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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.

    Initial Claims:

    Click here to view the Unemployment Programs Flowchart

    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

    Work Search and Waiting Week:

    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.

    PEUC:

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) has been extended to September 6, 2021.

    FPUC:

    The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program has been extended to September 6, 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.

    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?

    Click here to view the Unemployment Programs Flowchart

    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 to September 6, 2021. Weekly certification, identification and documentation is required.

    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 will receive notice via email with instructions on how to complete the process. The email includes a link. When you click on the link, it will open an application called UIdentify. You will need to follow the steps and use your camera to scan your ID. Click here to watch a video on how to verify your ID for PUA.

    If you do not complete the online ID verification process within 7 days, the link will expire. If your link expires or if you are otherwise unable to verify your ID online, you will need to visit a local DWS office to verify ID in person.

    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 and Waiting Week:

    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.

    FPUC:

    Those eligible will also receive the additional $300 FPUC for weeks claimed from January 2, 2021 through September 6, 2021.

    PUA Handbook

  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

    Click here to view the Unemployment Programs Flowchart

    MEUC is a new, temporary program created by the Continued Assistance Act to assist workers who had multiple sources of income. MEUC provides an additional $100 weekly in extra benefits to eligible claimants who have at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment during the most recent taxable year. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants are not eligible for MEUC.

    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. MEUC benefits will be available from the week ending January 2, 2021 through September 6, 2021.

    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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