Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program rolls out next week

PHOENIX —Starting next week, unemployed Arizonans should be able to get their payments faster.

Arizona Department of Economic Security announced it is implementing a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, starting May 12.

“We recognize the critical importance of these benefits for Arizonans who are out of work due to COVID-19,” said Tom Betlach, from the Office of the Director. “This solution will help get benefits to people faster, with payments being made retroactively for those eligible. We will continue to put forward all available resources, including working nights and weekends, to stand up this brand-new program to get individuals the help they need.”

The program is designed for Arizonans who might not normally qualify for unemployment insurance, including those who:

● Have exhausted all rights to such benefits,

● Are self-employed,

● Are seeking part-time employment,

● Lack sufficient work history, or

● Otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will offer up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals. Payments will be retroactive to the date of eligibility back to the week of Feb. 2, 2020. Individuals who are eligible will receive a weekly benefit amount, ranging from $117 to $240 per week, and will also be eligible for the additional $600 per week included in the CARES Act.