals with questions about the Conduent prepaid debit card should contact the vendor at 866-320-8699.

OESC has also released a step-by-step guide. You can find it HERE.