LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of the severe storms and flooding in Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Jefferson, Perry, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell counties on May 21, 2019 and continuing may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, according to Daryl Bassett, Director of the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.
At the request of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a federal disaster declaration was issued designating Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Jefferson, Perry, Pulaski, Sebastian, and Yell counties as federal disaster areas. Among the different types of assistance available to individuals and households by the federal disaster declaration is DUA. Individuals who have temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits (such as self-employed individuals) may be eligible for DUA, which provides unemployment benefits up to 28 weeks. The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending June 1, 2019, and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending December 7, 2019.
DUA claims may be filed at the following DWS offices:
- Conway County – Russellville Local Office, 104 South Rochester Ave. (479) 968-2784
- Crawford County – Fort Smith Local Office, 616 Garrison Ave., Room 101 (479) 783-0231
- Faulkner County – Conway Local Office, 1500 N. Museum Rd., Suite 111 (501) 730-9894
- Jefferson County – Pine Bluff Local Office, 1001 South Tennessee St. (870) 534-1920
- Perry County – Conway Local Office, 1500 N. Museum Rd., Suite 111 (501) 730-9894
- Pulaski County – Little Rock Local Office, 5401 South University (501) 682-8030; Jacksonville Local Office, #2 Crestview Plaza (501) 982-3835
- Sebastian County – Fort Smith Local Office, 616 Garrison Ave., Room 101 (479) 783-0231
- Yell County – Russellville Local Office, 104 South Rochester Ave. (479) 968-2784
Claims for these eight counties must be filed between June 13, 2019 through July 12, 2019, at DWS offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. DWS offices also will provide re-employment assistance where appropriate. Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and benefits denied, unless the individual provides good cause for filing after that date.
To be eligible for benefits, individuals must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster, they no longer have a job, a place to work in the area or could not get to their place of work because of disaster damage. They also may qualify if they have been prevented from working because of an injury or illness resulting from the disaster or if they have become the head of household and need employment because the head of the household died as a result of the disaster. This benefit also may be available to self-employed individuals who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of the disaster.
Each claim is considered individually; therefore, individuals who believe they may be eligible should bring a copy of their government issued photo identification, Social Security card, the name and address of their last place of employment, and documents verifying income, such as income tax statements, recent pay stubs, W-2 forms or other proof of net income for 2018.
DWS officials understand that because of property losses some claimants may not have the necessary 2018 income information. Although some delays may result without this information, DWS staff will make every effort to work with DUA claimants to confirm their income information and expedite the claims-taking procedure.