Oklahomans Camp Out To Meet With Employment Security Commission Agents

Wednesday, July 1st 2020, 6:24 am
By: Tess Maune


Oklahomans having trouble getting unemployment benefits will get a chance to meet Employment Security Commission agents during several claim processing events.

The OESC said more than 500,000 Oklahomans have already filed for unemployment. That's nearly 13 percent of our state's population.

But hundreds of Oklahomans have had trouble getting unemployment benefits, back pay or are victims of fraudulent claims. They tell News On 6 can't get through to anyone with the agency on the phone for help.

Over the past week, long lines have formed outside the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, where many people have camped out trying to get answers.

OESC Interim Director Shelley Zumwalt said in a social media video that's unacceptable.

"I am not OK with people having to stay the night, overnight outside to receive their benefits. That's not the way the system should work and it's not OK,” said Zumwalt.

Which is why the OESC is moving its claims processing agents to the Reed Center in Midwest City July 1 and July 2, and again on July 8 and 9. The claims processing events are from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

"We can serve triple the amount of people every day and we can do it in a safe manner, where people do not have to risk their safety to receive their benefits," Zumwalt said.

She said agents have gone through intense training to help Oklahomans with their unemployment claims.

“I want you to walk out that door and know that we have helped you and your claim is being processed,” said Zumwalt.

Zumwalt said the agency will hold claims processing events in Tulsa in a few weeks, but the exact dates and location haven't been announced.