Arkansas Unemployment Benefits
Are you physically able to work?
Are you willing to actively look for a job?
Did your employer pay unemployment taxes ("Covered Employment")?
Did you earn at least $2870 in the base period in Arkansas?
Base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. If you are filing today, base period is Jan 2012 - Mar 2012 to Oct 2012 - Dec 2012
How did you lose your job?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Were you laid off for no fault of your own?
Applying online is the easiest and fastest way to claim benefits. Check for more specific details such as timings and requirements to claim benefits in your state.
CALL: (501) 907-2590 to file an Unemployment Compensation Claim (Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm). ; Employer Account Services : (501) 682-3798; Unemployment Insurance Administration :(501) 682-3200 ;
Visit UC Center:
You can’t seem to find assistance on call? No worries. Visit one of the UC center and let the specialist help you out. Please note that wait times can be longer but assistance is guaranteed.
you are not eligible
What is the Eligibility Criteria in Arkansas?
There are some basic rules for eligibility. Even if you meet some of these rules partially, you should still apply for unemployment because state offices make a reasonable attempt to process your claim, as long as you provide a good justification.
To learn more check unemployment eligibility article
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.Claim your benefits
How to File Your Initial Claim in Arkansas?
If You Are Not a United States Citizen
You must give verification that you were legally eligible to work in your state and that you are presently eligible to begin a new job.
How to File Your Weekly Claim?
After you file your application for unemployment benefits, you must start filing your weekly claims. You require filing each week, even though you are:
You can file your weekly claim:
File every week that you want to claim benefits and keep on filing until you go back to work, run out of benefits or stop seeking work. You should claim at least one week before we can make a decision on your eligibility.
How to Claim for an Extension?
If you are presently filing weekly claims for unemployment benefits; carry on filing your weekly claim if you are jobless or working reduced hours. You will be informed by mail of your eligibility for the added benefits.
In case you have been filing weekly claims and are still laid off or working reduced hours, you will have to file an application for these extra benefits online or by telephone. You will be alerted by mail of your eligibility for the additional benefits.
To be eligible for EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you must:
To be eligible for EB benefits you must:
Arkansas Unemployment Questions
Is Unemployment Insurance tax deducted from my paycheck?
No, deductions are not made from your paycheck. Arkansas employers who are covered by Arkansas Employment Security law are required to a pay a quarterly tax on their payroll. This tax funds your benefits.
Do I ever get paid for the Valid Waiting Period Week?
No, the law requires that each individual serve a Valid Waiting Period for the first eligible week claimed. Although you do not get paid for this week, the maximum benefit amount is not reduced or affected.
Do I have to serve another waiting period if I reopen my claim?
No, only one Valid Waiting Period is required for the life of a claim. However, once a claim expires and another new claim is filed, another waiting period must be served.
Do I report gross or net earnings when I am claiming weekly benefits?
You must report the number of hours you work and the gross wages earned for each week claimed. Earnings must be reported for the week in which they are earned - not the week in which you get paid.
I get paid on production work and I don't know how much my gross wages are going to be until I get my paycheck. How can I claim the week correctly if I don't know how much my paycheck is going to be?
If you are not sure what your pay will be for a week, you must wait until you actually get paid to claim that week. DWS Regulation 14(a) provides that, in the case of partial unemployment, an individual has 14 days from the date the wages are paid to claim the week.
If I find a part-time job while I am drawing unemployment insurance, do I have to report the wages I make each week?
Yes, you must report the number of hours worked and the gross wages for every week you work and claim, no matter where you are employed.
What if I don't agree with the decision the DWS makes concerning my eligibility for unemployment benefits?
Either interested party (claimant or employer) who disagrees with a decision issued by DWS may file an appeal. The Appeal Tribunal is a separate entity that will hear your case and render a new decision. The next level of appeals is the Board of Review, followed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
Do I have to take a job that pays less than what I made on my last job?
Individuals who are required to look for work must be willing to accept suitable work when offered. Suitability of a job can depend on many factors - such as how much the new job pays, how long you have been unemployed, and what you were paid on your last job. The law does not specify that the pay must be the same as last employment.
Can I go to school while I draw my unemployment benefits?
Arkansas Law requires that a person be able and available for work while drawing unemployment, and be willing to accept suitable work if offered. However, exemptions from work search can occur if you are attending school full-time and are enrolled in a training course that is approved by the Department Director; or if you are attending school full-time in an approved Federal program such as the Trade Act. Check with your local office to determine if you qualify for any type of exemption. If you do not qualify for work search exemption, you may still be eligible for benefits while attending school. There are several factors considered when determining if school attendance will affect a person's eligibility for Unemployment Insurance Benefits. The most important factor is availability for work. In other words, your schooling must not interfere with making your minimum number of assigned job contacts or your ability to accept work.
What happens when my benefits run out?
If you have not become re-employed by the time your unemployment insurance is exhausted (drawn out), contact your local office to determine if or when you might qualify for additional benefits. You may qualify for another regular claim for benefits or extended benefits, if we are in an extended benefits period. Even if you are not able to establish a new claim, please continue to visit your local DWS office so they can assist you as much as possible in your search for new employment.
How Benefits are calculated?
To calculate your weekly benefits amount click here
The minimum benefits amount in Arkansas is $82.
The maximum benefits amount in Arkansas is $457
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.
To learn more Unemployment benefits article