Although the American Rescue Plan provided federal funding to continue the extension of benefits and the additional $300 per week until September 4, 2021, Arkansas has announced that they will not continue to run these pandemic unemployment programs beyond June 26, 2021. For more information on what that means, see below.
Okay, but what happens after June 26th? Will my benefits end completely or just be reduced?
At the moment, it appears that DWS will be ending access to all federally-funded pandemic-related unemployment programs in Arkansas. This means the end to the additional $300 payments (known as FPUC) for everyone on unemployment after that date. This means the end to all PUA benefits for weeks going forward, as well. This also means the end to extensions to the traditional unemployment program through PEUC.
The result: People who are on traditional unemployment (UI) and are not under some pandemic-related extension (PEUC or PUA) should continue to receive unemployment benefits beyond June 26th as long as they have not used up their weeks by that time, which is normally capped at 16 weeks. But they will not get the $300 per week additional payments for weeks after June 26th. As we currently understand it, everyone else’s benefits will end completely.
Important Note: However, there will likely be many people who will be eligible for backpay after June 26th because they are still waiting for decisions on their applications, their payments were frozen while they are stuck “in review”, or they were denied benefits and had their benefits frozen while they are appealing. If:
(1) You are eligible for unemployment benefits for weeks up to June 26th under any unemployment program;
(2) You have been filing your weekly benefit claims as needed; AND
(3) You have not yet received those benefits by June 26th,
Then you should still be eligible to get backpay for those weeks.
This means that, if this applies to you, it is extremely important that you continue to follow up on appeal deadlines and file your weekly benefits so that you can eventually get backpay, even through this difficult and long process.