Our goal is to make unemployment uncomplicated!
As school administrations are becoming leaner, a large majority of Oklahoma’s school districts are turning to OSSBA’s employment service to handle their unemployment matters.
What Our Team Does
The OSSBA employment services team will work closely with you and your staff to reduce, if not remove, the time, energy, and pressure it takes to handle unemployment claims matters, including, but not limited to:
- Receiving the mail year-round, even during school breaks,
- Docketing, requesting, and organizing claim information to ensure timely response,
- Working closely with your school’s direct supervisors and/or HR staff to identify key points and disqualifying factors on a case-by-case basis which maximizes claim denial potential,
- Cross-referencing your claims with those of the area schools that are also in our program, which broadens the possibility of disqualifying claimants,
- Receiving and responding to quick follow up questions based on knowledge of past similar decisions and hearing opinions,
- Monitoring current claims by school to seek out and identify further opportunities to fine-tune practices, policies, and documents in use for personnel,
- Providing legal representation on your school’s behalf in ALL unemployment hearings, which includes pinpointing best witnesses with extensive preparation before the hearing and a debriefing afterwards, identifying documents not yet provided to the OESC for the claim, and navigating hearing procedures on your school’s behalf,
- Discussing appeal options and other opportunities to reduce unemployment,
- Training for administrators, department directors, and those who complete reports for the OESC.
OSSBA Saves Staff Time and Stress
Each claim, from the initial claim response to the end of the appeals process, may take anywhere from 30 minutes to five (5) hours of time, if not more, depending on claim complexity. Offloading this chunk of time alongside the stress of deadlines and organizing evidence for responses will allow your staff to tackle other duties that may have before been pushed to the side.
Further, a single unemployment claim can cost your school district up to $11,100 – per claim! And, the maximum claim amount has been on an upward trend since 2011 when it was only $7,400 per claim. With your school district responsible for payment dollar-for-dollar the amount paid for each claim, there’s not a better time to let OSSBA focus on your unemployment while you focus on your school district and the children your district educates and grows.
From January to December 2015, OSSBA won 89% of winnable claims for its membership!
What OSSBA Costs and Saves
Membership in the employment services program is based on the number of employees per year using an average employee count from your most recent OESC quarterly contribution report. Proration occurs when a school district joins for a portion of the fiscal year.
OSSBA saves your school district through not only claims management but also through:
- Auditing quarterly statements for errors,
- Requesting waivers of penalty or interest from the OESC, when applicable,
- Alerting timely on school and unemployment state law and OESC agency rule changes,
- Reminding of required reporting deadlines to avoid penalty fees, and
- Providing sample letters, procedures, and training for use by your school district for common claims, especially for reasonable assurance protection during school breaks.
Now more than ever, we are is gaining momentum in membership, because:
- We care about Oklahoma public education and are operated solely to further that purpose.
- We are Oklahoma-based and locally run.
- We pride ourselves on employing attorneys who are licensed in the State of Oklahoma who know not only our state’s unemployment law, but are familiar with how schools operate under state school law. We update our membership on relevant law changes in both areas that affect unemployment.
- We have created and maintain positive working relationships with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and our school membership.
- We are a non-profit with membership fees benefitting program development for Oklahoma public education.
- OSSBA is in it for our children; when you keep your money and time with your school, our children benefit.