Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, like many other governors in the country, ended the pandemic unemployment benefits early. A judge is working to get them back.

As of right now, pandemic unemployment benefits from the federal government were going to run until the end of September. Many states have ended them early, including Texas and Oklahoma. If looks like 13 Oklahomans have filed lawsuits against the state saying they cannot go back to work due to health conditions and need the benefits.

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An Oklahoma judge has agreed with their claims and is expected to file paperwork today to try to reinstate the federal unemployment benefits to Oklahoma. Earlier in the Summer, Governor Stitt did start a back to work program. Oklahomans could get a one time $1,200 payment, but that was for a maximum of 20,000 people who returned to work.

Judge Anthony Bonner said the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission must now request to resume the four federal programs that were cut off. A spokesperson for the Oklahoma attorney general’s office said they are reviewing the order and considering their next steps. I have to imagine Stitt will be fighting to stop this, but this is just the first step in the process.

We will see if Oklahoma is able to get these benefits back and if something similar could happen here in Texas.

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