Work Search Rule Back In for Unemployment Benefits

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The Arkansas Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Services announced Wednesday that the work search requirement to claim unemployment benefits will be back in effect beginning Sunday.

For the week ending July 4 and after, people will have to submit a written log of job contacts they made that week in order to receive benefits.

Individuals receiving regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation who live in larger metropolitan areas must make three contacts each week. Larger MSAs include Benton, Cleveland, Craighead, Crittenden, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke, Madison, Miller, Perry, Poinsett, Pulaski, Saline, Sebastian and Washington counties.

Individuals residing in rural areas must make two job contacts each week.

Job seekers and employers alike are encouraged to use the state’s online job portal Arkansas JobLink to connect.

Those claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance have the same requirements as those claiming regular and PEUC benefits, with the exception of the self-employed. Self-employed individuals must, instead, be engaged in activities designed to resume their usual self-employment. They should submit a log of the number of days on which they were engaged in those activities.

In addition, those claiming Extended Benefits will have to make four contacts if they live in a larger MSA or three contacts if they live in a rural area.

People with recall-to-work dates that are within 10 weeks of their initial or additional claim filing date are exempt from the work search requirements. They must provide DWS with a written letter from their employer that includes their name, last four digits of their social security number, their last day of work and the date to be recalled to work. The letter must be mailed or deliverer to their local Arkansas Workforce Center.