Virtual Town Hall set for unemployment insurance, displaced workers

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s agency for unemployment insurance and re-employment of displaced workers is conducting a virtual Town Hall for claimants and the public at-large.

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With more Oklahomans facing unemployment due to the impact of COVID-19, OESC is hosting the event to quickly provide critical information about the claims process to those who need it.

“We’re completely focused on improving the online experience for initial claimants, reducing wait time for callers, and getting Oklahomans the relief, they need,” said OESC Executive Director Robin Roberson. “To help with all of that, we’re hosting an incredible event this Friday for both claimants and the general public. We’re going to explain the claims filing process and answer questions about eligibility and the various types of relief.”

The virtual town hall begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 10. The agency will be calling 30,000 claimants to invite them to connect directly. An Eventbrite registration page has been created for those not already working through the claims process or simply want to participate.

In the past three weeks, OESC has received more than 135,000 initial claims for unemployment compensation. The flood of new claims has swamped phone lines as individuals seek relief to make up for wages lost through the closing of businesses to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

To address the increase, OESC is dramatically increase its staff and actively working to improve its processes to handle the record spike in calls to the agency. The Town Hall was identified as a quick solution to help answer the most commonly asked questions of those calling for assistance.

“This may be the largest event of its type ever in the state,” Roberson said. “People are worried. They’re frightened. They’re uncertain about how they’re going to provide for their families. We want them to know we hear them and we’re going to work with them to get the relief they need.”

To register through EventBrite, got to https://www.eventbrite.com/d/online/oesc/ and click on the Town Hall event.

Registration is free. Please provide your name and email address.

Individuals who would like to participate in the virtual town hall may do so at https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=19272

Director Roberson and her team will brief legislators on Thursday to provide them with information to assist in responding to constituent concerns.

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