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  • Unemployment Benefits Updates

    Apr 13, 2020 | Read More News
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    Pima County One StopAbout 250,000 Arizonans have lost jobs, according to the UA Eller School of Business. As a result, the number of fillings in Arizona have exploded. A normal week for filings was around 3,000. The week of April 4, filings went to almost 130,000. To compare, the highest weekly filings during the Great Recession was just over 11,000.

    DES recognizes the need to get Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to Arizonans as soon as possible. DES just received Department of Labor guidance on new federal programs.  It will require system changes to get up to speed, which they are working on as quickly as possible. Here are some key takeaways.

    To file UI:

    • In addition to filing their initial applications, individuals who have applied for Unemployment Insurance must proactively go to the website weekly and “file claims” which provide additional information so that case continues. 
    • This step must be completed even if the initial application is still pending.
      • You can only skip one week.
    • Website is the fastest and easiest. Here’s the website: azui.com
      • They now have a chat bot to help.
    • Increased Call Center staff and hours. Call (877) 600-2722.
    • The Pima County One Stops are still open and helping people file their initial application and provide computers for filing weekly. For more info, go to PimaWorks.com or call our hotline 520-724-5735.

    Changes to UI program:

    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, expands coverage to individuals who previously were ineligible for benefits, like people who were self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers
    • Waived one-week waiting period and suspended job search requirement
    • Increased payments by an additional $600 per week through July 25, 2020, in addition to the current Arizona maximum of $240 per week
    • Extended the current maximum of 26 weeks by an additional 13 weeks
    There is limited chargeability to employers that would otherwise have increased their future tax burden.