Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Courtesy / U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

With a national unemployment rate of over 11 percent, many people, including thousands of Arkansans, are wondering what happens next as the pandemic unemployment benefit of an extra $600 a week runs out today and congressional lawmakers have yet to come together on what an extension of those benefits will look like. 

Self-employed Arkansans approved for CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are starting to receive cash benefits following weeks of technical delays. According to Arkansas Secretery of Commerce Mike Preston, out of 33,000 applicants, over 19,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants have received interim approval.

 

J. Froelich / Ozarks at Large

Tens of thousands of self-employed Arkansans have encountered obstacles over the past weeks applying online and by phone for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance cash payments. Recipients were promised relief this week. But over the weekend the PUA web portal had to be shut down after a coding problem was discovered, adding a new layer of controversy.