Arkansas Unemployment Application
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.
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.
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
Verify your identity with Login.gov
Once you submit your application and see the confirmation page, you will be given a link to verify your identity through Login.gov. 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.
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.
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.
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.