On May 13, 2021, Governor Doug Ducey and DES announced Back To Work programs to help individuals transition from unemployment to a new job, and ensure those currently receiving unemployment have support available to help them in this critical step forward. With this new program, Arizona will stop taking the federal government’s supplemental pandemic unemployment benefit effective Saturday, July 10. Arizona will also provide support for unemployed individuals seeking to upskill their careers with adult education programs as well as additional child care opportunities:
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Arizona will set aside $300 million of federal resources to offer a one-time bonus of $2,000 to certain eligible individuals who return to the workforce and get a full-time job, while those who return part-time will receive $1,000. The bonus will be awarded when the individual has stopped filing for unemployment benefits and completed at least 10 weeks of work with an employer, and will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In order to qualify for the bonus, an individual must have already filed for unemployment benefits. Arizonans filing for unemployment benefits after May 13 will not be eligible for Return-to-Work bonuses. The individual must also make $25 per hour or less, equivalent to a yearly salary of $52,000, at their new job and must begin working by Labor Day -- Monday, September 6. Qualifying individuals may accept a job with an employer immediately to qualify for the bonus.
The State will also provide $7.5 million for community college continuing education scholarships for currently unemployed workers who are eligible for the Return-to-Work bonuses — as well as $6 million for GED test preparation and exam fees for eligible workers without a high school diploma.
Child Care For Returning Workers
The State will provide three months of child care assistance for individuals with children who return to work after collecting unemployment benefits. To be eligible, an individual must have already filed for unemployment benefits, and earn $25 per hour, equivalent to a yearly salary of $52,000, or less at their new job.