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On March 11, 2021, the President signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) which extends certain federal unemployment programs authorized by the CARES Act, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
PUA provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted their entitlement to or are not otherwise eligible for any other unemployment program under state or federal law.
Arizona was the first state in the nation to begin issuing Lost Wages Assistance to eligible claimants. Initial payments were added to the Weekly Benefit Amount starting August 17, and DES began issuing retroactive payments for the benefits weeks ending August 1 and August 8 later that week. All retroactive payments will be completed the week ending August 28.
PUA provides benefits to covered individuals. This includes individuals who:
Eligible individuals may continue receiving PUA benefits without returning to work if one of the below criteria (from the CARES Act) applies:
For state unemployment insurance, individuals may continue to receive benefits if they have good cause not to return to an employer, which can include pandemic-related situations. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
In order to be eligible for PUA benefits you must self-certify that you are otherwise able to and available for work under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 23, Chapter 4, except that you are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work as a direct result of one of the COVID-19 related reasons identified in Section 2102(a)(3)(A)(ii)(I) of the CARES Act. This is a requirement of receiving PUA benefits and will be asked when you file your initial claim and again when file your weekly certifications in the PUA portal.
Additionally, you must acknowledge that you understand that making this certification is under penalty of perjury, that intentional misrepresentation in self certifying is fraud, and that you may be subject to criminal prosecution if you are found to have committed fraud.
Please note that the quickest and easiest way to apply for PUA is online by using the PUA portal. However, if you are unable to apply for PUA benefits online by using the PUA portal, you may complete and submit this paper application. Upon completion, please fax or mail your application to DES. Please note that you will still be required to complete identity verification with DES.
The PUA system access will allow you to update your claim to include basic demographic information and information about your wages and earnings. Your PUA weekly benefit amount is based on your wages paid and/or net income from self-employment earned during your PUA base period, which is the most recent tax year that ended prior to your unemployment that was a direct result of COVID-19. Please be prepared to provide documentation of these wages and/or self-employment. Acceptable documentation can include, but is not limited to:
You do not have to have all of the documents listed above; only those relevant to your work history. Additionally, if you do not have any of the documents listed above, or those documents do not reflect your full income, you may submit copies of other documents that you believe would demonstrate your income. The documents will be evaluated by DES.
Please also be prepared to report any compensation you have received each week since your last day of full-time employment.
As a reminder, the fastest way to receive your PUA benefits will be through direct deposit. You can provide your banking information to register for direct deposit through the PUA system so you can receive your benefits faster. If you do not register for direct deposit, you will receive an Electronic Payment Card through Bank of America and your benefits will be loaded onto that card.
In order to receive payment for PUA benefits, claimants must complete a weekly certification for each week they wish to claim benefits for unemployment.
DES will provide information to the claimant if additional action is required.
How to Submit Work Search Activities for PUA
Learn more about Arizona’s work search requirements on the work search web page.
You may qualify for other benefits such as:
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You can apply for one or more of these programs online at www.healthearizonaplus.gov. Find more contact details regarding Nutrition, Cash, and Medical Assistance Benefits.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law. ARPA extends certain federal unemployment programs including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). These provisions will bring continued benefits to unemployed Arizonans.
On January 28, 2021, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) began mailing 1099-G tax forms to claimants who received unemployment benefits in the state of Arizona in 2020.