I reported earlier today that unemployment benefit claimants are still having trouble with the system for making claims.
A state news release this afternoon indicates things are getting messier. Here, in its entirety:
Important Information Regarding ID Verification for
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Summary: Due to the inclement weather, DWS has extended the 7-day deadline to verify ID in person. DWS will be sending new ID verification emails the week of February 22, 2021. Claimants should check that the email address on their PUA application is valid and, if necessary, update by February 21 to receive the new link. Email address can be updated by calling 844-908-2178. For PUA claimants currently approved and receiving payments, no action is required.
LITTLE ROCK- Feb. 17, 2021— The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has implemented an online identity verification process for all individuals who file claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Effective January 26, 2021, individuals must verify identity in order to be eligible for benefits, as required by section 242(a) of the Continued Assistance Act and in accordance with guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
This ID verification process allows claimants to scan their driver’s license or state-issued ID using an online service called UIdentify. PUA claimants who need to verify their ID should have received an official email from ADWS.UIdentify@arkansas.gov with a unique link and instructions to verify their ID. The unique link in the email expires after 7 days, and if no action is taken, the claimant moves to Internal Review status. The claimant will then receive a notice in the mail to verify their ID in person at a local DWS office within 7 days. Due to the inclement weather, DWS has extended the 7-day deadline to verify ID in person.
It will be very important for claimants to check that the email address on their PUA application is valid and entered correctly. Claimants may check their email address by logging in to view their PUA application on the PUA website. If any changes need to be made to the email address on file, claimants should call 844-908-2178 and request changes to the email address no later than February 21, 2021. DWS will be sending new ID verification emails the week of February 22, 2021.
Once a claimant has verified ID using the UIdentify service, they should not submit their ID again. Doing so creates duplicate results and causes issues that require review. Claimants who have verified ID, whether in person or online using UIdentify, should allow time for processing. While processing can typically take between 24-48 hours, some increased delays may occur due to recent, weather-related office closings. DWS has made adjustments in the system so that we can continue to assist claimants while offices are closed. Rather than contacting a local office or the PUA call center, claimants may check on the status of their ID verification by logging into the PUA website. For PUA claimants currently approved and receiving payments, no action is required.
DWS asks that individuals have patience when contacting the PUA call center, as we are experiencing a high volume of calls. We will continue to provide updates and keep claimants informed of the status of our statewide offices via Twitter (@ArkansasDWS , @AR_Commerce) and Facebook (@ArkDWS).
Don’t have a computer? Don’t have an e-mail account? Don’t have a car? Don’t have bus fare? Don’t have food? Can’t pay the electric bill? Be patient, somebody will be with you shortly. Somewhere.