Arkansas (AR) ADWS Enhanced Unemployment Benefit Programs – FPUC, PEUC and PUA – 2021 Extension News and Updates Including Early Ending of $300 Benefit

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (ADWS) administers Arkansas’ Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and provides unemployment insurance benefits to those eligible, and maintains the IT programs/systems for filing unemployment insurance claims and fraud detection. This also includes management and payment of the federally funded enhanced benefit programs – PUA, PEUC and FPUC – provided as part of COVID stimulus plans. Below are the latest payment updates.

Arkansas Ending $300 Weekly Benefit Early By Stopping PUA and PEUC Programs

In a bid to address a state wide labor shortage, supposedly due to the overly generous enhanced unemployment benefits recently extended to September (per update below), Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that Arkansas will end its participation and receipt of federal funds for the PUA and PEUC programs by June 26th, 2021. This will also end the $300 weekly payment for claimants in this group.

“The $300 federal supplement helped thousands of Arkansans make it through this tough time, so it served a good purpose….Now we need Arkansans back on the job so that we can get our economy back to full speed.”

Gov Hutchison

This cessation of benefits is also occurring in other states (mainly Republican controlled) which are facing labor shortages and business’ owners pressure to force workers to get back to work, rather than raising wages to entice them back.

Biden Stimulus Unemployment Extensions to September 2020

Under President Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief package, known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP), enhanced unemployment benefits have been extended until September 6th. This includes further extensions to the PUA programPEUC program, $300 weekly payment under the FPUC program and $100 Mixed Earners (MEUC) program. There were also provisions in the Biden Stimulus package for Unemployment tax breaks on the first $10,200 of benefits received in 2020.

Latest News and Status on PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC Payment Schedule

The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) has now issued formal guidelines to implement the latest round of extensions until September 6th. For those who exhaust their benefits, or have a zero claim balance, after March 14th (when current CAA extensions end) there could be a lapse in benefits as ADWS updates their program/systems to enable the extended weeks of coverage funded under the ARP Program. I will post updates as they are made available and you can follow along via the options below for the latest updates.

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Arkansas Unemployment Extension Summary under PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC
Arkansas (AK) Unemployment Extension Summary under PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC

Arkansas Payment Status of the 2021 Unemployment Program Extensions (PUA, PEUC and FPUC) Under COVID Relief Bill

The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.

These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 27th, 2020 to April 5th, 2021 (no new claims after March 14th, 2021). To receive the extra $300 FPUC weekly benefits, you must be receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA. Final guidelines on these programs and final eligibility including additional document verification procedures to combat Fraud have been issued by the Department of Labor and are being rolled out by ADOL in their systems and programs. The following are updates that have been made per recent news.

AR ADWS Update January 21st 2021 : DOL guidelines have been provided, but ADWS agency has provided very limited updates and is presumably in the middle of updating their state UI systems to process payments. Individuals with existing claims for regular unemployment benefits or PEUC should continue to file weekly claims. Those eligible will receive the additional $300 FPUC for weeks claimed beginning with the week ending 01/02/2021. The PUA system must also undergo updates to accommodate the recent extension of the PUA program. Those with existing PUA claims will need to resume filing weekly once certain modifications are complete (until then they won’t be able to get any benefits under the extended coverage period).

UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following general guidelines:

  • PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
  • Claimants who will have additional weeks in UI and PUA or PEUC due to state provisions (where applicable) should watch their state agency UI portal or website for updates that will allow additional weeks to be filed (see potential scenarios where you need to take action to get benefits under the new extension)
  • Claimants with weeks remaining in UI should continue to file weekly claims if their state UI systems have been updated for the extended coverage period.
  • Claimants will receive retroactive payments for all weeks they are eligible.
  • Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.

I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.

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Can I talk to someone around getting extended benefits?

At this stage it is very hard to get a hold of anyone to talk to about your claim. Per the last ADWS update, they will share updates as soon as possible on the extensions and revision of the current programs. Until that time, they are asking the
public to please hold questions and refrain from calling our local offices or Hotline with questions regarding the extensions or changes. Soon, claimants will receive notices with information specific to their UI claim status.

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17 thoughts on “Arkansas (AR) ADWS Enhanced Unemployment Benefit Programs – FPUC, PEUC and PUA – 2021 Extension News and Updates Including Early Ending of $300 Benefit”

  1. We the people of Arkansas should do whats best for our interest. We should immediately put. Mr. Asa Hutchinson in the unemployment line.

    • Better yet put him in a food line that you have to sit for hours just to get a box of food for your family that lasts for 2 days and the next food box won’t be for a week.

    • I certainly agree. With the virus still going strong with this Delta Variant there are still no t enough jobs leaving us with no way to support our families. What was the governor thinking

  2. To be succinct: this is a Republican governor penalizing his citizens because the program is under a democratic president.

    If the roles were reversed it wouldn’t be any different. The depravity of these rich people in power has no bounds, they don’t care about working people or the people that worked and are now out of work.

    • Its not in line with what has been made available for the people laid off. Arkansas is the highest paid taxes, one of the worst paid wages, high cost of living, high crime and now what is available to other states Arkansas terminated. Way to go!!!! Guess who will get that money that should go to the unemployed?

  3. I dont feel like it is right for em to end the federal funded 300 dollar benefit early when it has already been federaly approved until september 6th. The state is not paying it therefore its not costing the state anymore.. the feds are paying it and we have been approved to receive it until sept. 6th… but the state is gonna stop us from receiving it? It goes to show that the states that are ending it early arent interested in helping the citizens at all… corruption exists in my opinion on the matter… maybe we should start a petition to fight it or just take em to court because the money has been funded for the participants until sept 6th yet they wanna stop paying early…. sounds like to me that the states are wanting to pad their own pocket with the funds themselves instead of helping their citizens in this time of dire straits… that was my first thought

    • It’s as if Asa Hutchinson is STEALING the money that the Federal government has allotted for very specific needs by Arkansas residents who have been affected by the still ongoing PANDEMIC. The PANDEMIC has not ended. I think that this is a cruel and unusual punishment by our REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR to keep himself in good standing with the pitiful Trump-influenced political party that has evolved into nothing but a big fat joke. The reasons for ceasing the benefits is almost as lame as the idea that BIDEN stole the election. It Is a pitiful day when a governor has the ability to steal billions of dollars from his state residents just to retain his popularity among his peers?!??
      Not only pitiful, it’s scary. I have to believe that somewhere, somehow we have an action of recourse..but I don’t have the knowledge or know how to uncover it…I am angry, hurt, disappointed, and sad to see how low these politicians are willing to crawl just to retain their popularity with a bunch of others and defy what they know to be the right thing to do.

  4. I too have been placed under review for the second time, and I have aswell responded in full compliance uploaded all info required, and I too have had all this approved to be sufficient for my claims yet can’t seem to have any progress in my case please help

  5. It has been confirmed 5 times that I have done everything required of me in order to start receiving my PUA payments again. I have not received another payment since Dec.6th. PUA/ADWS confirmed that all Im waiting on is the reveiw. It’s been 5 months without a PUA payment & I am qualified 100%. That has also been confirmed. I’ve been desperately waiting on all the info that was required of me, which I completed that several wks ago. I’m just waiting on someone to review. Please help me!

    • I am in the same situation.. I pray this gets fixed for you and I very soon..I dont understand why the review takes so long


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