Unemployment Benefit Changes Responding to Covid-19

  • Anne Thwaits
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An executive order is being issued by Governor Ducey to expand unemployment benefits.

Governor Doug Ducey announced an executive order Friday, March 20, regarding access to unemployment benefits amid the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Governor Ducey, the executive order waives the one week waiting period between when someone is laid off and when they can file for unemployment.

It also waives work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits, meaning you no longer have to prove that you are applying for current jobs.

According to a release by the governor, the executive order also “Adds 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 to the list of people eligible for unemployment insurance.”

The executive order also instructs the Arizona Department of Revenue to move the deadline for filing and paying state income taxes from April 15 to July 15, 2020, which matches the IRS timeline.

It’s unclear when these changes will go into place.

As more businesses close and lay-off numbers rise, economists are expecting a wave of people to apply for unemployment benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Benefit Program gives a temporary source of income for people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own. That includes many impacted by COVID-19.

In Arizona, you apply with the Department of Economic Security.

To receive money, you have to show you were working for a specific time period before you lost your job.

How much you get varies based on the amount you previously earned. According to DES, it can range between $187 to $240 a week. You can get the weekly amount for up to 26 weeks.

DES does not have Unemployment Insurance offices. You must apply online at www.AZUI.gov. If you don’t have a computer, you can call 1 (877) 600-2722 or go to a One-Stop Center and use a computer there for free. Some of the offices may have staff to help, though right now–many aren’t letting people in to stop the spread of the virus.

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