See below Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Assistance as well as additional resources. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The CARES Act provides much-needed temporary support for American workers impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • It dedicates $250 billion to give workers more access to unemployment benefits during this public health emergency.
  • Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
  • Expands coverage to more workers, including self-employed, contractors, and furloughed workers.
  • Increases by $600 per week Americans’ unemployment benefits for the next 4 months.
  • Makes available 13 additional weeks of unemployment for those who need it.
  • Waives the normal one-week waiting period.
  • Includes funding to offset 50% of the costs of state and local government and non-profits for cost of paying unemployment to their workers.
  • Supports short-time, work share programs as an alternative to layoffs.

Q: Are self-employed and independent contractors eligible to receive unemployment benefits due to COVID-19? 

A: Yes. Self-employed and independent contractors, like gig workers and Uber drivers, are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This also covers workers laid off from churches and religious institutions who may not be eligible under the state’s program.

Q: What about furloughed workers?

A: Yes. States have policies in place to allow furloughed workers to receive unemployment benefits and part-time workers can receive partial benefits. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program also helps workers stay connected to their employer by allowing unemployment benefits for workers who have a job but are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19-related reasons and are not receiving paid leave through their employer.

Q: How much do unemployed workers get?

A: In Arizona, a person under the unemployment benefits program can receive a maximum of $240 per week. Under the CARES Act, a person may receive an additional $600 per week through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. 

Q: Can individuals get more on unemployment than they got in their paycheck?

A: The additional $600 in weekly benefits is designed to keep as many workers as whole as possible through the emergency. Some may temporarily receive more in benefits than their paycheck. The temporary $600 per week increase is only available through July 31, 2020.

Q: How long do unemployment benefits last?

A: A person in Arizona may receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. The CARES Act provides federal funding for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment for those who need it. Funding for this increase expires December 31st, 2020.

Q: Are unemployment benefits taxable and do they count as income?

A: Yes. Unemployment benefits are taxable income and they generally count as income when determining eligibility for public assistance programs.

Q: Where can I go to apply or get more information about unemployment benefits in Arizona.    

A: You can visit des.az.gov/services/coronavirus for more information about unemployment benefits or other programs that may be helpful or you can visit www.azui.gov to apply for unemployment benefits.

Click HERE for a downloadable and printable FAQ. 


Additional Resources

  • For regular updates from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, click here.
  • For additional guidance regarding unemployment resources from the Department of Labor, click here
  • For information about open positions and hiring from Arizona@Work, click here
  • For employment assistance from Goodwill, click here

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