Arizona Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Arizona, you may be eligible for Arizona Unemployment Insurance benefits. Use this to guide your through the process of filing your initial claim, filing your continuing claims, and making sure you get all the unemployment benefits you deserve. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to qualify for the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Arizona workers can claim unemployment online or call the AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center. Those with no computer access can file online at a One-Stop Center or DES Employment Service Office (click employment, then unemployment insurance benefits).

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the Sunday after your filing date, based on when you filed online or called. Benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

You'll need the following info to apply either online or over the phone:
  • Name
  • Address
  • SSN
  • Country of residence
  • Name/address/phone of all employers for the last 18 months
  • Last date of work
  • Total amount of severance, accrued holiday, vacation, unused sick pay, all before deductions. Include date it was paid.
  • If you're a union worker you'll need the name and local number of your union hall
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50
  • If you are collecting a pension (not including Social Security) make sure you have the amount per month and start date
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type

-- Find jobs in Arizona

Filing Your Weekly Claim:

Arizona unemployment benefits are between $60 to $240 per week depending on your previous job's wages. All weekly filing is completed on the Weekly Claims Online Application or call the AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center. You will need the PIN you created in your initial filing and any wages you earned that week. You can file for the prior week beginning on Sunday, but your filing must be complete by Friday – the online application is available from 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Friday.

You will be asked if you were available for work, if you looked for work, if you refused a job offer, if you earned any money or worked (your gross earnings, if still working, if you left due to RIF or lack of work), if you've gone back to a full time job.

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

If there are no issues with your claim, you can expect payment in 10 days. Payment is made by Electronic Payment Card (EPC) or direct deposit. Paper checks are not issued, except while waiting for Direct Deposit.

Unemployment Benefits:

Arizona does not make health care insurance available to unemployed workers, but
health benefits may be available under the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), crediting 72.5% of qualified health care premiums.

You may be eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) if:
  1. You meet one of the following candidate requirements:
    • Your company was Trade Certified and you receive Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits (TAA) - Click here for details.
    • You received pension payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and are 55 years or older
    • You are the spouse or dependent of someone who fell into one of the categories above at the time of Medicare enrollment, death, or divorce.
  2. You meet the general requirements.
  3. You are enrolled in a qualified health plan.
Check www.irs.gov for details.

Arizona makes career and training benefits available through the Arizona DES Employment Service and Arizona Workforce Connection.

Filing for extensions:

Depending on your wages, you have up to 26 weeks (or less) of unemployment benefits. Extensions may be available under state or federal programs to those who qualify. To learn about qualifications and apply for extensions find more information on Arizona DES State Extended Benefits Federal Extensions and Additional Compensation.

Ending Unemployment:

This part's easy – do nothing. When you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.

FAQ:

Make sure you file weekly claims even if you are still waiting for your eligibility determination. If you recognize you were ineligible for a certain week, you still want to file if you remain out of work and still want unemployment benefits (ex: you took a one week job).

If you skip a weekly claim filing, the system suspends you. This can delay benefit approval and delay payments.

There is a specific time period for filing for unemployment for the prior week – from Sunday at 12:01 am to Friday at 6:00pm.

See this handy video for more information on filing for unemployment insurance benefits.

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