Unemployment Laws in Arkansas

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Unemployment benefits in Arkansas and other states around the country are made available to those who have lost jobs without good cause. This incomes provides a stopgap for workers to pay bills until new employment can be found. Benefits are not intended as a crutch to allow people to sit at home and keep collecting checks from the state.

Dismissal Requirements

In Arkansas and other states across the country, you must have been dismissed by your employer through no fault of your own in order to be eligible for benefits. This can include a layoff, a business closing or a simple firing without a substantive reason. If you voluntarily quit your job or leave your position in connection with the Family and Medical Leave Act, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Earnings Eligibility

You are eligible for unemployment benefits in Arkansas if you worked for your employer for at least a 12-month period before you were dismissed or laid off. Your unemployment benefit is determined by how much your employer paid you during your 12-month base period, which is the 12 months prior to your filing for benefits. The more you earned during this time, the larger your unemployment compensation. If your application for benefits is approved, you are required to wait one week before benefits may formally begin.

Availability for Work

You are required to be available for work and actively looking for new employment to receive unemployment benefits. You are also required to be mentally and physically capable of working. The state also requires you to be immediately available for work. If there are any circumstances that would cause you to be unavailable for work for any reason, you may not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. These circumstances, such as dependent children, should be reported to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services at the time of your unemployment application. Failure to do so is fraud, a crime that carries stiff fines and possible jail time.

Work Search Requirements

You are required to actively seek employment while you are receiving unemployment benefits. You must also register for any work placement programs made available through the Arkansas DWS to help you in this search. By week 13 or 19 of receiving benefits, you are required to turn in copies of your job search contacts to the DWS. This is a roster of all the businesses you've submitted applications to since you've been unemployed. If you have not met the requirements for actively seeking employment, your unemployment benefits may be canceled. You are not required to actively seek employment if you are attending approved job training classes. In this case, a representative of the training center or school is required to sign a form for you each week stating your attendance.

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