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State: Arkansas (AR)
Phone Number:(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 ;
Major Towns:Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, and Pine Bluf
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Arkansas

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.

Questions & Answers

57 thoughts on “Arkansas Unemployment Benefits”

  1. Ashley Love says:

    I am going to have to resign from my current job to home school my child who is being bullied at school and her therapist recommends she is transferred to another school but the school district will not honor the reccomendation. If I resign will I be able to collect unemployment until I am able to find a job that is at night or weekends?

    1. Sam says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for further advise.

  2. bill says:

    I have worked at my job for over 2 years. I have catatonic seizures which causes me to have irrational and occasional verbally combative behavior. These have occurred at work and usually are result of stressful situations. The last one I had was over two months ago. I was allowed to resume work after my head cleared on that day. I was suspended from my job two months later even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. would I be eligible for unemployment benefits while being suspended. I have been told I would remain on suspension until I get fit to work order from the worker compensation doctor. This doctor doesn’t want to give me this until I am seen by a nuerologiist. I have been told this could take up to six weeks.

    1. Sam says:


      Generally, personal reasons as health conditions are not considered. However, if the working conditions are leading to health hazards or otherwise, please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  3. Esther Kelso says:

    I was honorably discharged from the USMC September 12, 2017. My husband is still active duty and we moved on orders to Fayetteville, AR. I am a 32 week pregnant full time online student with a 1 year old already. Can I qualify for Arkansas unemployment benefits since my schooling is to qualify me for my desired job field? Anticipated graduation is Fall 2019.

    1. Sam says:


      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details since they may have an exclusive program for you.

  4. Don says:

    your calculator appears to be broken…

    Fatal error: Call to a member function get_results() on a non-object in /home/funlog714/public_html/wp-content/themes/corporateplus2/calculate.php on line 28

    1. Sam says:


      Thank you for the message. It is working fine now. Please write back if you have any issues accessing it.


    If I start going to school and have an approved training program that allows me to continue to draw monetary benefits will I be able to draw for the full length of the program which is 15 months or will I be eligible to get an extension?

    1. Sam says:


      As much as I aware, there is no extension. Please call the Claims Center to clarify.

  6. Chris says:

    I think I’m going to be fired for performance reasons in the next few weeks. If I resign in lieu of termination, would I still be eligible for unemployment benefits? Thanks.

    1. Sam says:


      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  7. dianna says:

    I was denied unemployment appealed and denied again how long till I can file again?

    1. Sam says:


      It depends on the outcome of the Appeals process. Please call the Unemployment Office for further instructions.

  8. Steve says:

    i have a buddy that works jobs and was fired from his main job of 9 yrs. 16can u collect unemployment while working a part time job

    1. Sam says:


      He should be able to collect. Please ask your friend to contact the Unemployment Office before applying.

  9. Renee says:

    I have worked at a company for 25 yrs in upper management. there have been changes in management recently and because of personality conflicts upper management recently gave me and a couple others the “opportunity to resign” or be fired. We resigned with severance packages. We were not given reasons, but other remaining employees were told we had agreed it was time to part ways and move on, which wasn’t true.
    Are we eligible to draw unemployment?

    1. Sam says:

      You can be, as long as separation from employment was involuntary.

      Please wait until the severance payout is over.

  10. Working American says:

    So my wife has worked every since she was 16 and has always had a job and work at her last job for 12 years. Then they get a manager that treats her like crap fires her so she files for unemployment benefits and gets jerked around for 4-5 weeks and then gets denied. What kind of damn joke is this place? All these taxes we pay and we never use any kind of government assistance and the one time she applies for it you denie her. Your simply a waste of time and money. No good and worthless to someone who pays in all these years and then gets nothing in return when needed. Thanks to you for nothing. We can’t keep our lights on or water with just me working and buy food too. She’s trying to find another job and you don’t help the people that keep money coming in to you. If it was up to me your offices would all shut down and everyone of you would loose your jobs and your houses and you would starve on the streets. Your nothing but dog shit on the bottom of my boot. But what could I have expected your the pos government that only helps lazy ass bums that doesn’t want to work so you give them free government housing and food stamps as they continue to have more kids and never intend on working because you give them everything for free. Well fuck your assistance and you as your worthless and we’ll make it on our own like we always do. I would love to see the day you had to shut down and all food stamps and government housing would no longer exists.

    1. Sam says:

      I can understand your frustration. Please note this is a private forum and not a govt. organization.

      I suggest that you ask your wife to file an “Appeal” with an adjudicator. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy if you decide to file.

  11. Sharon farnam says:

    What are the laws on if you have to quit a job. Is there anyway you can draw benefits

    1. Sam says:

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. If there were compelling reasons to quit (eg: hostile working conditions), you can apply.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm.

  12. Laura says:

    This is my husbands second week to file. This week he got holiday pay. He included it and when he did it now says his claim is denied. What did he do wrong?

    1. Martin says:

      I am not sure what went wrong. Please call the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided for further information.

  13. Robert says:

    I have been a hotel manager for a small franchisee with 3 properties for nearly 3 years. Since the beginning of this year I have been managing 2 of those properties instead of just one. My pay was increased to 40,000 a year at that time. I was recently told the 2nd hotel was not making enough money so they were eliminating my position there and running it themselves. This will cut my pay by 35 percent to 26,000 a year. If i quit due to the reduction in pay will i be able to draw benefits? The companies are structured in an odd way. They are two seperate corporations in name but owned by the same couple and my work week was split between the two. They often share employees between all 3 properties. I recieved two seperate paychecks. I was salaried in both positions. One paycheck was for the rate of 26,000 a year and the other was for the remaining 14,000 per year.

    1. Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  14. Frances L. Grissette says:

    this is a similar way to answer the question I am satisfied

    1. Martin says:

      Thank you.

      Please write back to us if you have any further questions.

  15. Jason says:

    I am currently on workers comp. due to an injury at work. My employer made me wait a year before receiving medical insurance, workers comp is taking good care of me to present time. My one year anniversary was Sept. 9th 2016. After repeated calls to the job asking to talk to owner about having them add me on the medical insurance, I received no callback. So I decided to go there on Sept. 23rd to actually talk to boss face to face. He said he had to replace me, and that I no longer have a job there. When I asked him when he replaced me, his response was Sept. 9th. which would be my anniversary date. He said after workers comp. released me, I could go draw unemployment benefits. Later that afternoon he called me three times, and I could not answer the phone, so when I arrived at home, he was in my driveway and said he changed his mind and made a mkstake and wanted me back. I am concerned that he may have thought what he did was illegal in some sort, and is just trying to cover his rear end now. I dont want to go back after the way I have been treated. If I refuse to go back now, can he deny me unemployment insurance?

    1. Martin says:

      Well, if he refuses to take you back, you can be eligible to claim Unemployment Compensation in your state.

      In case if they deny on the basis of the feedback provided by your employer, you can file an “Appeal”. Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state.

  16. Cathy Gray says:

    My job is being eliminated due to company restructure. Can I drawn employment if I get severance pay?

    1. Martin says:

      You can be eligible to apply and draw Unemployment Compensation after the expiry of severance pay period.

      1. cathy gray says:

        Does it make a difference if I get my severance in weekly installments or as a one lump sum payment?

        1. Martin says:

          Yes, it does make a difference. If paid in installments, you may have to wait until the payout ends.

          Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  17. Sandra Knott says:

    I was fired from my job in Arkansas but have enough to quarter in N.M. to draw unemployment. How do I do this?

    1. Martin says:

      Please provide further details surrounding your question. I did not quite understand.

  18. Al says:

    My company does not have a fmla plan for my current position. It is strictly your boss that decides your time on and off and the excuses that go along with that time. If I have to miss time because of sick family, personal sick days, and etc. And my employer fires me, does that fall under the category of “no fault of my own?”

    1. Al says:

      Also, I have been denied a layoff from said company. I have a family member who is very ill and not expected to get better anytime soon. I really need some information on what my options will be if my company ends up firing me.

      1. Martin says:

        You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

        Please lookout for other options online.

    2. Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may not qualify to receive Unemployment Compensation.

  19. tina says:

    Am working but don’t make that mush

    1. Martin says:

      Please specify the nature of your query. You must be earning the prescribed wages to qualify for Unemployment Compensation.

  20. ieisha t says:

    Ive been working for about 4 wks now and I’ve never received over 30 hours they have me down as a full time employee but I’m getting part time hours

    1. Jeff says:

      You can be eligible to claim the lost hours. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  21. Neal says:

    I quit my job due to my employer failing to maintain safe work environment. Am I still eligible for unemployment?

    1. Adrian says:

      You can be, if you’re able to supply supporting documents in case of a dispute.

      Please consider applying.

  22. Laura Wagner says:

    Would I be eligible for unemployment if I quit my job (with notice) because my husband was ordered to relocate to another state in the military?

    1. Adrian says:

      Please check with the labor dept in your state. Generally, personal reasons such as moving with spouse is not considered.

  23. lucy johns says:

    if i am a paid caregiver and become the guardian i can legally no longer get paid so can i draw unemployment

    1. Adrian says:

      Mostly not.Please get in touch with the labor dept in your state.

  24. Garrett says:

    I gave my two weeks notice due to moving and the company let me go that day. I am wondering if this is considered being fired and i can claim unemployment.

    1. Adrian says:

      As long as its mutually agreed, it should be fine.

  25. Mandie says:

    I am needing to leave work to care for my mother. The hours I work will not allow me to be the primary caregiver. I have been told that I could qualify for unemployment benefits in the state of Arkansas. Is this correct?

  26. justin davis says:

    I worked from the 11th of June 2013 to the 8th of November 2013 last paycheck was on the 15th of November do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

  27. shirley bodnar says:

    Can I collect benefits working 30 hours per week?

    1. Baggie says:

      Hi Shirley,

      30 hours of work per week should help you receive partial unemployment benefits as anything below 40 hours a week is considered for reduced payment. But please do not forget to report all earnings and hours of work whether you are working full time or part time. Also, you must continue to look for and be available to accept work.

      Gross earnings (before any deductions) for all work performed for the week being claimed must be reported when filing your weekly claim for benefits. Wages are to be reported in the week earned, regardless of when you actually receive your pay from your employer.

      Earnings from commission sales are also reported in the week earned if the amount is known. If the amount cannot be determined at the time the week is claimed, it may be reported during the week received.

      Deductions will be made from your Weekly Benefit Amount when your earnings are more than 40% of the Weekly Benefit Amount. Here a procedure to calculate your partial benefit amount –

      1. Calculate your weekly benefit amount using our calculator tool –>

      2. Check your weekly earning. If your weekly earning is more than 40% of your weekly benefit amount, proceed to the next step.

      3. Calculate the 40% of your weekly benefit amount. Consider this X.

      4. Now –> your weekly earning – X = Y.

      5. You weekly benefit amount – Y = Reduced benefit amount.

      I have tried to simplify this as much as I can. Hope this helps.

      If you receive any other pay like holiday pay, vacation pay, bonus pay etc., please do not forget to add it up and also mention while you file your claim.

  28. Rebecca johnson says:

    My unemployment claim was denied and I went to work nov 12, 2012 and then was laid off after 4 weeks due to business being slow. Do I reopen my old claim even though I never drew anything or do I file a new one? Thank you so much

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