Arizona approved for extended unemployment benefits
On Friday afternoon, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that Arizona is partnering with the Trump administration to extend unemployment benefits to the nearly 400,000 Arizonans who remain unemployed across the state. The boost means those individuals will see as much as $540 a week in benefits—a significant increase from the $240 a week in benefits they were left with when the federal payments lapsed on July 25. The new $300 weekly supplement provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be retroactive to the expiration of the last supplement, so applicants will also be eligible to receive back pay if they have been unemployed the past three weeks.
While Arizona had the option of adding an additional $100 per week to supplement the federal dollars, Gov. Ducey decided against it. Doing so would have cost the state an estimated $325 million.
Under the president’s recent executive order, the enhanced payments will be extended until Dec. 6 or until the $44 billion set-aside runs out. Given the current unemployment levels across the country, those dollars are expected to last an estimated five weeks.
As a refresher, Gov. Ducey issued an executive order in March ensuring individuals whose employment is affected by COVID-19 have access to unemployment benefits. The order:
- Waived the one-week waiting period after an employee loses a job before they apply for unemployment benefits.
- Waived work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits.
- Added people who work at a business that has been temporarily closed or has reduced hours because of COVID-19, who have to quarantine because of COVID-19, or who have to care for a family member with COVID-19.
- Waived any increase in employer payments to the unemployment insurance fund for businesses whose employees receive benefits under this provision.