Judge grants injunction against Arkansas plan opting-out of federal unemployment assistance

State News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A preliminary injunction has been granted from a lawsuit filed against the state of Arkansas for opting out of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs.

“The five brave plaintiffs have helped about 69,000 other Arkansans today,” said Kevin De Liban, Legal Aid of Arkansas’s Director of Advocacy.

“Thanks to the ruling, people will now be able to get benefits to help them pay the rent, keep their lights on, have enough food to eat, and see the doctor while they continue their job searches,” he added.

The lawsuit claims the federal benefits are fully funded and even pay for the state’s administrative costs.

This will temporarily restore benefits for approximately 69,000 Arkansans and is estimated at more than $30 million per week.

Judge Herbert Wright, Jr. also mentioned in his ruling that the federal programs were optional, but the dispute was who had the authority to terminate the state’s participation in the programs – the executive branch or the legislature.

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