The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) announced the availability of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides a 13-week extension of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their state unemployment insurance (UI) and remain unemployed. PEUC launched on June 7.
“While Arizona is safely reopening, there is still a significant need for assistance during the economic recovery,” said DES Director Michael Wisehart. “This extension of benefits is critical for those still experiencing a disruption in employment during the pandemic, and we will continue to do our best to distribute these funds to eligible claimants as quickly as possible.”
DES Issues $748M in Additional Assistance for Unemployed Arizonans
DES distributed $748.7 million in benefits to UI and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants last week, which is the highest amount of benefits ever issued by DES in a single week. This is in part a result of significant progress the department made last week to resolve common active issues across approximately 35,000 UI claims and expedite benefits. DES adjudicators continue to work seven days a week to resolve approximately 10,000 remaining unemployment insurance claims that have yet to receive a benefits determination.
Extension of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
PEUC is available to those who have exhausted UI benefits on or after July 6, 2019, and have experienced continued unemployment after March 29, 2020. PEUC is available until December 26, 2020. Individuals can apply for PEUC by filing through the initial UI claims portal using the same login credentials they established when first applying for UI. Individuals will be able to file weekly certifications beginning June 14. The Department will process retroactive weeks of PEUC benefits based on the effective date of PEUC and the date an individual exhausted unemployment benefits.
Individuals who have exhausted UI benefits between February 2, 2020, and March 28, 2020, may also be eligible for additional benefits through PUA prior to the March 29, 2020 effective date for PEUC. Additional guidance for impacted individuals is forthcoming.