Your eligibility for unemployment in Arkansas will depend on a variety of factors set forth by the state’s Department of Workforce Services. If you meet the qualifications for unemployment on a weekly basis, you will be able to receive benefits for a specific amount of time.
Before you can collect or even find out if you are fully eligible, you must file an unemployment insurance claim with the state. If you find yourself asking, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” because the process seems lengthy and complex, continue on to read the sections below.
Who can get unemployment benefits in Arkansas?
If you do not know how to qualify for unemployment in AK, you are one of the various unemployed individuals who is starting to learn about the process. To make things easier to understand, the state issues a list of eligibility requirements. In the state of Arkansas, your eligibility for EDD (Employment Development Department) benefits will depend on whether you are:
- Capable of performing mental and physical work.
- Currently unemployed.
- Not disqualified from receiving benefits.
- Attempting to find work on a regular basis.
- Available to work.
- Not involved in, and have no interest in, a labor dispute.
Before an applicant with unemployment insurance eligibility in Arkansas can start receiving benefits, he or she must wait exactly one week. If a former employee remains unemployed for longer than a week or he or she earned less than 140 percent of their current weekly benefit amount (if employed part-time), he or she can officially begin the filing process.
Arkansas requires individuals with eligibility for unemployment benefits to make a concentrated effort to find work each week. If you cannot find a job that utilizes your unique skill set or education after a certain period of time, the state may require you to accept a similar position or a position that does not use all of your professional skills.
In any case, to maintain your eligibility for EDD in Arkansas, you must engage in the following job-search activities:
- Actively filling out job applications
- Meeting with local unions
- Reaching out to hiring managers and employers
- Inquiring about vacant job positions
Unemployment insurance is meant to assist workers during a set period of time, not to fully replace their working income. In most cases, the state of Arkansas prefers unemployed individuals to find a new job as quickly as possible. If you cannot, you must continue to keep detailed records of your search for employment.
Learn About Additional Unemployment Requirements in Arkansas
In addition to the unemployment insurance eligibility requirements listed above, you must have been employed for at least one or 1.5 years before you can claim benefits.
The qualifications for unemployment also require that you are an official resident of Arkansas and that you earned more than the minimum wage amount in your previous job. This minimum wage amount is set by the state of Arkansas, and it can sometimes change depending on the economic conditions.
The amount that your eligibility for EDD guarantees you is largely based on your salary history. Arkansas utilizes a base period system that takes into consideration the amount of income you earned on a quarterly basis before you applied for unemployment. Your standard of living will not be taken into account, and it is very likely that you will receive an amount that is less than your most recent salary.
As mentioned above, eligibility for unemployment in AR is not granted to all workers. If you are the victim of a layoff, you will more than likely meet the requirements. However, if you voluntarily quit your job or you were terminated for misconduct or performance issues, you will not be eligible.
Of course, the circumstances of your termination or voluntary resignation will be taken into consideration. For example, you may still be able to file for unemployment insurance eligibility in Arkansas if you left your previous position due to harassment or unsafe working conditions.
Issues surrounding domestic abuse, health conditions and relocation will also be considered during the review process. So long as you are unemployed through no fault of your own, you may be eligible.
Learn About the Arkansas Work Availability Condition
In Arkansas, your eligibility for EDD benefits depends on your availability for work. Sometimes, it is impossible to find a position that pays the same as your previous job and requires the exact same skills. When this happens, many job seekers are tempted to remain on unemployment until they find a position that is closely related to their previous one.
However, according to Arkansas state law, unemployed workers must accept similar positions whenever they are offered. There must also be no restrictions on your ability to work, such as scheduling or childcare issues.