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Arkansas Unemployment Benefit Questions

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.

Do I have to pay Income Tax on my Unemployment Benefits?

Yes, Unemployment Benefits are subject to Federal Income Taxes. The Arkansas DWS offers claimants the option of having 10% of your weekly benefit amount deducted for payment of Federal Income Tax. If you choose to have income tax deducted, you will not be required to make a quarterly estimated tax payment on the income you receive from UI benefits. If you do not choose the weekly income tax deduction, you should consult the IRS, or the person who prepares your taxes, for instructions necessary to make your quarterly estimated tax payment.

I think my unemployment check has been lost in the mail. What should I do?

If you do not receive your unemployment check within 7 days from the date it was mailed, you should report to your nearest DWS local office to file a tracer.

What is an interstate claim?

An Interstate Claim is a claim being paid by Arkansas even though you live in another state. To file an interstate claim, call our automated Telephone Initial Claims (TIC) line at 1-800-461-9941.

What if I worked in more than one state?

If you have worked in more than one state during your base period, wages from any other state will not appear on the first monetary determination you receive. You may combine your wages from all states into a combined wage claim as long as you have at least one quarter of Arkansas wages in the Traditional or Alternate Base Period. Advise your local office if you have worked in another state and they will assist with combining your wages into one claim. Doing this may increase the Weekly Benefit Amount of your Arkansas claim. If you do not have any Arkansas wages to combine with, you will be advised of which states you can file in.

More Questions?? —-> Read Benefit Q & A Section

Questions & Answers

  1. Greg says:

    I have a hearing soon and by that time I will have filed 6 weekly claims which would equal $888. I was unemployed for 4 of those weeks and now have a job working 30 hours a week at $8.50 an hour. I’m just curious what I would be entitled to preferably all of that.

    • Sam says:


      If you’re inquiring about the monetary entitlement, it cannot be predicted since there are multiple factors that go into the determination process.

  2. Dawn says:

    My husband was downsized from his job after 28 years, and has just started drawing unemployment benefits. He has a job interview today, but it’s in a totally different type of job. It would be selling to people who did the kind of job he used to do. He knows all about what he would be selling, but has never been a salesman. If this job doesn’t work out, matching his abilities, etc, would he still be eligible for unemployment benefits based on his previous job of 28 years? If he is offered a job do you have to take it? It would require much different responsibilities, like frequent travel, which he’s not done, etc. He’s very willing to try it, if offered, but worried if it doesn’t match well, are we then left with no recourse for further benefits?

    • Sam says:

      I am remotely guessing he should be able to.

      Please ask your husband to speak to a representative from the Claims Center for further instructions.

  3. Lisa says:

    Quitting my job because I am getting married and moving away. I have to join him because he has been on his job for 30 years and will be the breadwinner. Will I be able to draw benefits?

    • Sam says:

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

      • elizabeth says:

        That is NOT a correct answer. If she was fired or terminated or walked off gave notice, she can still earn unemployment. Someone needs to do some fact checking. You can get unemployment if you just walked off the job or fired for misconduct but it takes abt twice as long to get it. Just because you quit your job because you are relocating due to family situation and are still able to work even if it is 10 hrs a weeks, your Arkansas employment office will file the claim and get it started maybe even a check or 2 before she has to move she will STILL continue to get the money it is HERS as she WORKED for it even though the % of tax does NOT come out of her check and once her claim reaches a point she will need to go to the local department where she is moving to and ask to extend the file.

  4. John says:

    Am I eligible for unemployment if I was let go due to illness, Worked for company 20 plus years, Have not been released to go back to work, I have been off for 6 months.

    • Sam says:

      You may 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.

  5. Renee Carroll says:

    I was employed for over 10 years til losing my job in March 2016. I filed for unemployment and received 3 checks until finding another job, and my claim became inactive because I stopped calling in. I worked at the second job for 3 months. I still have pretty good bit of benefits left on the claim, but the benefit year is up at the end of this month, December. I am having to reopen my claim. My questions are Am I going to get the rest of the benefits that are left on this claim after reopening it, I have to put the second job on the claim, so will that make me be filing off of the first job that was on the initial claim or off of the job I was only at for 3 months? How long after reopening a claim, do you get benefits?

    • Martin says:

      If there are benefit weeks left from your previous claim, you should be able to draw it.

      Please speak to the Claims Center for further guidance in this regard.

      • elizabeth says:

        Your benefits work on a quarterly basis. That is they take you last 15 months subtract 3 giving you a full year. If you worked Jan Feb. mar, received benefits in April may Jun (for October nov dec of the previous yr) thus your 4th quarter of previous yr. If you went back to work july august sept then you would have payments beginning in mid September of that year for the jan fed mar of new yr until ovt of the same yr in which you may be out unless your state has an extention then you will get for another 16 weeks

  6. Dalton says:

    This week I worked 3 half days, called in sick one day and got laid of one day. Can I still claim the hours I was laid off?

    • Martin says:

      Temp jobs are generally not eligible to collect UI benefits.

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

  7. Mc says:

    Do I qualify for unemployment if I accept a severance package? What is the waiting period for unemployment with severance?

  8. Sandra Simmons says:

    I worked full time for a company for approximately 4 years then decreased working to 3 weeks monthly. This past year I started drawing Soc. Sec. and stayed on with employer as a part-time employee (anything from 5 – 7 days/month to supplement my Soc. Sec. I was just informed that the agency is no longer going to employ me as they need to streamline the budget and cut expenses and therefore would only be employing full time employees. Would I be entitled to any unemployment benefits.

    • Martin says:

      Depends on the type of job contract you hold with them and also if they are paying taxes on your behalf.

      Please inquire further with the unemployment office in your state.

  9. Alice says:

    Where do I go to give my bank account # so I can have my unemployment deposit in it?

    • Martin says:

      You may find this information online when you file over the internet. Otherwise, please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

  10. Tanthalis Elrod says:

    I am currently an active duty memeber of the United States Marine Corps. My active service ends in January, 2016. I was informed in a transition seminar that some state allow veterans to collect unemployment while actively engaged as a full-time student under one of the G.I. Bills. I am having difficulty finding any information regarding the subject. Can I collect unemployment benefits while redeeming my G.I. Bill benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      You should be able to, under this situation.

      Each state administers an exclusive program for ex military men(UCX). Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  11. Carolyn Herrin says:

    If a person quits their job for management reasons, and was denied unemployment, and they went to work part time about 2 months at a school as a fill in.And was never promised a part time or full time job when school started . Can the draw unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

      If you think you were denied wrongfully earlier,you can file an appeal.

      Not sure if you can draw on the basis of your immediate last employment.

  12. Lanette says:

    After working for this company for 5 years I was told I could not continue because I did not have a degree. They have offered me a position working 1 hour per day 5 days per week. This is a 10th of what I was making with no benefits. If I turn the job down, can I draw unemployment?

    • Adrian says:


      Involuntary unemployment is not a qualifier. You can claim for the min. hours not worked in a week.

  13. Lisa says:

    Do i hv a waiting week ,if i have filed for unemployment benefits within a year time frame

  14. Rick Herrin says:

    I got fired from my job 9/202013 when I filed. My unemployment I failed to put on it about the shop at my house that I do very little work, and I hadn’t done any work there in months until just recently and I’ve had a couple of small jobs, which I turned in on my weekly report I was told recently that I can’t draw any benefits untibecuase I was under the extension and congress hadn’t passed it, I want to know why I’m not eligible to draw after I have covered the 19 weeks penalty they said I would be . Why would I not be eligible for regular unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

      I assume that you have not received regular UI benefits from from you state.Only after expiry of the state provided UI, you can be considered for extension.

      Please speak to the claims center of the labor department in AZ immediately and raise an issue regarding this.

  15. Ron Lee says:

    How much is left on my account?

  16. Elizabeth Moorman says:

    I quit my job for several reasons one of poor management. I applied unemployment was denied then appealed it and was denied againrty They said I would have to work thirty days before I could draw any thing, I’m a full time college student now and I was wondering if that counted for anything?

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