Coronavirus: How to apply for unemployment in the Mid-South

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With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, many people have found themselves without a job or enough income to pay for their needs.

So, how do you apply for unemployment?

We broke down how to apply for each state in the Mid-South.

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There are things you need to know before you apply, and steps you must take after filing your claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

The Unemployment Insurance program provides benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able, available, and looking for work. You may file a claim for benefits the first day after becoming separated from employment or after your employer has significantly reduced your work hours. Information will be gathered from you as well as your separating employer and an agency determination will be based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements under state law.

You Must Have Qualifying Base Period Wages

You must have earned a minimum of $780.01 in each of 2 quarters of a time frame called the Base Period. If you’ve earned sufficient wages during this time frame, the wages earned will then be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks you may receive benefits. The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which your initial claim is filed. A calendar quarter is three months of either January - March, April - June, July - September or October - December.

You Must Be Able to Work

You must be physically able to work at the time you file your claim for benefits. Special provisions are available for individuals who become ill or disabled after filing an initial claim.

Information They Need From You

Your Personal Info

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Valid email address
  • Tennessee Unemployment Insurance claimants receive their benefits via the Tennessee Automated Payment (TAP) debit card or direct deposit. To receive benefits by direct deposit, you’ll need to provide your bank routing number and account number.
  • DD 214 Member 4 if you served in the military in the past 18 months

Your Employment Info

  • Last 18 months of Employment
  • Last Day Worked
  • Reason for Separation (e.g., quit, fired, lack of work, laid off or job eliminated, etc.)

Employer Info

  • Separating Employer's Name
  • Separating Employer's Address
  • Separating Employer's Telephone Number
  • Separating Employer’s Fax Number (if known)

The first thing you have to do is register with MDES Online Services. Whether you want to file a claim to receive weekly unemployment benefits or to search for a new job, you must register first. That’s how you get your personal User Name and PIN number to be able to use the online system whenever you need to.

“Practically everything you need to know about your unemployment benefits and what you have to do to be eligible to receive them is here in one place for you. You will also find out what you have to do to show us that you are continually searching for a job, what happens in an eligibility review and other important information you may need during the time you are unemployed.”

INDIVIDUAL FILING AN INITIAL CLAIM

A claim for Unemployment Insurance may be filed in person at any Arkansas Workforce Center office. A valid government ID is required (Driver’s License or Passport).

UI claimant forms are also available online, as well as located in most public buildings for filing claims by mail. Learn more about filing a claim and eligibility for benefits.

EZARC is another option to file an initial or additional claim for Arkansas Unemployment Insurance via the Internet. If you are working less than full-time, or have completely separated from your last job, you may file your Arkansas Unemployment Insurance claim from your own home computer. To file an EZARC online claim, you must have access to a computer, a printer and an Internet connection.