Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Created under the CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expands weekly benefits and opens benefits to individuals who are not otherwise eligible, including gig workers and self-employed individuals.
The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 was signed into law December 27, 2020, extending PUA benefits.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
The Act extended benefits for an additional 11 weeks, expiring on March 14, 2021. This now means expanded PUA benefits are available for the weeks of unemployment from February 2, 2020 to March 14, 2021 with a maximum of 50 weeks per person. Individuals may continue receiving FPUA through April 5, 2021 if they have not reached the maximum number of weeks. The program provides benefits of $300 per week in addition to the state’s unemployment insurance compensation benefits.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation
Self-employed individuals may be eligible for $100 per week to adjust for a lower unemployment benefit base payment.
Expanded State Benefits
Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona expanded access to unemployment benefits by waiving certain Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) eligibility requirements.
In addition, the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits after an employee loses a job has been waived.
Unemployment benefit eligibility has been expended in the following situations:
- Individuals whose employer has permanently or temporarily ceased or drastically reduced operations due to COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of wages
- Individuals who are quarantined and must therefore separate from employment
- Individuals who leave employment due to a risk of exposure or infection and are a member of a population that is particularly susceptible to COVID-19;
- Individuals who leave employment to care for a family member who has been infected with COVID-19
Regardless of the status of the initial application, and regardless of the reasons why the individual is eligible for Unemployment Insurance, all Unemployment Insurance claimants must file weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. Even if their initial claim is still pending, Unemployment Insurance claimants must file a weekly claim to receive benefits for that week.