PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Department of Economic Security has acquired new data services to get unemployment assistance to Arizonans faster.
DES will work with Geographic Solutions Inc., a private vendor, to process Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications on May 12. Payments will begin for eligible claimants that same week.
"This solution will help get benefits to people faster, with payments being made retroactively for those eligible. We will continue to put forward all available resources, including working nights and weekends, to stand up this brand-new program to get individuals the help they need,” said Tom Betlach, from the Office of the Director.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for certain individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Unemployment Insurance.
Those eligible for PUA include:
- have exhausted all rights to such benefits,
- are self-employed,
- are seeking part-time employment,
- lack sufficient work history, or
- otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
According to DES, PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable Arizona state statute, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to one of the COVID-19 related reasons identified in the CARES Act.