The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) announced today $519 million in state unemployment insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was issued to claimants last week. An additional $95.5 million was issued to state UI claimants today. Yesterday, PUA applicants filed weekly certifications that will result in payments of $95 million throughout the course of this week. This number is expected to grow as additional claimants file their certifications.
Payments follow the launch of the PUA program, with 77,063 claims filed last week. The ability to file weekly PUA certifications was successfully implemented in the PUA portal yesterday.
“The launch of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program last week has allowed us to provide additional financial support to unemployed Arizonans,” said Tom Betlach, from the Office of the Director. “The demand for this assistance is significant, and by continuing to distribute benefits to our communities, we can support families in need, as well as our state’s economic recovery.”
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Approximately 165,000 individuals were mailed a paper check on May 11, 2020, for three weeks of the minimum benefit amount and the additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). These checks were issued to individuals who applied between February 2 and May 2, were not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), and were instead eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
To continue to receive additional payments, these individuals must update their initial claim in the PUA portal AND file weekly certifications for all weeks for which they are claiming benefits. Even if an individual has returned to work, weekly certifications can be filed for the weeks for which he or she is claiming benefits. To file an initial or weekly PUA claim, please visit http://pua.azdes.gov.
Per federal requirements, some new applicants may need to file a regular UI claim based on their particular circumstances. If they are denied for regular benefits, they can then file a PUA claim. If individuals are approved for regular UI, they do not need to file a PUA claim.
The fastest way to receive PUA benefits will be through direct deposit. Individuals can provide financial information to register for direct deposit through the PUA system. If they do not register for direct deposit, they will receive an Electronic Payment Card (EPC) through Bank of America.
Visit https://des.az.gov/pua for updates and additional information.