First, review eligibility conditions.
To be eligible, DWS considers:
1. If you are unemployed.
2. If individual is physically and mentally able to perform suitable work.
3. If person is available for suitable work.
4. If you are making a reasonable effort to find work.
5. If individual is free of participation or direct interest in a labor dispute.
6. If you are free of disqualification.
*Other eligibility conditions may apply.
What if was fired, laid off or if I quit?
Report to the DWS if any of these circumstances took place. In most cases, a worker must be out of work through no fault of their own to be eligible for benefits without penalty. If you were fired for misconduct or you quit without good cause in connection with work, you might not be eligible. If you are laid off, there is no penalty or reduction in Unemployment Insurance benefits.
If you have any questions regarding eligibility contact your local office directly.
Filing a Claim
To file a claim for unemployment benefits the process can be done in person, by mail or online.
To file in person, visit any Department of Workforce Services office; to file by mail, visit a DWS office and ask for all pertaining forms; and to file a claim online, use the Easy Arkansas Claims (EZARC) application.
If your claim is approved and you are granted unemployment benefits, you must continue to file weekly claims to maintain your eligibility. To make this possible, DWS provides individuals with ArkNet to file weekly claims online and ArkLine to file them over the phone.
The first week claimed after establishing a new claim serves as a Valid Waiting Period and no benefits are paid for that week. The earliest payment of benefits begins with the second week claimed.
What if my claim is denied?
If your claim is denied, you have a right to appeal. There are two stages of administrative appeal in the state of Arkansas. The first level appeal may be made to the Appeal Tribunal and the second level to the Arkansas Board of Review.
What if my benefits are drained?
If your benefits have been exhausted you might be eligible for Extended Benefits. EB is a federal program that pays additional unemployment insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment. Contact your local office for more information.
The state of Arkansas also offers other kinds of Unemployment Insurance including Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) for disaster relief and emergency assistance; the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) for individuals who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits; the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for workers who lose their jobs or whose hours and/or wages have been reduced to increased imports; and the Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA), which is a form of TAA that is paid to an eligible adversely affected worker on a weekly basis after he or she exhausts entitlement to regular unemployment compensation including state and federal extensions.
For more information about these programs visit:
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) - http://arkansas.gov
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) - http://arkansas.gov
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) - http://arkansas.gov
Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA) - http://arkansas.gov
To contact your local office of Department of Workforce Services visit the office listing at http://arkansas.gov
To access EZAR, visit: https://ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov/.
To access ArkNet, visit: https://arknet.arkansas.gov/.
To contact ArkLine, call 1-501-907-2590.