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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

How to file for unemployment in Arkansas if your job is affected by coronavirus

The state is working on steps to ease hardship when it comes to unemployment insurance.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Gov. Hutchinson addressed the state of Arkansas in a press conference regarding COVID-19 Tuesday morning, March 17.

Gov. Hutchinson said the state is working on steps to ease hardship when it comes to unemployment insurance. Arkansans will now be able to apply for unemployment online by clicking here.

He said he is directing the commerce department to waive immediate eligibility for unemployment. 

“This will be a relief to anyone who is laid off, that they can get more quick cash assistance to make sure their families are cared for," Gov. Hutchinson said. 

He said the reasoning behind the online movement is to eliminate the one week waiting period to receive benefits for 30 days, making it a quicker way for the public to receive them.

The online services will waive the in-person application process. It's a way to simply expand the option to file for unemployment and will ultimately limit exposure with face to face contact.

These measures will be in place for the next 30 days.

Gov. Hutchinson estimated that nearly 20,000 people in Arkansas have applied for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began.

If you'd like to get more information on filing for unemployment, you can call 844-908-2178 or visit the website by clicking here.

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