Claiming Your Arkansas Unemployment Benefits
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If your Arkansas unemployment benefits claim is approved, you can expect to receive a certain monetary amount on a weekly basis. However, federal unemployment benefits claimants are required to actively seek work and file regularly in order to maintain their insurance. The process of claiming benefits for unemployment in Arkansas can be confusing at times, but after reviewing the topics below, you will know exactly how to claim unemployment benefits in the state:
- Filing for unemployment benefits in Arkansas
- Remaining honest when applying for benefits in Arkansas
- Continued unemployment eligibility in Arkansas
- Unemployment benefits and federal income taxes in Arkansas
- How to register for work in Arkansas
Arkansas Unemployment Resources
Filing for Unemployment Benefits in Arkansas
Before you can receive your federal unemployment benefits, you must fill out an application either online, over the phone, or in person. Online unemployment benefits claims can be filled out on the EZARC website, and if you need to take action on your end, the department may require you to make an in-person visit. When claiming benefits for unemployment in AR, you will have the opportunity to create a four-digit PIN number that will allow you to access your information and learn about the status of your claim.
Even if you are approved, you will need to file a claim on a weekly basis, and engage in the activities below:
- Actively search for employment.
- Update any income information.
- Stop filing claims once you land full-time employment.
You may file for unemployment if you intend to move out of state to search for work, but you must still utilize the regular application. If you just moved to Arkansas or you have held jobs in other states, you need to inform the DWS as soon as possible.
Remaining Honest When Applying for Benefits in Arkansas
When attempting to claim unemployment benefits, you will need to enter accurate and honest income information about your previously held jobs. Failing to do this is a federal offense, and can result in the following penalties:
- Monetary fines
- Having to repay the full amount of benefits you received
In the state of Arkansas, the DWS office has the right to audit your unemployment claims at any given moment for accuracy. If any unusual information is detected, you may be required to verify it with official documents. For this reason, it is important to keep accurate records of your income and search for employment the entire time you receive benefits.
Continued Unemployment Eligibility in Arkansas
After your initial unemployment benefits claim in Arkansas, you will receive a Notice of Monetary Determination by mail, detailing your eligibility and the amount you are entitled to. Then, you will be required to file for benefits regularly on a weekly basis in order to maintain eligibility. Additionally, you will have to actively search for employment and provide proof of that search when the DWS asks.
After 25 weeks, you may be able to file for an unemployment benefits extension if you are still having trouble finding a job.
Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes in Arkansas
When claiming benefits for unemployment, workers can choose to receive their benefits via direct deposit or debit card. If they elect to have their federal unemployment benefits deposited directly into their checking account, they will have the opportunity to provide the state with their account information on the ArkNet site. If an applicant prefers to receive a debit card, he or she can expect to receive funds five to seven business days after filing the claim. Holidays can change the day that you receive your funds, and if you wish to change the way that you receive your benefits, you can do so via ArkNet, or by contacting your local office. Any benefits you receive count as taxable income and must be reported on your yearly tax return.
How to Register for Work in Arkansas
Workers receiving federal unemployment benefits will have an opportunity to attend official DWS job-support workshops. Attending an official job search workshop counts as a contact, and can provide applicants with an updated set of skills.
During a workshop, job-seekers can expect to learn how to:
- Write an effective resume.
- Give a professional interview.
- Find unlisted job opportunities.
- Dress for interviews.
All workshop materials are free, but if you refuse to attend, the state will not allow you to claim unemployment benefits for a week. Former employees who work in the productivity industry or who have been impacted by outsourcing may be eligible for special job-training programs at no additional cost.
If a worker is presently enrolled in school full-time, he or she may be excused from looking for work.
This program is known as Approved Training, and it requires you to fill out a variety of forms and provide official documentation from your educational institution. To meet eligibility requirements, applicants must have enrolled in school at least 30 days before they filed their first AR unemployment benefits claim. Interested workers must contact the DWS office directly to receive the necessary forms.