Arizona among 1st states to issue new $300 COVID-19 unemployment benefits

Business News | 8 Jan |

Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) announced today Arizona is one of the first states in the nation to distribute an additional $300 per week unemployment benefits to unemployed Arizonans under the recently-passed federal COVID-19 relief legislation. 

“The team at the Arizona Department of Economic Security has worked tirelessly to scale up their capacity and serve a record number of Arizonans in the last year,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Today, Arizona is one of the first states in the nation to begin distributing this extra $300 a week to workers impacted by COVID-19. We’re grateful for their efforts to move quickly and get these dollars out to Arizonans in need.”

Payments are being issued by DES this week in accordance with the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) which extends federal unemployment programs, including a supplemental $300 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) funds, to provide unemployment benefits of up to $540 a week to eligible Arizonans. 

Arizona swiftly prepared a CARES Act extension plan to ready itself to roll out the benefits to Arizonans as soon as they became available. On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CAA, which allows for the extension of federal unemployment programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). These provisions will bring continued unemployment benefits to eligible Arizonans. 

In September, Arizona was the first state in the country to distribute a $300 per week benefit under the Lost Wages Assistance program. Unemployed Arizonans received more than $800 million in additional $300 per week payments made available through grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To date, DES has distributed $12.7 billion in unemployment since March 2020.

Individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 and are currently receiving unemployment benefits are eligible to receive up to $540 a week, which includes the maximum weekly benefit amount of $240 plus the $300 a week in FPUC. Claimants did not experience any interruptions in payments as a result of the time lapse between Congress passing the bill and the President signing it into law. 

FPUC is payable to individuals who are otherwise entitled under state or federal law to receive any of the following unemployment benefits:

• Regular Unemployment Insurance

• Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees

• Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers

• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

• Extended Benefits

• Shared Work

• Trade Readjustment Allowances

If an individual is eligible to receive at least one dollar of underlying benefits for a claimed

week, the claimant will also receive the full $300 FPUC payment for that week. Based on current legislation, individuals will receive FPUC payments concurrently with their weekly benefit payments for the underlying program until March 13, 2021. 

Visit www.azui.com to learn more about Arizona Unemployment Benefits and for additional updates and information about unemployment assistance programs in Arizona. 

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