Arkansas Continues Implementation of Federal Unemployment Programs | Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

Arkansas Continues Implementation of Federal Unemployment Programs

January 27, 2021: The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is continuing to implement the Continued Assistance Act, the federal legislation that amends the unemployment benefit programs established under the CARES Act. The Continued Assistance Act extended three unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).


PUA System Updates Estimated to Be Done Second Week of February

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is continuing to implement the Continued Assistance Act, the federal legislation that amends the unemployment benefit programs established under the CARES Act. The Continued Assistance Act extended three unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The Continued Assistance Act stipulates changes to each of the CARES Act programs that required ADWS’ unemployment PUA software vendor to perform system updates and changes. Currently, PUA is undergoing system updates, but all other programs are up and running, including regular unemployment, PEUC, and FPUC. ADWS estimates PUA system updates will be complete by the second week of February.

Under the Continued Assistance Act, additional weeks of federally funded benefits will be available to cover individuals not eligible for regular UI or PEUC, including the self-employed, but whose jobs are affected by COVID-19. Some new requirements under the Act include weekly certification of the reason for unemployment related to COVID-19, verification of identification, and documentation of employment/ self-employment, or planned employment/ self-employment.

We understand those eligible for the PUA program are anxious to once again begin receiving benefits. Individuals who had a PUA claim prior to December 26, 2020 may continue to file their weekly claims; however, payments will not be released until system updates are complete. Once payments are released, they will be deposited into the payment method on file. If you are a new PUA claimant, and you filed a new PUA claim after December 26, 2020, the PUA system must undergo updates to accommodate the recent revision and extension of the PUA program and a modification must be made before the filing functions can be restored.

It will be important for DWS to have the correct mailing address and email address for you on file in the PUA system to ensure you receive notices from DWS in the future. If your PUA account isn’t accessible, you may contact the hotline (844-908-2178) or email adws.puahelp@arkansas.gov with your account questions and issues. Emails with PUA updates and instructions were sent to PUA claimants on Friday, January 22. That information is also being provided to claimants via paper mail.

Click here to view the updated Unemployment Programs Flowchart Guide.