Top Three Things to Know to Maximize Your Unemployment Benefits During COVID-19
By: Joshua C. Black, Esq.
Don’t delay, file today!
The waiting period for unemployment benefits has been waived in Arizona! Employees who have lost a job, or had pay or hours decreased, should apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible at www.azui.com.
The Department of Economic Security (“DES”) is recommending that individuals apply even if they are unsure if they qualify for benefits due to the federal programs being rolled out to provide additional relief to the country’s unemployed.
As the unemployment rate continues to rise, DES is experiencing a major increase in initial claims filings with weekly claims increasing from 2,953 claims a week in the end of February to 88,592 claims for the week of March 28, 2020. See weekly breakdown here.
This increased number of applicants means that processing times for unemployment applications are expected to be longer than usual. DES is estimating that it may take up to twenty-one days from filing to process claims. Because of this long delay, applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to get the process started.
Indicate that your unemployment is related to COVID-19.
Provide information in your application that shows you lost your job because of COVID-19.
To qualify for the additional $600 weekly unemployment benefit provided by the CARES Act, the applicant must indicate that the job loss is a result of COVID-19. Arizona's unemployment application has been updated online and now has a “COVID-19” indicator that can be selected on the application. Applicants would also be wise to submit documentation from work or a physician stating that their job loss is related to COVID-19.
Complete weekly requirements to maintain entitlement to benefits!
The CARES Act allows for up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. To ensure benefits continue for the duration of the unemployment the applicant must complete a weekly certification that he or she is still unemployed. Applicants can submit their certification online at www.azui.com. Additionally, the requirement that an applicant be “actively seeking work” to receive benefits has been waived for those unemployed due to COVID-19.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about entitlement to unemployment benefits in Arizona please do not hesitate to reach out to the author. Mr. Black may be reached at the Law Office of Joshua Black, PLC by telephone at 623-738-2225 or through the firm’s website www.azemploymentlawyer.com.
Additional information can also be found at the Department of Economic Security's website, which can be accessed by clicking here.