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State to finally send out unemployment aid

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The checks are finally going out to Arizonans who are ineligible for the state’s regular unemployment insurance program.

Officials from the Department of Economic Security said Monday they were mailing 165,000 checks out to individuals who filed for benefits through May 2. These checks will be for at least $2,151 — $171 base state payment plus $600 under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program — which represents three weeks’ worth of benefits.

The total being paid out to those 165,000 Arizonans amounts to $350 million. And, eventually, those who are eligible will get checks going back as far as Feb. 2.

Then on Tuesday, DES will be taking new and updated applications for the PUA program online.

But other problems remain.

In a Twitter message Monday afternoon, the agency said it was aware that there are some who filed their weekly certifications of eligibility for the state’s regular unemployment benefits recently who are not getting the payment.

“We sincerely apologize and are working to correct this as quickly as possible,” the message says. “We will provide an update as soon as we have an estimated date of payment for these claims.”

The developments come as the agency reported Monday that another nearly 33,000 Arizonans — close to 1 percent of the total workforce — had applied for first-time jobless benefits last week.

That brings to more than 545,000 the number who said they have lost work since the middle of March due to any combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Doug Ducey and the governor’s separate orders shuttering certain kinds of businesses, resulting in furloughs and layoffs.

It also represents more than 15 percent of the total state civilian labor force.

Whether that becomes the figure in the actual monthly unemployment report depends on several variables.

The most significant is that the official report is based on a survey of households where residents are asked whether they are working and, if not, whether they are actually looking for work. That would include people who want jobs but had not applied for unemployment benefits, whether due to eligibility or simply the inability to complete their applications.

And the next report, due to be released May 21, covers only a snapshot of the situation in Arizona during the second full week in April. The official May jobless figures won’t be announced until June 18.

The filings also come as Ducey has eased up on some of his orders.

This past Friday he allowed barber shops and hair salons to reopen if they follow certain health protocols.

More significant, as of Monday the governor agreed to permit dine-in services at restaurants and bars, some of which had remained open on a limited basis for take-out and pick-up services. That should result in rehiring of some employees, though the safety restrictions, effectively including some seating limits, may still leave some facilities short of previous staffing levels.

It will take weeks, if not longer, to see how that affects the state’s jobless rate.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was created by Congress as part of the Conronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to help those who are otherwise ineligible for standard state benefits. Generally speaking, that includes the self-employed, independent contractors and those in the “gig economy,” like drivers for rideshare programs.

Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks.

It also has had a rocky start in Arizona.

While people have been eligible for the PUA payments now for months, the state has been slow in actually setting up a process for applications. Michael Wisehart, the agency’s deputy director of employment and relief services, said the system set up to handle regular unemployment claims would not work for those in the PUA program.

So the state had to hire an outside firm to set up a separate system. And that went online only this week.

Under normal circumstances, those seeking benefits would have to actively be seeking work to remain eligible. But agency spokesman Brett Bezio said that has been suspended for both regular and PUA benefits under the terms of an executive order by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Bezio said, however, that to get the PUA benefits applicants have to self-certify that they are otherwise able to work and available but for the fact they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or or are unable or unavailable for work because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

50 comments

  1. Maybe you can find out why the Arizona Unemployment website shows my deposit as one amount and the deposit to my BofA account was short the additional $600 this week. The amount deposited today was the standard of $240. I contacted BofA and they’ve received a flood of phone calls from people currently on Arizona unemployment. This is going to affect my taxes as unemployment is stating I was paid the additional $600 this week and I was not.

    I attempted to contact unemployment to find out what’s going on but received a message they could not take my call.

    Can you please look into this for us? I am only one of the thousands currently counting on these funds and for the Unemployment office to show they’ve been paid when they haven’t is extremely questionable.

  2. Perhaps some guidance/information/steps required for one to “self-certify”…which will be required to get the $600 PUA as the closing paragraph indicates.

  3. Still waiting for the $600 federal that didn’t show up on monday myself, 130,000 people multiplied by $600 equals 78 million dollars, that just, disappeared, these arizona officials have gone far. Please stop stealing from the poor.

  4. I talked to Arizona UI today 05/13/2020 as far as NEW PUA system goes it is really only for gig workers etc at this time, I have exhausted my benefits some 5 weeks ago and I was told once exhausted benefits would be on 05/12/2020 what a lie, now going on the sixth week no money and they don’t know when it will be a part of the UI program for PUA. so dont wait for that check in the bank anytime soon it has taken Arizona this long just to make available what they did.

  5. I have been waiting over 4 weeks to receive my unemployment benefits so far I have received 0. There is nothing on my account that says I’m illegible but I’m still waiting for an “unresolved” issue regarding vacation pay that has nothing to do with my application. I must’ve accidentally checked the box that says I received a severance/vacation pay but I clarified in the documents I faxed in that I did not receive that pay. I cannot contact the call center and I’ve been trying EVERY day I get the same message telling me the queen is full due to COVID-19… I can’t even get on a hold. I spoke to the other representatives who make the applications over the phone but they couldn’t help me and told me to keep trying… this has to be a joke because it’s been 4-5 weeks and NOTHING. The fact that they won’t let you get through to anyone over the phone says enough. Arizona has the WORST systems in place for ANYTHING designed to HELP people. It’s sad nobody on earth should have to deal with this level of frustration especially coming from our own government. It’s pathetic that a call center I was working at could handle up to a million calls worldwide but the state of Arizona can’t handle a few from its own people. This is outrageous, people NEED this money. I don’t know why the state is acting like bills aren’t due and families don’t need to eat. This whole thing is insane.

  6. When will my PUA money go in my bank account?I was not eligible.Please respond.Thank you so much.

  7. How about the people who did work and did qualify for unemployment and still have active issues that are not being resolved after five weeks. I got through the Q today and was told it would be another 4 to 6 weeks and the agent was nasty! The other I talked with a week prior was helpful and then this agent said the first agent was lying! I cant believe this.

  8. I received my check Wednesday after being out of work since March 15th due to mandatory complete shutdown. It was YEAH! at first until I went to Chase Bank and deposited the check only to be told I couldn’t get a dime of it today and that a hold was placed on it. Tomorrow I can get $200 out of the $2151 and they didn’t elaborate on when the rest would be available. I did however look up the banking laws which require them to release at least an additional $400 on the SECOND BUSINESS DAY AFTER THE DAY OF DEPOSIT. Well that now puts my funds unavailable until next MONDAY and still only $400 out of the $1900 balance…then by law they have to release the rest on the THIRD BUSINESS DAY AFTER THE DAY OF DEPOSIT which now puts it at next Tuesday….HOWEVER….each bank can withhold availability for up to TEN DAYS if they so choose and I wouldn’t put it past them because the last time I deposited a large check from a huge well known corporation I had to wait the entire 10 days.
    Now please tell me how this is supposed to HELP us when our lives and jobs were already destroyed and when it finally arrives I can’t withdraw it???? This was an AZ State Gov’t check! Does Chase Bank seriously think that it’s going to be noncollectable??? These banking rules need to adjust with the circumstances just as the rest of us have had to adjust without our jobs.

  9. I have not received the $2,151 check fromDES yet. Has anyone else? Also like others still waiting on PUA $ to come in. It’s been since March! Very disappointed on how the system is running right now. Can’t get ahold of nobody calls cue r full by 6:58. I’ve been trying for weeks to figure this out. If someone can get to the bottom this it would be amazing not just for me for thousands of pple still waiting.

  10. I received my check and deposited it and it was reported by my bank as a fraudulent check on their end for some reason, still Don’t have the money.

  11. I applied 5 weeks ago for unemployment and still have not received anything. I keep getting the “there’s an unresolved issue on ur claim”.
    I realize this is an I precendented event but it is getting ridiculous now. We all need this money now not 5 more weeks from now!!

  12. Has anyone else had this issue? You are supposed to go on the new PUA portal and file your weekly certification starting 5/17/2020. This would be for the week ending 5/16/2020. When I attempted to do so, I received a pop-up indicating I had already filed for week of 5/09/2020. What is up with that?

  13. Deniece F Fridy

    I have been waiting for my $2151 check as well. I applied wayyy before my brother and he got his check on Wednesday. Nor have i gotten any pua payments.

  14. I was able to apply on the PUA portal and clain was accepted 5/17/20.. I had to self certify all the back to Feb 2… Now it says it has been paid on all weeks, but I have not recieved anything! You can not call any one for help… the phone lines are clogged… The entire thing is SOOOO FRUSTRATING! Its beginning to feel as if we are being made fools of…

  15. Replying to Doug above… Yes, I have the same issue, it won’t let me file for the week ending 5/16, even though that should be the current week for while we can file. I sent an email through their message system but haven’t gotten a reply. So frustrating, as if you don’t certify for the week, you don’t get paid!

  16. How come after nearly 3 months AZ DES has not paid anything on my unemployment claim? AZ DES has dismissed my phone calls, told me that is my fault, and even hung up on me on more than one occasion. They have required that I repeatedly refile my claim week after week. They have required me to fill out redundant paperwork multiple times. Can you help me?

  17. Leslie Valenzuela

    I got my check 3 days ago,, i have Wells Fargo bank, i went to deposit my check into my bank account, everything went through and was good,,my first available balace was 200$ and the rest was available for me the next day after i deposited it. Well now 4 days later i have a -2151$ balance in my account,, due to the bank telling me that the check was no good!!! They told me they were not able to collect the money from the checks makers?? So YEAH!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HELP GOVERNMENT!!! So idk about all of you guys that got it,,but this is what honestly happened to me now i have to pay it back. Be careful with the checks,, and then i been trying to call the PUA assistant line and they will not take any calls at all!! So there is noo help at all. Hopefully its not like that for everyone,, best of luck,, and dont deposit the check.. cash it out instead that way you dont have any trouble like it happened to me,, God bless. Take care everyone.

  18. Leslie Valenzuela

    I think its just a whole lot of BULLSHIT!! I am so disappointed,,and frustrated more now that thanks to that $2151.00 dollars check i got more bills to pay,, its almost unbelievable that DES or the Government or whoever the **** sent this checks out would make them noncollectable!!! What for? Why?? Then you can not get through to get a hold of anyone that can help you,, its ridiculous, im tierd of all this BS!.. can’t work..can’t go out of home..stuck at home watching my bills pile up more and more. Be careful with that 2151$ check everyone. Dont make the same mistake i did to deposit it.

  19. I’m basically in the same boat as y’all. Properly filled out my paperwork, filed it on time, and followed up on it. Almost 2 MONTHS later….CONGRATS DES, your ineffectiveness has caused people to go bankrupt cuz the BASICS they expected from the Gov’t, per law, you cannot perform and just leave people hanging, as if by a noose.

  20. I was able to apply on the PUA portal and claim was accepted 5/17/20.. I self certified all the way back to Mar 6th when my trade show gigs cancelled. Now it says it has been paid on all weeks, but I have not recieved anything. When I call, the automation states overwhelming call volume prohibits them from taking calls. Praying for a solution soon. Have hope.

  21. What is going on.Ive tried and tried to reach the.
    unemployment line QUOTE
    THE QUE IS FULL.. Suppose to have deposit in 2-3 days DEPENDING ON THE BOF A but pua info says still INPROCESS.so day 3 has past no money still.
    So neither place can help.

  22. Got the same issues! I filed 7 weeks ago after I couldn’t work from home for the call center I work for since I will have my children in the back ground and it’s against policy for my job. I think it’s bullshit. My employer is stating I’m on a loa yet never provided me paperwork, dates just told me I still have a job but I can’t work yet doesn’t want to lay me off either. That’s my active issue. I’ve called right at 7am I have spoken to a few people who have told me the same thing that it needs to be investigated by higher person and they cannot help me. Filed on pua site states I qualify benefits will be sent out but pay date is in progress. Going on 8 weeks without any pay or changes with my claim. 4 kids and bills stacking up with no help from unemployment.

  23. I got my check and deposited in my bank at navy Federal credit union and they ******* froze my account !!!! They gave me $200 and froze the rest ! I can’t do anything with my account now I can’t get my money nothing !!! And then I’m trying to call unemployment and I can not get through I have a pending issue because I was being honest and told them Out of the seven weeks I had to certify the very first week I worked a couple of hours and I put down the pay that I got out of the seven weeks I had to certify the very first week I worked a couple of hours and I put down the pay that I got and they consider that a pending issue I can’t get a hold of anybody to clear this up so I can get paid!! I don’t know what to do ?? I got through Last Sunday and those ******* people don’t know what they’re talking about they literally are there for nothing they don’t help with anything she said oh for everyone that has issues on their accounts somebody’s going to be reaching out to them this week I never got a call!

  24. I have informed delivery with the post office and I was supposed to receive the check Wednesday of last week and it never made it into my mail box. It was either stolen or delivered to the wrong mailbox. I finally got into to the hold line after a week of trying only to be kicked off the call after over 2 hours of waiting. Idk what else to do.

  25. Hi everyone. I got my check. No issues as far as the bank, etc. My question is the $2,151 will we get more of these checks?? That amount? Unemployment is new to me in this state. I am from North Dakota. Thanks. Is this a 1 time check or more coming?? That’s my question.

  26. Its is very frustrating going on 8 weeks with active issues and calling in to DES every day to no end with the Q is always full, and when I got in several time got hung on. DON’T know what to do, file my claim every week, and now the PUA don’t know if I should file if I haven’t recieved anything from DES.
    HELLLLLLLL(P). IS ANY ONE OUT THERE CAN FIND ANY ANSWER OR HOLD THESE PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE? I KNOW LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE FILLING BUT THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR IT TAKING THIS LONG AND NOT KNOWING WHAT ARE THE ISSUES. TRULY FRUSTRATED AMONG THOUSANDS OF OTHER HARD WORKING PEOPLE.

  27. Has anyone (Including James or Kay) had their “pending unresolved issues due to vacation or sick time” resolved by anyone. I too called 100 times and haven’t gotten through. I mailed back all the proper paperwork along with documents immediately, then…nothing. Filing claims weekly with no payments coming in. It will be five weeks. I was being honest and reported sick/vacation time that I used before filing as required, only what seems now.. to be a punishment for it! 🙁

  28. Website was so misleading making it seem 13 week extensions kick in you don’t need to reapply.. iv called many times prior to my benefits being exhausted rep would say they had no info that they would call me back..never did. . told I’d have a check mailed to me in a few days … No check ever sent.. and now they have no idea when that part of the PUA would kick off … Like wtf thx a lot … Not

  29. I like many others applied for unemployment and still waiting on money. I had issues with my company paying out Vacation etc…However, that is done and my claims are literally just sitting there and nothing is being done about it. I just filled out my 9th claim, so this is over 2 months now with NO MONEY…I cant even get the $600 because my claims need to be released first. I’m behind in my Rent/Bill’s. How does DES want us to live with NO MONEY. This is ridiculous we need our money!

  30. I applied 7 weeks ago. The pay date said in progress for 5 weeks then it said pay date 5/25 which was Memorial Day. The next day I looked and it said paid 5/26 yet it is 5/29 and the money hasn’t been sent to BofA yet?? When am I going to get it???

  31. I thought I was the only one having the exact same problems with the PUA claims. No one is there to answer calls to help or even explain what the hell is going on. It’s very frustrating. I started on 5/17 and it’s now the 1st of June and nothing is showing, I’ve emailed and still no response from anyone or I should say anything! I’m guessing we just wait until all this virus **** is done and gone if it does, that’s when we will see money on our cards.

  32. It has been 8 weeks. I have not been able to reach anyone at the unemployment office. At the end of Feb I was laid off, but given a severance for March ending 3/31/2020. My claim still shows “Active Issues” and I’ve sent all the proper documentation requested along with my severance letter attached. 8 weeks later, after filing every week, nothing… Last week when I tried to file, it said I could not file for the week, but let me file again today so now 1 week didn’t even post. I’M SORRY, I know it’s not a typical scenario and I am bar far not the only one… We need to move of from our current Governor and staff. No explanation to the people other than their agenda.

  33. What exactly is the difference between the terms “Total Payment” and “Partial Check?”

  34. I also have been filling the PUA each week and all my back weeks. I have an active issue for earning 170$ the very first week in March and now all my other weeks went from processing to pay date June 1 with trans number but no money in my account from DD. It also says partial check and total payments. The first week without the 600$ says totally payment and the ones with the 600$ added say partial check. I have pay dates and numbers and no money WTF is going on. There are 6 different numbers to call and they all do the same thing say you can’t get through all lines are full. I’ve called 100 times!!! This needs to be fixed ASAP people are losing their livelyhood.

  35. I filed for PAU on the online portal in April backdating claims to 3-20-20 which was my final day of work. thought I was to enter my EIN number instead of my social security number since I am an independent contractor working under my LLC.
    I was wrong! Now I can not reach anyone at DES Customer Service to fix my social security number. Every week I file the summary states “One unresolved issue” “invalid Social Security Number”.

    I am at my wit’s end. My savings are now depleted.

    It is impossible to reach ANYONE at DES regardless of the number I have called. I start calling 5 minutes before they open at 8:00 and I still get the message that the queue is full. just like everyone else that needs help. How is that possible?

    This a complete mess. There is no help for us!

  36. It’s possible because Arizona is one of the worst states to handle paperwork. They are and have been un prepared for anything other than the normal. It took weeks to get my back $600 per week. and regularly they say they have paid my weekly benefit and it is not in B of A.
    It’s Arizona that’s all I can say. I am told that the state is “very poor” imagine a state that has retirees worth millions and they pay a stinking $240 a week maximum in unemployment. How could you expect anyone to survive. Poor Wages high prices sky high rents for substandard housing.
    Substandard medical care and benefits.
    Again it’s Arizona.

  37. I have issues with my claims that I can’t resolve. I have talked to a representative. She said there’s nothing she can do to help. She told me all I can do is wait. I’ve sent email after email asking for help. The website says I would receive something in the mail regarding the issues with my 10 outstanding claims. It would take up to 21 days. It’s been over 21 days. I don’t know why it’s taking this long. I’ve submitted my W2, my pay stubs and a letter from my employer that shows all employees were furloughed. I filed my weekly claims on time each week going back 10 weeks. This isn’t right we all have to wait.

  38. Anthony Newsome

    I filed and claim and was issued a few payments but got my unemployment stopped because the office has yet to process my documents that were faxed into there office over a month ago and I was told I had to wait 21 days before someone would get to me! This is insane when folks have rent, medical bills, medicine to purchase, and food to purchase! Justice and order needs to be addressed ASAP!

    Anthony Newsome
    (Waiting Since April 2020)
    Phoenix Resident

  39. I filed the typical unemployment claim and started receiving $840 every week but then the payments stopped after 8 weeks due to “Benefits Exhausted”.

    So many questions!

    Did the state count my fed dollars toward its limit?
    Was I supposed to file a separate PUA claim? If so this was not obvious.

    I know DES is overwhelmed but more customer service agents are needed. Lots of people with lots of questions.

  40. I don’t know who else has besides myself that has tried to register at the AZUI PUA portal only to get a message stating an account using that social security number already exists & telling you to log in using the user name & password created during the initial registration or reset them. And when you try to reset them it tells you the information provided is not correct.

    I never filed for regular UI and I didn’t file for PUA benefits either, but someone has applied. Thankfully because the thief used a very, very old address and Walmart as my employer, and probably my email address as a different one, the system flagged the claim and no money has been released to this scumbags so far.

    However, I am now stuck waiting on the AZUI integrity department to investigate and somehow close out the fraudulent claim or remove my social security number whatever they do to convince the system that I have not previously registered so it will let me sign up & finally file my claim.

    So far nothing has been done & there is no way to communicate directly or indirectly really with anyone in the integrity department to find out the current status or ask them to fix it as quickly as they can. 🙁

  41. I filed for pua and was receiving weekly benefits but now i have an open issue stating Invalid SSN , how is that even posible? i have to wait 21 day for them to give me a responce to something that seems very likely an error on their part.. now i have to save what i got for future bills and rent until this gets resolved witch should have never been an issue in the first place..

  42. I applied in May and am still waiting for a response. I needed to backdate my work status to Feb because that’s when I lost a lot of hours. It seems like anyone with any small technical or system problem is just being ignored. I figure they don’t have enough people, or funds, to handle this situation. They really need to hire a lot of people to help with customer service, and to help solve these issues that are putting people in horrible situations. Better organization, communication, and more employees could make a huge difference for those of us who just have bills piling up.

  43. They open at 7:00am y’all 602-542-5954 press 2-1-2-2-1-1 and then you will have to enter ssn and then PIN number they will answer the call within 20-60 minutes and The benefit office control number is 602–364–4300 and again enter 2-1-2-2-1-1

  44. My daughter has been waiting for payments since she filled the end of May. The call que always says full and she can’t talk to a person. The website just says in progress. Is anyone else still waiting?

  45. To Amanda of 8/7/20

    I completed my weekly claim for two weeks and then in my summary it’s just says in process and before I had it on a debit from the unemployment then now it says Partial check. Tried calling so many times but says the lines are full but try again calling. Is it the computer problem or the worker make a mistake. I got bills to pay and get groceries.

  46. I’ve filed for pua on july22,2020 I’ve received a B of A card and I still haven’t received a payment it’s over a month now

  47. Is anyone still waiting what’s going on ???? They hired more people I don’t understand?? Maybe a explanation to my uncle’s e mail would be nice WOW!! YOU’D THINK THEY WOULD COMMUNICATE WITH US,BUT NOTHING “IN PROGRESS IS WHAT MY CLAIM SAYS,’ PARTIAL CHECK BUT HAVEN’T RECEIVED ANYTHING!! HELP ME SOMEONE TELL ME OM NOT THE ONLY ONE WAITING PLEASE!!

  48. I got the EXACT same thing! And 5 different answers. STILL waiting as of today, September 24, 2020. Been waiting since MARCH!! AZ SUCKS!! HOW ARE WE TO LIVE? THE GOVERNOR AND UNEMPLOYMENT STAFF ARE GETTING PAID AND EATING AT LEAST 1 MEAL A DAY AND HAVE A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS!! BIGGEST BUNCH OF PATHETIC BS EXCUSES I EVER HEARD!!

  49. Cheyenne Siqueiros

    Been waiting since March – this is crazy it’s a pandemic we have no job and no money coming in , isn’t that the reason for unemployment , to help when down and provide ??? I’m starving , have bills that aren’t paid and can’t get u people to answer the phone let alone give my money to me! I’m so fDONE!!! So frustrated and so upset! a needs to get it going , Times up! Your making me lose everything, and I’m actively looking for. Work . But it’s hard in a state where a lot is closed and down afraid of getting the deadly disease that’s knocking people out daily!!’ DES- ARIZONA WAKE UP &HURRY we need help ASAP like NOW!!!!

  50. I have been waiting since may. I have been playing thr circus game and jumped through all the hoops. 4 weeks ago i was verified who i am. I was told my file was getting emailed to higher up for payment. Here i wait and nothing from Azui. I try to call and can not get threw to talk to a live person again. I have sent several emails and no one gets back to me. The system has failed us once again.

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