$300 Federal Unemployment Benefits Approved, Available to Arizonans This Week

The state’s request for federal help with unemployment benefits has been approved, the Arizona Department of Economic Security has confirmed.

The $300 in Lost Wages Assistance funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency under an executive order signed recently by President Trump will begin this week.

The extra payments will bring Arizona’s maximum unemployment benefit to $540 weekly. It would be made retroactively for each week after July 26 where previous federal payments may have lapsed, according to a press release from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday.

The new extension is half the previous $600 federal benefit that was part of CARES Act and was provided from March 29 to July 25.

That benefit expired without Congress reaching a deal to extend it, and negotiations have been unsuccessful.

The FEMA Disaster Relief Fund benefit will be available until Dec. 6 or when the money set aside is gone, the release said.

Trump said payments would be boosted by $400 when he signed the order, with states responsible for a 25% match. But Arizona is among a large number of states that have opted out of match because of budget concerns.

More than 370,000 Arizonans are currently receiving unemployment benefits, up from about 17,500 before the pandemic hit in March and Ducey began ordering businesses to close to contain the spread of COVID-19.

 


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