Unemployment Insurance Benefits


When you claim unemployment benefits in Arizona, you are accessing funds paid into the state by your employer through Unemployment Insurance taxes. Every employer is responsible for paying these taxes so their former employees can receive financial assistance if they are released from their position through no fault of their own. Payments received from an unemployment benefits claim are designed help unemployed Arizona residents support themselves while they are between jobs. Continue reading to learn how to claim unemployment benefits in Arizona, how much you might receive by claiming benefits for unemployment and how long you can expect to stay on the UI benefits program.

What benefits will you receive?

When you claim unemployment benefits, you will receive a weekly payment from the DES. The money paid out with an unemployment benefits claim comes from taxes your employer paid into the system. If you are requesting federal unemployment benefits, but your employer did not pay Unemployment Insurance taxes, you will not be able to apply for UI benefit payments. When you claim unemployment benefits, the amount of your benefit payment is determined by factors explained in the next section. Note that all federal unemployment benefit payments are subject to Federal income taxes, so you must report these earnings on your Federal income tax return. There are also certain non-monetary benefits to participating in the UI benefits program, explained in our comprehensive guide.

Determining Your Benefit Amount

DES calculates federal unemployment benefits in Arizona according to a certain percentage of your earnings during your base period once you have been deemed eligible. Your unemployment benefits claim base period represents the quarters you worked over the most recent 18 calendar months. During that unemployment claim base period, you must meet a certain wage minimum earned to qualify for UI benefits. Your weekly unemployment benefits claim payment will reflect a percentage taken from your highest quarter of earnings during your base period. The Arizona state legislature has set a maximum amount that one person can receive in UI benefit payments each year. Your weekly unemployment benefit payment will also be influenced by whether you earned any income during that week. Any earned income must be reported and deducted from the benefit amount. For detailed information on how unemployment benefit payments are calculated, download our guide to Arizona UI benefits.

How long can you receive UI benefits?

In most cases, you can claim unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks in one year, as long as you continue to qualify. If you continue to need federal unemployment benefits because you are still unemployed after 26 weeks, you may be eligible for Extended Benefits, if DES considers it to be a time of high unemployment. This means DES acknowledges that claiming benefits for unemployment may be challenging to fulfill because it is harder to find a new position if the overall availability of jobs in Arizona is low at the time you file.

You can be disqualified from receiving federal unemployment benefits at any point during the process if DES discovers that you were not honest about the reason for your unemployment. You can also be disqualified for your unemployment insurance benefits or if you commit any type of UI fraud, such as not reporting income you earned during any given week. You can also lose your federal unemployment benefits by failing to file your claims on time, failing to report work or by failing to appear at scheduled interviews or visits to your local One-Stop or DES Employment Services office. If you are denied an unemployment benefits extension or an unemployment benefits claim, you have the right to file an appeal of the DES’s decision.

How to File a Weekly Benefits Claim

You should always apply for federal unemployment benefits as soon as possible after your last day on the job. Before you can start claiming benefits for unemployment on a weekly basis, you must complete an Initial Online Claims Application. This first step in the unemployment benefits claim process provides DES with all of your personal information and details about your former employers. This is different from the weekly unemployment benefits claim page you will use every week to file your Unemployment Insurance claims. Be sure to give complete and correct information to avoid delays in processing your weekly claims.

Every week, you can claim unemployment benefit payments by logging on to the Weekly Claim System. Each new unemployment benefits claim you file for requires you to provide information regarding your work search and the outcome of any job leads you explored, such as going to an interview, submitting an application or attending a job fair. After you enter this federal unemployment benefits claim information, it can take several days to process your claim. If you do not have access to a computer at home, you can file your weekly claim at no cost by using a computer at your nearest One-Stop Service Center or DES Employment Services office.

What Kinds of Employment Services Does Arizona Offer?

The state of Arizona offers various programs meant to assist residents who have become unemployed. These employment services include unemployment insurance programs and job training initiatives. To learn about how you can apply for unemployment benefits and receive job assistance in Arizona, download our guide today.

Who Is Eligible for Employment Services in Arizona?

Arizona residents that meet certain criteria can qualify to receive employment benefits and training. The state has set job loss standards that determine the eligibility and amount of benefits an individual may be able to receive. To find out if you are eligible for Arizona unemployment benefits, download our guide now.