Arkansas amends its UI law regarding the taxable wage base, maximum potential benefits, and separation payments

Arkansas has amended its Employment Security Law as follows:

Taxable wage base. Effective January 1, 2018, the taxable wage base in Arkansas will decrease to $10,000 from $12,000.

Maximum potential benefits. For intial claims filed on or after January 1, 2018, the maximum potential benefits of an insured worker in a benefit year will be the amount equal to the lesser of:

Sixteen (formerly 20) times his or her weekly benefit amount, or

One-third of his or her wages for insured work in the base period.

Separation payments. For initial claims made on and after January 1, 2018:

Separation payments are disqualifying for the number of weeks following the date of the separation that equals the number of weeks of wages received in the separation payment;

An armed services severance payment paid to a former member of the United States armed services is not disqualifying;

Remuneration paid as back pay in settlement of a claim or grievance and supplemental unemployment benefits are not disqualifying; and

The employer will specify the total amount of separation pay and the number of weeks of wages represented by the separation pay.

If the employer does not specify the number of weeks of wages, the Department will allocate the separation pay using the claimant’s average weekly wage.

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