Arkansas Unemployment Application

Arkansas Unemployment

Apply Online

Call the UI Service Center: 844-908-2178
The Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Service Center is open Monday-Friday | 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Visit an Arkansas Workforce Center

Applying for the Arkansas Unemployment Insurance Program

If you’re working in Arkansas and find yourself out of work, you can apply for Arkansas unemployment benefits while you seek employment. The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services handles the unemployment insurance program, which offers financial help to unemployed workers who lost their job through no fault of their own.

When to apply for Arkansas unemployment compensation

Apply for UI benefits as soon as you become unemployed. Your claim will be activated on the date of your EZARC submission.

In rare cases, claimants may need to contact the Department of Workforce Services before the claim is accepted. In that case, claims will be activated on the date of the actual filing.

Information to have before applying for Arkansas UI benefits

Before you apply, it’s important to have the following information ready. This will help ensure the information is accurate and the application process goes smoothly.

  • Full name
  • Mailing and physical address
  • Telephone number
  • Recent 12-month work history
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Labor union contact information, if applicable
  • Banking information for Direct Deposit
  • Alien Identification Number or registration information if you are not a United States Citizen

How to apply for Arkansas unemployment

To begin your unemployment claim, you’ll need to fill out an Application for Unemployment Insurance Benefits form online.

Apply online:

You are encouraged to apply online using the EZARC system. You must complete this step when starting a new claim or reactivating an existing one.

Filling out your online claim will take about 30 minutes, and you’ll get an online confirmation when your application is successfully submitted.

Apply in person

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can apply in person at any local Arkansas Workforce Services office and complete a claim application there.

You can also download and print the application form and bring it to the unemployment office already filled out.


Filing a claim online should take about 30 minutes. You might experience delays while saving each page, so be patient and avoid interrupting the process. During the process, you will be asked to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to protect your online information.

If you need to take a break and finish your claim later, you can click “Log Out.” Any information you entered on the last screen won’t be saved, but previously entered information will be saved for 24 hours. You must complete your application within that time frame, or you’ll lose any partially completed information.

Your claim’s effective date is when you submit the application and receive confirmation.

After filing your claim

After filing your claim, make sure to print the confirmation page as proof. You’ll receive your Arkansas unemployment benefit on a debit card unless you choose direct deposit as your payment method. You can set up direct deposit on the confirmation page, just be sure to have your bank account information and routing number on hand.

Register for work

Once you have applied, you must register for work with ADWS. You can register online at Arkansas Job Link or by visiting your local Arkansas Workforce Center.

Verify your identity with

Once you submit your application and see the confirmation page, you will be given a link to verify your identity through This is to protect your identity and ensure that no one else is committing Arkansas unemployment fraud by pretending to be you.

Identity Verification Requirements

To verify your identity, you will need to provide the following:

  • State-Issued ID: You can upload a photo of your ID using your phone or computer. If you don’t have a state-issued ID, contact ADWS.
  • Social Security Number
  • Your phone number

If your phone number can’t be verified, you can choose to verify your identity by mail, which takes about 3-7 business days. If any of this information is missing, please contact the government agency you’re trying to access for assistance.

Monetary Determination

This notice will explain your UI benefits, including how much money you will receive and how long your benefits will last. Arkansas typically awards benefits for 16 weeks unless extended benefits are available. According to Arkansas law, weekly payments must be between $81 and $451. To estimate your weekly benefit amount, you can use the Arkansas unemployment calculator.

File weekly claims

Once you receive your Monetary Determination notice, you must file weekly claims to maintain your benefits. This is to certify that you are eligible for benefits.

ADWS will ask you a series of questions about any earned wages or job offers you received in the past week. You must also meet Arkansas unemployment work search requirements by making at least one job contact each week.


When filing your first weekly claim, you will be asked to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). 

Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) is a 4-digit number that you choose, and it should be easy for you to remember. When selecting your PIN, avoid using your birthday, address numbers, or the last 4 digits of your social security number, as these might be known by others who could try to access your records. Don’t use sequential numbers (like 1234) or the same number four times (like 2222).

The first time you claim weekly benefits, the system will ask for your Social Security Number.  You’ll then be prompted to enter your chosen 4-digit PIN. Use this number each time you call to claim weekly benefits or inquire about your claim. Remember not to share your PIN with anyone, including family members or Department of Workforce Services personnel.

Waiting Week

When you file your weekly claim for the first time, you won’t receive a payment. This is known as the Waiting Week. Every benefit year requires a waiting week. To be credited for your waiting period, you must meet all eligibility requirements and not have excessive earnings.

Receiving Benefit Payments

You can receive your unemployment benefits through either a debit card or direct deposit. You can configure your preferences during the application process. Payments are typically deposited 2 business days after you file a weekly claim.

Debit Card

Should you choose to receive your unemployment benefit with a debit card, you will receive it in the mail in 5-7 business days. The ADWS has teamed up with U.S. Bank ReliaCard to deliver your payments. When you get your debit card, follow the activation instructions included in the card packet to ensure it’s ready for use.

Direct Deposit Information

If you opt for direct deposit into your checking account, have your banking information and routing number ready.

Each time you file a weekly claim, a deposit will be made to your debit card or checking account within 2 business days. If there’s an issue with your claim that prevents payment, you’ll receive a message card in the mail explaining why the unemployment benefit can’t be paid. Weekly claims are processed on the night you file, and any messages are sent the next business day.

If your application is denied

If you apply for Arkansas unemployment insurance and your application is denied, don’t lose hope. You have the right to appeal the decision.

Start by carefully reviewing the denial letter, which will include the reason for denial and instructions on how to appeal. Make sure to file your appeal within 20 days of receiving the denial notice.

An appeal hearing may be scheduled, where you can present your case and provide evidence. It helps to be prepared and organized, as this increases your chances of a successful appeal.

  1. I was sick at work. I told my boss I couldn’t finish out my whole shift due to my feeling ill. My boss refused for me to leave. But after a while of trying to cope, I couldn’t anymore and left an hour early. I was put on administrative leave, than later on in the car week they decided to terminate me. Will I be eligible for unemployment??

      • Cindy,

        It will be a simple form online. Please login to your account on the web portal. If you’re unable to locate, please call the Claims Center for assistance.

    • I was recently terminated from my job because I was 17 minutes late due to having to take my son to the dr. He was diagnosed with influenza type a and strep throat. I called at 12 pm and told the they were running blood tests because his cheeks and neck were swollen also. I was told to bring a Dr note wit h I did. I was still on my probation period, the company’s policy is 180 days ( 6 months ). About 6 that evening 3 hrs into my shift my wife called and told me his fever was 104 so I text my shop manager in a grip text with my lead and general manager in the group. I was told ideas still in my probation period and if i left i woukd be terminated and to chose wisely. I decided against better judgement to stay and when I reported for my shift the following day and was called into the office and was let go for being late even after the Dr note, there reason wasent my work ethic but rather they felt I wasent fully comited to the company am I eligible for unemployment?

      • Mark,

        That is a lame reason to terminate someone’s employment. Please go ahead and speak to the Unemployment Office to ascertain if you’re eligible.

    • Kisha,

      If you have supporting documents/paperwork to prove in case of a dispute during the time of processing, please consider applying until you find employment.

  2. Hello. I have been in and out of the hospital due to severe anaphylactic reactions. This has led to severe PTSD. My doctor has me on a medical leave. I have an upcoming appointment at the mayo clinic and will not be released medically until test results are completed and a treatment plan is established. My FMLA will expire next week. The earliest I could be medically released is the end of December when all speciality appointments are completed. Per my HR department, I mast not qualify for extended approved leave and may be terminated if my extended non FMLA leave request is not approved. Is this legal if I am not medically cleared to work? If I am terminated, would I qualify four unemployment? Do I qualify for anything else? Thank you.

    • Kriti,

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

      Hope you get well soon.

  3. Went into work to help get production started, I had I swollen eye and swollen cheek from a tooth ache..first thing I told my HR about how I felt and if it got worse I needed to go home.(looked like poison ivy-we work around food). I requested that after I got the Room set up to take a sick day. They told me if I left i would be terminated.. I told the boss them I was going to be putting in my two week notice.. he proceeded to shoo me out of his office and told me to leave and get off the property? Do I quialify?

    • You can be eligible if your job was terminated wrongfully.

      Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  4. I am a full time employee at my job but I also go to college, so my availability at work allows me to work around 32 to 34 hours a week. For the last couple of months my schedules have been cut back to 20 to 22 hours a week. Am I eligible for partial unemployment?

  5. I placed my 2 week notice in November 7th 2016 due to family issues. I started my job July 20th 2015 and my last day was November 22, 2016. I had to leave due to many familly issues one that was to do with my marriage. While this is all going on my step dad was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a procedure done and my grandfather had brain cancer and passed away 2 weeks ago. I now had to move back in with my mom and step dad since I had to move by November 24th 2016 . To work there u had to live there well when I had to place my 2 weeks notice I had to move.

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  6. January 14th, 2016-March 7th, 2016

    I worked at a chicken plant for two months, and there, we were only allowed to use 2 1/2 occurences. I had gone home once for being sick to my stomach and running back and forth to the bathroom. Leaving work early is 1/2 an occurence. I left again on another day, but right after work startedt to go to the ER for being unable to breathe and having chest pains. That costed an entire occurence, even though I have the temp agency a note and let them know I had bronchitis. I got another occurence after missing because I had eaten something bad, pretty sure I had food poisoning. An emergency came up about a week ago when I thought I was going to get kicked out of where I’m living now, so I called them and let them know I was going to have to quit my job. A few hours later I learned that I wasn’t going to get kicked out, so I called the next day and they allowed me to have my job back, but counted the day before as a voluntary absence. That was occurence number 3, so I was told I absolutely could not miss another day.
    Yesterday I was working and for the last few days, I’ve been having trouble breathing but I didn’t want to say anything because I thought they would fire me. I was only there for 2 and a half hours when I started getting light headed, my chest was getting tight, and I could barely take a breath. So I basically begged my supervisor to let me go to the hospital. He said I could as long as I brought a note back. I went, found out I have pneumonia. The doctor said I’m not allowed to work until Friday so I asked for the note and took it back to my supervisor and I went home.

    I called the temp agency I was working through, this morning and they said that had to terminate me because I missed yesterday (I was ordered by the doctor not to work again) and they said even though I had a doctor’s order, I still had missed so I had to be terminated.

    Do I qualify?

    • Primarily, it looks like, you may not qualify due to two reasons. Firstly, personal reasons such as health are not accepted. Secondly, temp or contractual workers do not qualify.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  7. Ok,I work at a place where my sales have been stolen. I keep getting in trouble for trivial things like speaking to someone’s customer and my boss keeps telling me she’s gonna let me go. On her bad days she’ll say she’s gonna let me know by the end of the day if I still have a job. If I quit will I be eligible for unemployment?

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

  8. I draw full Social Security Retirement and work full time as I am over 66 years of age. I will be laid off from job due to lack of work – I was told I can draw unemployment benefits even though I receive SSA retirement benefits. Is this true? I live in Arkansas.

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