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Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

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The following federal unemployment programs will end June 27, 2021: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

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

    The following federal unemployment programs will end June 27, 2021: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

    I am receiving regular unemployment insurance; will I be impacted by federal unemployment programs ending? When the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program ends on June 27, 2021, you will no longer receive the additional $300 with your weekly benefit payment. Given you continue to meet eligibility requirements for regular state unemployment insurance, you will continue to receive benefits for each week you claim.

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will end on June 27, 2021. No further benefits can be paid for any weeks of unemployment that begin after the PEUC period ends, even if you still have a balance on your PEUC claim.

    Work Search: The work search requirement is in effect, and you must report the number of job contacts when filing your weekly claim. DWS will be checking work search logs, and you could be selected to provide a copy to DWS for review. If you fail to submit an accurate record of your job contacts, you could be denied unemployment benefits. More information on the work search requirement and how to record your job contacts is available on pages 36-38 of your UI Handbook.

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    Initial Claims:

    File an initial claim online or in person. Initial claims for regular unemployment may not be filed over the phone.

    Online: www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov

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

    In person: Find a local DWS office near you by visiting www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact

    Hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm

    Continued Claims:

    You will need to file a continued claim (or “weekly claim”) for each week you are unemployed. This can be done online or over the phone.

    Online: ArkNet- www.arknet.arkansas.gov

    Phone: ArkLine- 1-501-907-2590

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

    Questions:

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

    Hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30pm

    Everything you need to know about regular unemployment insurance can be found in the DWS UI Handbook.

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

    The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will end on June 27, 2021. Weekly benefits will continue to be paid to those eligible through the week ending June 26, 2021. The $300 supplemental benefits paid through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will also end on June 27, 2021.

    What if my PUA claim is pending appeal? If your appeal is approved, you will be paid for the weeks you have claimed for which you are eligible.

    What if my claim is pending adjudication? If your claim is approved, you will be paid for the weeks you have claimed for which you are eligible.

    Applications and Weekly Claims:

    Apply and file claims for PUA online or over the phone.

    Online: www.pua.arkansas.gov

    Hours: Sunday – Saturday: 6am – 6pm

    Hotline: 844-908-2178
    Hours: Sunday – Friday: 6am - 6pm

    Questions:

    If you have questions regarding your account, call 844-908-2178.

    Hours: Sunday – Friday: 6am - 6pm

    ID Verification Requirement: Once you submit your initial application, you will be required to verify your identity. You can verify your ID online or present your ID in person at a local DWS office.

    To verify ID online, use a device with a camera and log in to your PUA account. You will see a message about the Identity Verification Process with a link to verify your ID online. Click on the “CLICK HERE” link to open the ID Verification Request page. Select “I will scan my driver’s license or state ID.” Click “Next”. Follow the steps to scan the barcode on the back of your ID. If you need help, click “View Instructions”.

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

    Documentation of Employment Requirement: You are required to provide documentation showing that you were employed or self-employed, or that you had plans to start employment or self-employment. This documentation demonstrates a recent attachment to the labor force and serves as an important tool against fraud.

    COVID-19 Impact Statement: You might be required to provide a COVID-19 impact statement depending on the COVID-19 related reason under which you self-certify to establish eligibility for PUA.

    Weekly Benefit Amount Documentation: You may submit documentation of income to have your weekly benefit amount raised above the minimum $132. Until ADWS receives documentation, the minimum $132 will apply.

    Work Search: The work search requirement is in effect, and you must report the number of job contacts or hours spent working on activities designed to resume your self-employment when filing your weekly claim. DWS will be checking work search/activities logs, and you could be selected to provide a copy to DWS for review. If you fail to submit an accurate record of your job contacts/activities, you could be denied unemployment benefits.

    PUA Handbook

    Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) was created for workers impacted by the pandemic who are not covered by regular state unemployment insurance, such as the self-employed and independent contractors.

  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

    The Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program will end on June 27, 2021. Weekly benefits will continue to be paid to those eligible through the week ending June 26, 2021. The $300 supplemental benefits paid through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will also end on June 27, 2021.

    Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) was created to provide an additional $100 payment to those receiving regular state unemployment insurance or PEUC benefits who earned at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the most recent taxable year.

    Eligibility: You might be eligible for MEUC if you are already receiving an unemployment benefit from a program other than Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you are receiving benefits for weeks claimed that are covered by the MEUC program, you have at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the most recent taxable year, and you apply for the MEUC program and submit documentation which clearly shows $5,000 net income.

    Documentation of Income Required: Document your income by providing a copy of the income tax return for the most recent taxable year ending prior to your application for regular unemployment insurance benefits. If you filed a claim in 2020, the most recent taxable year would be 2019 for your self-employment tax records. If you filed a claim in 2021, the most recent taxable year would be 2020. If a tax return is not available, acceptable documentation of self-employment income includes, but is not limited to paycheck stubs, bank receipts, business records, ledgers, contracts, invoices, billing statements.

    How to Apply: Claimants identified as potentially eligible for the MEUC program will receive an MEUC application packet from DWS in the mail. There are two parts to the application packet, the application form, and a questionnaire. Both are available to download here:

    MEUC Application Form 525

    MEUC Questionnaire

    Submit both parts of the MEUC application packet with the required documentation to DWS via mail or email using the information below:

    Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

    Attn: MEUC

    PO Box 8007

    Little Rock, AR 72203

    ADWS.515Unit@arkansas.gov

    Payment:

    Once processed, a Notice of Monetary Redetermination will be issued to notify you of MEUC eligibility. If it is determined that you meet the requirements to receive MEUC benefits, these payments will be made automatically with no extra action required by you.

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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