Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program Benefits
The federal-state unemployment insurance program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under Arkansas law, and meet other eligibility requirements of Arkansas law).
Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of Arkansas law. Arkansas administers a separate unemployment insurance program under guidelines established by federal law.
Purpose of the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program
The Arkansas Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program serves several important purposes, all aimed at providing financial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs and helping stabilize the economy. Here are some key purposes of the UI program:
- Income Support for Unemployed Workers: The primary purpose of the UI program is to provide temporary financial assistance to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. This support helps them meet basic needs, such as housing, food, and other essential expenses, while they search for new employment.
- Economic Stability: By providing financial assistance to unemployed workers, the UI program helps maintain a level of economic stability. It prevents a sudden and severe loss of income for individuals and their families, which, in turn, can mitigate the negative impact on local economies.
- Promotion of Workforce Mobility: Unemployment benefits can encourage individuals to seek new employment opportunities, even if those opportunities are in different regions or industries. This promotes workforce mobility and can contribute to a more efficient allocation of labor resources.
- Social Safety Net: The UI program is part of the social safety net, helping to protect individuals and families from financial hardship during times of unemployment. This safety net is crucial for preventing extreme poverty and supporting the overall well-being of the community.
- Stabilization of Consumer Spending: Unemployed individuals who receive UI benefits are more likely to continue spending on essential goods and services, which, in turn, can help stabilize consumer spending. This stabilization is important for businesses and the broader economy.
- Cyclical Economic Cushion: During economic downturns or recessions, unemployment tends to rise. The UI program serves as a counter-cyclical measure by automatically providing increased financial assistance to those affected, helping to soften the impact of economic contractions.
- Incentive for Job Search: The requirement for individuals to actively seek new employment while receiving UI benefits serves as an incentive for job search and reemployment. This requirement helps individuals transition back into the workforce as quickly as possible.
- Reducing the Impact on Social Services: By providing unemployment benefits, the UI program can help reduce the reliance on other social services and public assistance programs, as individuals and families have a source of income during periods of unemployment.
Overall, the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program plays a crucial role in supporting individuals and communities during economic transitions and uncertainties, providing a financial lifeline for those experiencing temporary unemployment.
Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program Benefits
The benefits provided by the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program include financial assistance to eligible individuals who have lost their jobs. Here are key aspects of UI benefits in Arkansas:
- Weekly Benefit Amount: The amount of weekly benefits is based on the individual's earnings during a designated base period. The base period is typically the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week the initial claim is filed.
- Maximum Benefit Amount: Arkansas sets a maximum limit on the total amount of unemployment benefits an individual can receive during a benefit year. This maximum amount is determined based on the individual's earnings during the base period.
- Duration of Benefits: The number of weeks an individual can receive unemployment benefits is limited. The duration of benefits is also influenced by factors such as the state's unemployment rate and any applicable federal extensions during times of economic downturn.
- Job Search Requirements: Claimants are typically required to actively search for work and report their job search activities to the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS). This is a condition for continuing to receive unemployment benefits.
- Payment Methods: Unemployment benefits in Arkansas are typically paid through direct deposit to a bank account or through a prepaid debit card. Claimants can choose their preferred payment method.
- Additional Programs: In times of economic challenges or crises, the federal government may implement additional unemployment benefit programs. These could include extended benefits, pandemic-related assistance, or other programs designed to provide extra support during extraordinary circumstances.
- Appeals Process: If an initial claim for unemployment benefits is denied, individuals have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process allows for a review of the denial, and a hearing may be conducted to address the claimant's case.
It's important to note that details regarding benefit amounts, duration, and other specifics may change, and they are subject to state and federal regulations. For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program benefits, individuals should visit the official website of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services or contact their office directly.
Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program Eligibility
Claims must be filed through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, and certain conditions must be met during each week for which benefits are payable. To be eligible, you must be:
- physically and mentally able to perform suitable work,
- available for suitable work,
- making a reasonable effort to find work,
- free of participation or direct interest in a labor dispute, and
- free of disqualification.
WAITING WEEK In addition to the above, a waiting period of one (1) week must be served before benefits are payable to you. A week to be used as a valid waiting period must be a valid week of unemployment. A valid week of unemployment must be a week you have claimed after filing your Initial Claim, in which you did not have any earnings or had earnings of less than 140% of your Weekly Benefit Amount, met all Eligibility Requirements, and a week for which you are not disqualified.
ABLE TO WORK means being physically and mentally able to perform work similar to work you performed in the past or other work for which you are fitted by experience and training to perform and have a reasonable expectancy of obtaining.
AVAILABILITY FOR WORK means being ready to accept work at once, and there are no circumstances, personal or otherwise, which would prevent you from accepting suitable work.
REASONABLE EFFORT TO FIND WORK means making personal efforts to secure suitable work by contacting persons with hiring authority, union local, etc., or doing those things reasonable for you to do in regard to your occupation, which would result in your finding employment as soon as possible. After a reasonable amount of time, you must expand your efforts and seek work in related fields which utilize a lesser skill.
Who is eligible for Arkansas Unemployment Insurance?
To be eligible for this benefit program, you must a resident of Arkansas and meet all of the following:
- Unemployed, and
- Worked in Arkansas during the past 12 months (this period may be longer in some cases), and
- Earned a minimum amount of wages determined by Arkansas guidelines, and
- Actively seeking work each week you are collecting benefits.
Documents Required for Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program
When applying for unemployment benefits through the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program, applicants typically need to provide certain documents and information to verify their eligibility and facilitate the claims process. Keep in mind that the specific requirements may vary, and it's essential to check the official website of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS) for the most up-to-date information. here are some common documents and information you may need:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Driver's license or state-issued ID
- Names and addresses of all employers over the last 18 months
- Dates of employment with each employer
- Wages earned from each employer
Reason for Unemployment: The reason for job separation (e.g., layoff, termination, resignation with good cause)
Banking Information: Bank account information for direct deposit of benefits, including the bank's routing number and account number, if choosing direct deposit
Work Authorization: If applicable, proof of work authorization for non-U.S. citizens
Union Information: If a member of a labor union, the name and local number of the union
Military Service Information: If a military veteran, the Member 4 copy of DD Form 214
Alien Registration Number: If not a U.S. citizen, the Alien Registration Number and expiration date
Separation Notice or Letter: Some states may require a separation notice or letter from the employer, specifying the reason for separation and other relevant details
Additional Information for Pandemic Assistance Programs: During times of economic crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, additional documentation may be required for specific federal assistance programs. This could include proof of self-employment income or documentation related to the impact of the crisis on employment.
It's important to apply for benefits as soon as possible after becoming unemployed, as there may be waiting periods. Additionally, be prepared to follow any specific instructions provided by the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. For the most accurate and current information regarding required documents, application procedures, and eligibility criteria, it is advisable to check the official website of the Arkansas DWS or contact their office directly.
Required Eligibility for the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program
Eligibility for unemployment benefits in Arkansas, as in most states, is determined by several factors. The Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program has specific requirements that individuals must meet to qualify for benefits. here are the general eligibility criteria:
- Work and Wage Requirements: Applicants must have earned a certain amount of wages during their "base period." The base period is generally the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the week the initial claim is filed.
- Job Separation: Individuals must be unemployed through no fault of their own to qualify for benefits. Common qualifying reasons include layoffs, lack of work, or separation due to reasons beyond the individual's control.
- Availability for Work: Claimants must be physically able to work, available for work, and actively seeking suitable employment. They must be willing to accept a job offer if one is made.
- Registration with the Job Service: Applicants are usually required to register with the Arkansas JobLink system, the state's employment service. This can be done online through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS) website.
- Work Authorization (if applicable): Non-U.S. citizens must have work authorization to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- Monetary Eligibility: Applicants must meet certain monetary eligibility requirements, which are based on their earnings during the base period. The exact monetary requirements may vary.
- Exhaustion of Severance Pay: If the claimant received severance pay, they may need to wait until the severance pay is exhausted before becoming eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Participation in School or Training (if applicable): Individuals attending school or training programs may still be eligible, but they must meet specific criteria. Availability for full-time work is generally required.
For the most current and accurate information regarding eligibility for the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program, individuals should refer to the official website of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services or contact their office directly.
5 Steps to Filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits
1. File Initial Claims Online with EZARC
File your initial claim for unemployment insurance (UI) online using EZARC (Easy Arkansas Claims). www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov | Sunday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Once you have completed this filing process, information will be mailed to you.
2. Provide Proof of ID
You must show proof of ID to verify your identity during the UI claim filing process. After you have filed your initial claim on EZARC, you will see a confirmation page. Click the “Verify Identity” link on your confirmation page to choose how you would like to provide proof of ID. There are three ways to provide ID for you to choose from, including:
- Online – Login.gov: Use Login.gov to upload photos of your identity documents with your phone or computer. Follow the instructions provided after choosing this method. (OR)
- In-Person at a Participating Post Office: Provide your ID in person at one of over 200 participating USPS locations in Arkansas. Follow the instructions provided after choosing this method. You will be given a barcode that you must present along with your identity documents. Click here to view a list of participating post offices.
- In-Person at an Arkansas Workforce Center: Present your ID in person at a local Arkansas Workforce Center.
3. Register for Work Online
Register for work online using Arkansas JobLink (AJL) at www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov. If you need assistance, visit your local Arkansas Workforce Center.
4. File Weekly Claims
Weekly claims must be completed each week. File weekly claims online using ArkNet. Visit www.arknet.arkansas.gov or call ArkLine at 1-501-907-2590. For UI purposes, weeks begin on Sunday and end on Saturday.
- ArkNet : File continued claims online using ArkNet. You must file a continued claim once you have a valid initial claim established and you are determined to be eligible for benefits. Click here to go to ArkNet!
- ArkLine : DWS’ IVR System, ArkLine: Information explaining the fast and easy way to claim weekly benefits using Arkansas’ Interactive Voice Response telephone system, ArkLine. 1-501-907-2591 (Employers) 1-501-907-2590 (Applicants)
5. Questions? Call the UI Service Center 1-844-908-2178 :
If you have any questions about Unemployment Insurance, contact the UI Service Center. 1-844-908-2178 | Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.– 3:30 p.m.
The Unemployment Insurance Information Handbook
The UI Information Handbook is an explanation of the benefit provisions of the employment security law and policies to help you understand your rights and responsibilities while filing for unemployment insurance.
Appeal Tribunal : If you wish to file an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, follow the instructions on your Notice of Agency Determination or download a Request for Appeal to Appeal Tribunal form at www.dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ui-claimant-forms/. To check on the status of an appeal, contact the Appeal Tribunal at 501-682-1063.
Board of Review : If you wish to file an appeal to the Board of Review, follow the instructions on your decision notice from the Appeal Tribunal or download a Request for Appeal to Board of Review form at www.dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ui-claimant-forms/. To check on the status of an appeal, contact the Board of Review at 501-683-4300.
Court of Appeals : If you wish to file an appeal to the Court of Appeals, download the Petition for Review to the Arkansas Court of Appeals form here.
To repay overpayments, mail payments directly to Benefit Payment Control, PO Box 8060, Little Rock, AR 72203-8060. Any questions regarding overpayments can be directed to Benefit Payment Control at 501-682-3241. Click here to learn more about overpayments.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
DUA is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance and employment services to jobless workers and the self-employed when they are unemployed as a direct result of a significant natural disaster if DUA benefits are made available. Click here to learn more about DUA.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (Program Expired)
- The PUA program expired on September 6, 2021, and the last payable week for PUA benefits in Arkansas was the week ending June 26, 2021.
- The Arkansas PUA Portal is permanently closed to claimants. (PUA claims filed before expiration have been archived for reference by ADWS.)
- If, in addition to working in Arkansas, you worked in another state and that state continued to offer PUA after June 26, 2021, you may qualify for a second PUA claim in that state. Read more here: https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/pdf/pua_claims_limited_circumstances.pdf.
- PUA claimants with pending appeal decisions may still be paid retroactively for weeks before June 30, 2021, if later deemed eligible. For PUA appeal decision questions, please email [email protected].
- The expiration of the PUA Program has no impact on the state’s regular unemployment program. Claimants still receiving their weeks of regular unemployment benefits should continue to certify as normal.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that provides temporary income to eligible individuals who became unemployed as a result of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and are either self-employed, do not have sufficient work history to be eligible for a claim, or have exhausted other forms of unemployment insurance benefits. It is funded by the federal government, not by state unemployment taxes paid by employers.Arizona National School Breakfast and Lunch Program Benefits
Trade Readjustment Allowances
This specific form of Trade Adjustment Assistance is paid to an eligible adversely affected worker every week after he/she exhausts entitlement to regular unemployment compensation, including state and federal extensions.
Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program
The Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to help certain Unemployment Insurance claimants return to work faster. If you are claiming unemployment benefits, you could be selected to participate in the RESEA program. Participants are obligated to meet various program requirements.
How can I contact someone?
For more information on Unemployment Insurance, please visit the Arkansas Unemployment page. You may also visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s State Unemployment Insurance Benefits website for additional federal program information.1-844-908-2178.