Arkansas Unemployment Benefit Questions

Arkansas Unemployment

Many people seeking Arkansas unemployment insurance have questions about how the process works. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.

How to apply for unemployment in Arkansas?

You can apply online or in person at a local Arkansas Workforce Center.

The EZARC system makes it easy to apply for unemployment benefits online. The online application process typically takes around 30 minutes. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can visit any local Arkansas Workforce Services office to apply in person. Learn more about applying for Arkansas unemployment.

How much is Arkansas unemployment?

Your weekly benefit amount is based on your previous earnings during your base period. The maximum amount you can receive each week is $451, and the least amount is $81.

The calculation is based on your average earnings during the base period and dividing that by 26. You can collect up to 16 times your weekly benefit amount, or one-third of your total base period wages, whichever is lower. Learn how to calculate your Arkansas unemployment benefits.

Who qualifies for Arkansas unemployment benefits?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Arkansas, several requirements must be met. Firstly, you must meet the monetary and work history requirements. Additionally, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own and be physically able to work. You must also be available and actively looking for a new job.

Eligible claimants must also be a citizen of the United States or be legally authorized to work in Arkansas. Learn more about Arkansas eligibility requirements.

Can I quit my job and still get Arkansas UI benefits?

You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. If you were fired for misconduct, it is difficult (but not impossible) to qualify for benefits. Quitting your job typically disqualifies you unless it is for “good cause.” You are allowed to quit for reasons like working in a dangerous or hostile work environment, sexual harassment, to escape domestic violence, or if you have to move because your spouse must relocate for their job.

How long can you draw unemployment in Arkansas?

You can collect Arkansas unemployment for up to 16 weeks, unless there are Extended Benefits (EB) due to a very high unemployment rate.

Be aware that on January 1, 2024, UI benefits will be reduced to 12 weeks per Arkansas law.

How long is the waiting period for unemployment in Arkansas?

There is a one-week waiting period. The waiting period ensures that you meet all eligibility criteria. Please note that you will not receive payment for the waiting period week, though you still must file a weekly claim.

What is the Arkansas unemployment work search requirement?

As a part of the weekly claim process, Arkansas work search requirements are a way to make sure you are looking for work each week. In Arkansas, you must make at least one new job contact per week. Depending on your situation, you may be asked to make multiple job contacts per week and provide documentation of each job contact.

Do I have to pay income tax on my unemployment benefits?

Yes, unemployment benefits are subject to federal income taxes. You can have up to 10% of your weekly benefit amount deducted for payment of federal income tax. In January, you will receive form 1099-G from the IRS so you can report any UI benefits from the previous year.

What is an interstate claim?

An interstate claim is for when you worked in Arkansas but live in a different state.

If you’ve worked in more than one state during the time used to determine your benefits, you may not see wages from those states in your first determination. If you have at least one quarter of Arkansas wages during your base period, you can combine your wages from all states into a combined wage claim.

What happens if my unemployment claim in Arkansas is denied?

If your claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal within 20 days of receiving the decision. The Arkansas unemployment appeals process is meant to provide a fair opportunity for all unemployed workers to present their case for unemployment eligibility. Learn about the Arkansas UI appeal process.

  1. When wages are reported for weekly benefits, do you report only gross/hourly wages & not per diem or mileage reimbursement?

    • Tasha,

      As much as I am aware, all categories of income should be reported. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I am drawing my social security and working a part time job with taxes being withheld. I was laid off yesterday for lack of funds. Am i eligible to draw partial unemployment?

  3. If I waited to file for unemployment in the state of Arkansas a week after the initial waiting week, am I eligible for unemployment wages the extra week I waited? I was told I can’t receive money for that week because I should have filed immediately after the waiting period week.

    • Valerie,

      That is correct. The waiting week is not considered. Once this period is over, you’ll continue receiving benefits on a weekly basis as and when you make a claim.

  4. I was terminated after almost 10 years with a company. I went to work under my last supervisor in April of 2017. I work in mental health on a locked unit with 16 client’s there were acquitted of a crime due to mental illness. In May of 2017 I was questioned by on of our physicians in regards to staffing. We had placed a client in locked seclusion after client continued to be a disruption to the milieu and made specific threats to stab staff. This physician told me that I would not be retaliated against for answering his questions because he was preforming his investigation. I was written up 3 times after that and then discharged. I provided documentation on the write ups that showed them to be inaccurate and lies by co-workers. When I was terminated, My supervisor and His supervisor were present. I was told that I had lied and was insubordinate. I tried to give my side and my supervisor stated “it’s done.” His supervisor stated “It’s just not a good fit.” I have supporting documentation that I feel that I was wrongly terminated, and discriminated against, by allowing younger coworkers to tell lies about me without evidence. I am now having to file an appeal on unemployment and have lost job opportunities because of company stating I was fired due to unprofessional conduct.
    How can I fight this and clear my name?
    Thank you

    • Judith,

      You might want to consult a lawyer in this regard. In the interim, I suggest you apply for and claim UI benefits until you find another job or cleared of this situation. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy.

  5. 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.

    • Greg,

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

  6. 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?

    • 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.

      • I work in tennnesse and arkansas once my claim run out in October will I be able to draw unemployment from arkansas

        • Barbara,

          You will only be able to claim from one state. Please check with the Unemployment Office.

  7. 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?

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

      • 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.

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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

  10. 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?

    • Temp jobs are generally not eligible to collect UI benefits.

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

  11. 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.

    • 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.

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

  12. 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?

    • 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.

  13. 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?

    • 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.

  14. 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?

    • Depends.

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

  15. 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?

    • 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.

  16. 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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