Unemployment requirements will be reinstated at the end of June.
Arkansas Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Preston announced that unemployment work requirements, which had been suspended during the early days of the COVID-19 public health emergency, will be in effect at the end of June.
“At the end of this quarter, which will be the end of the month in June, we’re going to be going to be going back to the work requirements – the search for work requirements. So, as we transition from the quarter, we wanted to make sure to give everyone plenty of time heads up who will be filing claims the week of June 28 into July 4,” he said.
The return to the work requirements comes as the state has entered its Phase II reopening. Preston told reporters during a daily COVID-19 press conference in Hot Springs that unemployment has been trending downward in Arkansas in recent weeks.
“We are, at the statewide level, seeing a little bit of a leveling off of our unemployment numbers. We see the…claims continue to drop down week-over-week over the last, consecutively now for four weeks…” he said.
On Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Asa Hutchinson eased some of the state’s work requirements for unemployment benefits. The three requirements that were temporarily lifted included a one-week waiting period for benefit eligibility, the requirement to apply for benefits in person, a search for work requirement.
According to Preston, individuals seeking unemployment benefits will be able to make weekly claims online to certify their claims and search-for-work efforts.
“Again, this is going back to what we were doing before the pandemic started,” Preston said.
Preston said that the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services would be releasing additional details on the unemployment requirements.