Arizona Partnering With Trump Administration To Extend Unemployment Benefits

News Release

August 14, 2020

PHOENIX⁠ — Arizona is partnering with President Trump and his administration to extend unemployment benefits to nearly 400,000 Arizonans, making our state one of the first in the nation ready to make these benefits available to unemployment recipients.

Under an executive order signed by President Trump last weekend, Arizonans are eligible to receive unemployment benefits of $540 a week, with $300 per week provided through funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Arizona has applied for the funding, and expects approval quickly.

In addition to receiving $540 per week going forward, payments will be made retroactively for each week after July 26 where additional federal payments lapsed.

“I’m grateful to President Trump for stepping up and taking action to help Arizonans most in need,” said Governor Ducey. “As a result of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Arizona families and individuals are facing lost employment through no fault of their own, and these dollars will provide some immediate help. Now, we need members of Congress to work together, do their job, and extend these benefits for families relying on them.” 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, 2020, added an additional $600 federal stimulus payment to weekly benefits starting on March 29 and expiring July 25. Under the President’s executive order, the enhanced payments, which come from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, are extended until December 6 or until dollars set aside in the fund run out. 

Since March, Arizona has paid out more than $8.5 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 1.1 million individuals during this pandemic. This includes more than 800,000 Arizonans who have received benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program established by the CARES Act. 

Background

On March 20, Governor Ducey issued an executive order 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.

On March 27, Governor Ducey signed legislation codifying these changes and applying them retroactively to March 10.

On July 21, Governor Ducey sent a letter to the Arizona Congressional Delegation requesting an extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

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