Table of Contents
- Understanding Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
- Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- How To Qualify for Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
- How To Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
- Managing Your Unemployment Benefits
- Amount and Duration of Benefits in Arkansas
- How Do I Appeal a Decision?
- Reporting Fraud
- Arkansas Unemployment Office Locations
Understanding Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
Unemployment compensation is common in many developed nations and developing economies. For example, in the United States, both the federal government and the individual government of each state manage the unemployment compensation system.
Unemployment benefits generally depend on the percentage of a worker’s pay over the previous 52 weeks. However, the calculations vary per state. Regardless, payroll taxes on the state and federal level fund the unemployment benefit amount.
During the height of the pandemic, the federal and state governments initiated several unemployment supplement programs to support those who have lost their jobs.
For example, on March 11, 2021, the newly elected President Biden approved a law called the American Rescue Plan which involved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The law even added a $300 weekly federal unemployment assistance to further aid those in need. However, due to shortages in the labor market, Arkansas decided to end the extra supplement four months early.
Along with the relief stipend, Arkansas also ended the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
For more information, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services continues to provide updates on unemployment benefits filing information.
Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Benefits
In Arkansas, the Department of Workforce Services administers the state’s unemployment insurance benefits program and helps ensure employer compliance with the Arkansas Employment Security Law.
The Arkansas UI benefits program is supported by unemployment insurance taxes from employers, so no worker wages are withheld at any point to help fund the program.
The existence of this unemployment assistance program helps bridge the gap for unemployed workers and their families, helping ensure economic stability across Arkansas.
Arkansas Unemployment Services
|Private Website||Arkansas Unemployment|
|Weekly Certification||File a Weekly Claim|
|Appeal a Denial||Request a Hearing|
|Find a Local Office||https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact|
|Report Fraud||Fraud & Identity Theft|
How To Qualify for Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
To be eligible for unemployment assistance in Arkansas, you must an Arkansas resident and meet each of the following eligibility requirements, as defined by Arkansas law:
- Unemployed, through no fault of your own
- Both physically and mentally able to accept a job when offered
- Available for suitable work, including having child care and transportation in place if needed
- Making a reasonable effort to find a suitable job
- Free of participation or direct interest in a labor dispute
- Free of any disqualifying factors
If you’re not sure whether you qualify, the state of Arkansas encourages you to submit an unemployment claim as soon as you become unemployed so that you can receive an official determination.
Had at Least Minimum Wage Earnings
Similar to other states, Arkansas looks at your work history and income within a certain “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment. In this state, the base period spans between four to five quarters before the application has been filed.
You must have obtained at least minimum wage income in two or more quarters during the base period to qualify. Likewise, your earnings during these periods must exceed 35 times your weekly claim.
Had Been Laid off Due to No Fault of Their Own
Another qualifying factor for the unemployment insurance program is the reason for being laid off. In Arkansas, much like in other states, you must not have been at fault for your layoff to be eligible for unemployment benefits. These reasons include the following:
- Being laid off or losing your job as a result of a reduction in force or downsizing
- Being fired because you lack the skills to properly perform the job
- Quitting a position because you believe that you had no other choice but to do so (e.g., experiencing sexual harassment, terrible working conditions, or unethical values)
- Quitting for personal reasons, including disability or health conditions (for temporary disability benefits), relocating, or escaping domestic violence
Are Currently Available for Work
To qualify for unemployment insurance in Arkansas, you must be available to work, able to work, and are currently looking for suitable employment. That said, if someone offers you a position, you must accept it.
According to Arkansas law, suitable work refers to any position that’s similar to what you have done in the past or any job opening in which you have experience and training in.
Additionally, to be “available” for work, you must not have any restrictions hindering you from going to the office and performing your duties.
To ensure that you’re actively looking for a position, you must register through the DWS employment services. They will tell you how many contacts you must accomplish each week and require you to report them once you receive your Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
Benefit Payments and Duration
|Base Period||First 4 of the last 5 completed quarters|
|Alt Base Period||Last 4 completed quarters|
|Duration of Benefits||Weekly Payment||Maximum Benefits Amount (1 year)|
How To Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
The fastest and easiest way to submit an initial claim for unemployment compensation is by using the Arkansas EZARC system. You’ll need to set up an account, which you may then use to check the status of your claim and to submit your weekly benefits certification.
If you don’t have Internet access, you can file your unemployment assistance claim in person at any Arkansas Workforce Center office. You must have a valid government ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Managing Your Unemployment Benefits
Each week that you request UI benefits, you are required to file a weekly benefits claim that shows the state of Arkansas that you remain eligible to receive benefits. You may use the ArkLine interactive voice response system, which is a quick and easy way to file for your weekly unemployment insurance benefits by phone.
You can also choose the ArkNet online system to file your weekly claim. This is usually the fastest and easiest option. You can use the same account you set up when you filed your initial unemployment benefits claim.
Amount and Duration of Benefits in Arkansas
Once you finish filing your unemployment claim, you can start earning your extended benefits. The weekly benefit amount is only 1/26 of your wages during the most lucrative quarter of your base period. At present, the minimum rate is $81 per week, and the maximum is capped at $451 per week. You can compute yours using the Arkansas unemployment calculator.
You can receive benefits for up to 25 weeks in terms of duration. However, additional weeks may be granted if employment security is low and the unemployment rate is high.
How Do I Appeal a Decision?
Both you and your employer have the right to request an appeal for any determination regarding your unemployment benefits claim. You may do so in one of the following ways:
- Complete a written appeal form
- Write an original letter that formally requests an appeal and mail it to the following address:
Arkansas Appeal Tribunal
P. O. Box 8013
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203
For your request to be considered, you must submit it in writing within the 20-day appeal period outlined in your official decision letter.
Unemployment insurance fraud is a serious crime, often with far-reaching implications. Fraud diverts essential unemployment assistance from Arkansas workers who need it most. The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services asks for your assistance and vigilance when it comes to preventing unemployment fraud.
If you are aware of someone who is fraudulently receiving unemployment compensation, please report it using the Arkansas online reporting form. You can also submit a fraud report by phone at 501-682-1058.
Arkansas Unemployment Office Locations
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Harrison||818 Highway 62/65 North|
PO Box 280
Harrison, AR 72601
|Arkansas Division of Workforce Services||819 Newman Drive|
Helena, AR 72342-3230
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Hope||205 Smith Road Suite A|
Hope, AR 71801
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Hot Springs||201 Market St Suite A|
Hot Springs, AR 71901
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Jonesboro||2311 East Nettleton Street|
Jonesboro, AR 72401
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Lake Village||103 Main Street|
PO Box 806
Lake Village, AR 71653
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Little Rock||5401 South University Ave.|
Little Rock, AR 72209
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Lonoke||902 N. Center Street|
Lonoke, AR 72086
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Magnolia||104 Harvey Couch Blvd.|
PO Box 369
Magnolia, AR 71754
|SAU Tech Adult Educ-ion – Columbia County||104 Harvey Couch Blvd|
Magnolia, AR 71753
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Malvern||1735 East Sullenberger|
PO Box 788
Malvern, AR 72104
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Mena||1100 College Drive|
Mena, AR 71953
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Monticello||477 South Main Street|
PO Box 619
Monticello, AR 71655
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Morrilton||104 E. Railroad Ave|
Morrilton, AR 72110
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Mountain Home||1058 Highland Circle Suite 20|
Mountain Home, AR 72654
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Mountain View||211 Blanchard Ave|
Mountain View, AR 72560
|Arkansas Department of Workforce Services||7648 Victory Blvd Suite B|
Newport, AR 72112
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Pulaski County||324 W Pershing Blvd Suite 1|
North Little Rock, AR 72114
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Paragould||1015 Linwood Drive Suite 4|
Paragould, AR 72450
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Pine Bluff||1001 S Tennessee Street|
Pine Bluff, AR 71601
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Nevada County||355 W 1st St|
Prescott, AR 71857
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Rogers||100 North Dixieland Rd #B1-5|
Rogers, AR 72757-0999
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Russellville||104 South Rochester|
PO Box 727
Russellville, AR 72801
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Searcy||501 West Arch Street|
PO Box 248
Searcy, AR 72145-0248
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Texarkana||1702 Hampton Rd|
Texarkana, AR 75503
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – Van Buren||1500 East Main Street|
Van Buren, AR 72956
|Crawford County Adult Education Center||605 Alma Blvd Circle|
Van Buren, AR 72956
|Arkansas Unemployment Office – West Memphis||2003 W Broadway|
West Memphis, AR 72301