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Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

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  • Are you unemployed through no fault of your own? Start by applying for regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

    File an initial claim online using EZARC (EZ Arkansas Claims): www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov

    Monday – Friday: 6am - 6pm Sunday: 7am – 6pm

    File an initial claim at your local Arkansas Workforce Center office

    Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm

    Find an Arkansas Workforce Center near you: www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact

    You will need to file continued claims for each week you are unemployed to receive benefits.

    File continued claims for regular unemployment benefits online or over the phone:

    ArkNet: www.arknet.arkansas.gov

    ArkLine: 1-501-907-2590

    Monday – Friday: 6am – 6pm Sunday: 12:01am – 6pm

    To speak to a specialist, reset your PIN, or change your address, call 1-844-908-2178

    Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm

    Please do not call the 844-908-2178 phone number to file an initial claim for regular unemployment or PEUC. All initial claims for regular unemployment or PEUC must be filed online by the applicant.

    The work search requirement is in effect, and you must report the number of job contacts when filing your weekly claim. The one-week waiting period is also back in effect.

    Effective week-ending January 2, 2021, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program was extended. If you have an active regular unemployment insurance claim or PEUC unemployment insurance claim, continue to file your weekly claims as usual.

    If you are unemployed or partially unemployed and have a PEUC claim with a remaining balance, but the claim is inactive, report to your local Workforce Center to reopen your PEUC claim. The PEUC program expires on March 14, 2021. However, due to a phase-out provision in the new law, if you receive a PEUC payment for the week ending March 13, 2021, and still have benefits on your PEUC claim, they may be available through the week-ending April 10, 2021. Otherwise, the last payable PEUC week is the week-ending March 13, 2021.

    The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program has been extended under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020. FPUC will be available to those receiving benefits starting with the week-ending January 2, 2021, and ending with the week-ending March 13, 2021. FPUC will provide an additional $300 weekly benefit to eligible claimants. A claimant must be eligible through a separate unemployment program to receive FPUC.

    Click here to view the 2021 Guide to Unemployment Programs.

    UI Handbook

  • Are you self-employed, an independent contractor or unable to work due to COVID-19?

    Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a federal program created by the CARES Act for workers who are not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and have become unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work due to qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.

    PUA has been extended under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. The PUA extension will provide additional weeks of benefits, to a maximum of 50 weeks, ending with the week-ending March 13, 2021. Weekly certification, identification and documentation will be required.

    If your application is approved, you will need to file continued claims for each week you are unemployed to receive benefits. The work search requirement is now in effect, and you must report the number of job contacts when filing your weekly claim. The one-week waiting period is also back in effect.

    Submit your application and file weekly claims for PUA benefits online at www.pua.arkansas.gov/home

    Sunday – Saturday: 6am – 6pm

    If you have trouble filing online, or if you have questions regarding your account, you may call the hotline:

    844-908-2178
    Monday – Saturday: 6am - 6pm

    Those eligible will also receive the additional $300 FPUC for weeks claimed starting with the week-ending January 2, 2021 and ending with the week-ending March 13, 2021.

    You will be required to verify your ID to receive PUA benefits. You will receive notice in the mail and/or via email with instructions on how to complete the process. If you have already verified your ID, you do not have to do it again. If you are unable to verify your ID online, you may present your identification in person at a local DWS office or at an Arkansas Workforce Center.

    You will be required to provide documentation showing proof of employment/ self-employment or planned employment/ self-employment. You must submit the following supporting documents:

    Proof of earnings from the last tax year or other financial documents. Until documents are received, the minimum PUA benefit amount will be applied.

    Documentation substantiating employment or self-employment or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment.

    Documents may be uploaded via the PUA website, emailed to PUA.documents@arkansas.gov, or faxed to 501-325-9650.

    Click here to view full details on documentation requirements for PUA.

    Click here to view the 2021 Guide to Unemployment Programs.

    PUA Handbook

  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

    MEUC is a new, temporary program created by the Continued Assistance Act. DWS is working to build this program and will provide updates soon.

    Once implemented, the program will provide $100 in additional benefits to certain individuals with self-employment income.

    The additional benefit payment is targeted to individuals that received at least $5,000 of net self-employment income in the most recent taxable year ending prior to the individual’s application and will be paid on top of regular UI benefits, PEUC, and FPUC.

    Documentation of income will be required.

Apply Online

Monday – Friday: 6am - 6pm

Sunday: 7am – 6pm

The online system closes at 6pm to process claims filed each day.

Regular Unemployment

To file your regular unemployment weekly claim benefit: Click here

PUA Unemployment is for self-employed or those unable to work due to COVID-19

PUA Unemployment

Sunday – Saturday: 6am – 6pm

To file your PUA weekly claim benefit: Click here

Call to Apply

Questions?

Call 1-844-908-2178

Regular UI Calls: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm

PUA Calls: Monday – Saturday: 6am - 6pm
It may take more than 30 minutes to complete an application by phone after the call is answered. Online is a faster way to apply.

To file your regular unemployment weekly claim benefit, call 501-907-2590

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