Covid stimulus – Unemployed to get $1,200 to go back to work in Oklahoma as increased benefits keep workers at home

UNEMPLOYED Oklahomans could receive $1,200 to go back to work to combat increased benefits keeping workers to home.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed the executive order titled the Return to Work Incentive.

The first 20,000 people who apply and qualify for the incentive will receive $1,200.

To qualify, applicants must have received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or traditional unemployment between May 2-15.

They must also complete six weeks of employment working at least 32 hours per week.

The link to sign up will go live on June 8 and payments will be available starting the second week in July.

Stitt spoke about the executive order on Monday saying "Our challenge is not to get businesses back open; we've done that. It's been getting employees back to work.

 "Without a doubt, one of the factors causing this has been the continued extension of extra federal benefits," he continued.

In addition to the Return to Work Incentive, Oklahoma will cease all extra federal benefits created last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

After June 27, only traditional unemployment will be available to Oklahoma residents.

Shelley Zumwalt, executive director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, spoke about the order aiming to get workers back into offices and establishments.

She said that in all, "200,000 Oklahomans are eligible for work but don't have a job."

"I hear from employers every single day about their struggles to find staff for their businesses."

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