New measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus have put some Arizonans out of work, and temporarily closed the doors of many businesses. I am working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that Arizonans out of work can access the resources available to them.
- The CARES Act waives the waiting time for approval, extends coverage for an additional 13 weeks, so Arizonans would be eligible for 39 total weeks.
- A new temporary unemployment insurance program will be available for gig workers, the self-employed, and independent contractors who normally do not qualify for unemployment benefits. (SEE BELOW)
- For those receiving unemployment insurance between now and July 31, 2020 – an extra $600 in unemployment insurance benefits will be automatically available. An Arizonan who qualifies for the maximum unemployment insurance benefit of $240 would be able to receive an unemployment insurance benefit of $840/week ($240 + $600) until July 31, 2020.
- This $600 benefit will be taxable (like all unemployment benefits), but it will be disregarded in determining Medicaid or CHIP eligibility.
A full explanation of whether or not an individual may be eligible for unemployment insurance in Arizona can be found HERE.
The high volume of applications may create delays DES application processing. If you believe you are eligible for the Arizona's traditional UI program, you must file weekly claims to continue to receive benefits (even if your initial claim is still pending, you must file a weekly claim to receive benefits for that week). You can file weekly claims HERE. If you are later found on appeal to be eligible, you will only be paid for the retroactive weeks in which you submitted weekly claims.
The online Weekly Claims System is available from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Friday.
A FAQ for Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims is available HERE.
An FAQ document on new unemployment provisions within the CARES Act can be found, HERE.
Governor Ducey's Executive Order to ensure that individuals whose employment is affected by COVID-19 have access to unemployment, HERE.
For a video on how to apply, click HERE or on the preview below.
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE (PUA):
**UPDATE** The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) announced that it will be implementing a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program system on May 12 to get assistance to Arizonans faster. Applications will be processed beginning the week of May 12 and payments will begin for eligible claimants that same week.
** Increased AZDES Hours: Monday - Friday: 7-6, Saturday: Closed, Sunday: 9:30-5 **
Individuals eligible for PUA include those that:
have exhausted all rights to such benefits,
are seeking part-time employment,
lack sufficient work history, or
otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law.
If you have not already submitted an unemployment application, you can submit HERE. It is important to apply even if you are ineligible for regular unemployment as you may be eligible for benefits under the CARES Act.
If you already applied for Unemployment Insurance benefits and you think you may be eligible for PUA, AZDES will contact you when further action is needed. AZDES recommends you keep a record of your earnings each week (this information will be required to determine your eligibility when PUA is implemented). Those who are eventually approved under the new PUA program will also be eligible for an additional $600 a week through July 2020 and benefits for up to 39 weeks.
More information about PUA can be found on the DES Pandemic Unemployment Assistance webpage, HERE.
For a list of Arizona employers with immediate openings, click HERE.