UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

What is it? 
Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Known as the regular or traditional unemployment program. It provides unemployment insurance benefits to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The employers are required to pay two types of taxes: 1. State Unemployment Tax and Federal Unemployment Tax and the monies are deposited into the UI Trust Fund and used solely for payment of benefits to unemployed workers.

Who qualifies?
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was established by the federal CARES Act to assist individuals who do not qualify for the regular/traditional unemployment program. PUA benefits are available for weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020 through the week ending December 26, 2020.

Individuals that lost their employment and have accumulated the required base period income based on insured wages paid to the worker during a one-year period called the base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the worker files for a benefit claim.

Individuals that lost their employment and have accumulated the required base period income based on insured wages paid to the worker during a one-year period called the base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the worker files for a benefit claim.

How long do the benefits last?

State law limits the UI benefit at 26 weeks.

Up to 39 weeks.

Is there additional time available?

The CARES Act Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides for up to 13 weeks, (between 3/29/20 to 12/31/2020) of federally financed additional benefits to individuals who have exhausted state and federal unemployment benefits and are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.

None.

What is the amount? 
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Unemployment Insurance (UI)

State Benefit: between $117-$240 per week.

Federal Benefit: provides individuals who are collecting regular UI an additional $600 per week.

 

UI recipients can file for retroactive payment to the week of 4/13/2020. Program in effect between 3/29/20 to 7/25/2020.

State Benefit: between $117-$240 per week.

Federal Benefit: provides individuals receiving

PUA benefits additional $600 weekly between

the weeks of March 29, 2020 and July 25, 2020.

 

New PUA applicants can file for benefits retroactively to the COVID related reduction in income back through March 29, 2020.

***Note: Applicants who make over their $240 (or state portion of benefit) a week in employment income will be ineligible for UI benefits as well as PUA benefits for being over the income limit.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
How do I apply?

Applicants should be prepared with the following information to file the initial claim:

  • Social Security Number

  • Mailing address, county of residence

  • Driver License or state-issued ID number

  • Employment history for the last 18 months.
     

Claims can be filed at: www.azui.gov

Applicants must first apply to state UI and be denied before applying for PUA benefits.

  • The system will request certain qualifying information such as proof of last year’s income.

  • Certification that they are able and available for work.

Claims can be filed at: https://pua.azdes.gov/

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
What are the work requirements?

CARES Act provides for temporary suspension of the “actively seeking work” requirement for all UI claimants.

 

Applicants must file weekly claim at www.azui.gov

Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Work search requirements are still waived. Applicants still need to certify the availability to work.

 

Beginning May 17, applicants must file weekly certification at

https://pua.azdes.gov/

The weekly claims are required to redetermines their eligibility. If an individual fails to file a weekly claim, they will be locked out of the system and will have to contact the call center to have their claim re-opened. It is important to file weekly claims even if you work during a week or have every other week furlough. 

 

DES is working on general guidance to employees and employers about refusal of a job offer and UI eligibility.  Every individual's circumstance is unique, but generally the issue is being approached for individuals who do not meet one of the other COVID-19 criteria for both PUA and regular UI):

 

Individuals who are not in a high risk group, and who do not reside with anyone who is high risk, and whose employers are following current public health guidance (e.g., current guidance on social distancing, but this would adapt as the public health guidance changes), would be expected to return to work if a bona fide offer was made.  If they refuse, this would be considered a refusal to work that would result in them no longer being eligible for a UI benefit payment.