The state is adding $600 to the maximum weekly unemployment benefit of $240, and the first checks should go out as soon as next week, the Arizona Department of Economic Security said Wednesday. The money was added in response to the tidal wave of workers laid off because of the novel coronavirus, with new claims rising to almost 3.3 million in Arizona alone last week.

“We are going to get them the dollars they are entitled to,” Michael Wisehart, assistant director for the unemployment insurance program at the DES, told the Arizona Republic.

Those in need of support who have reduced hours or have been laid off should not hesitate to file online or call 877-600-2722 for benefits, Wisehart said. The unemployment support is available through July 31.

As of Wednesday, April 1, the Arizona Department of Health Services has reported 1,413 cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and 29 deaths. As of April 1, the department said 21,058 tests for COVID-19 have been completed in public and private labs in Arizona, and the results of 19,787 tests were negative.


Story by Caroline Yu, Cronkite News