Unemployment Insurance Extensions

In order to be considered eligible for federal unemployment extension in Arizona, several key factors must be in place for the unemployed worker. The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) defines an unemployment benefits extension as receiving pre-approved federal unemployment funds for a greater length of time than the initial standard of 26 weeks. Arizona will consider an unemployment extension for workers who meet state-regulated criteria regarding employment history leading up to the unemployment period as well as other mitigating circumstances observed throughout the time of the unemployment assistance. Before attempting to apply for extended unemployment benefits, it is imperative to know that extensions are not always offered. The state and federal governments must declare economic need for states to access the funds for unemployment extensions. These and other variables will determine eligibility for unemployment compensation extension in AZ, and you can find out more by reading the sections below.

How to Get an Unemployment Extension in Arizona

The first step to knowing whether an Arizona claimant is eligible for a federal unemployment extension is to verify what kind of unemployment benefits have previously been received. The DES will inform claimants by mail if they are eligible for an unemployment extension when their initial unemployment insurance is about to run out. Unemployment extensions are not granted for those who have concluded the allotted timeframes for Disaster Unemployment Assistance or Trade Readjustment Allowances.

The following are mandatory criteria for unemployment extension:

  • 20 weeks of full time, insured employment for the first four of the last five calendar quarters (a span of time known as a claimant’s base period) prior to first filing for unemployment

  • Exhausted initial 26-week unemployment support period

  • Show evidence of persistent job search but no job offer throughout initial 26-week period

  • Provide reasons why any additional time would be constructively beneficial to obtaining a job

During the period of an unemployment compensation extension, a claimant must remain able-bodied enough to carry out full time employment and continue to engage in the stringent weekly job search requirements imposed by the DES to continue extended coverage. Unemployment extension funds will be released bi-weekly just as initial employment is done and claimants must complete their continuance paperwork weekly in order to maintain eligibility. You can find more information on the criteria for unemployment extensions by downloading our comprehensive guide today.

Types of Unemployment Extensions in Arizona

If you are wondering, “How can I extend unemployment?” then the first option available is the federal Extended Benefits (EB) plan. Through this extended unemployment benefits plan, the Arizona DES may grant an additional 13 weeks of coverage, for a total of 39 possible weeks of support. It is not mandatory for the DES to provide all 13 weeks of available extended unemployment benefits when a claimant is eligible for EB. The DES will determine, based on a claimant’s prior income and work history, as well as other factors, what length of time the claimant will receive extended support. These DES unemployment extension decisions are typically able to be appealed but the process can be tedious and time consuming.

Historically, high unemployment initiatives such as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and the Extended Benefits (EB) program have helped claimants receive benefits for longer in harder economic times. Under any such unemployment compensation extension, claimants receive the same weekly sum as their previously allotted regular unemployment benefit. Unemployment extension beneficiaries must reapply each week, just as they do with initial claims. The EUC program has a tiered model for dispersing with unemployment funds and will measure a claimant’s eligibility for different amounts of relief times. Arizona residents can register for unemployment benefits extension via mail, online or in person.

For those petitioners wondering, “What can I do to extend unemployment?” neither program is currently active in Arizona but may be reconstituted if unemployment rates rise again in the future. For the past four to five months, the unemployment rate in Arizona has hovered around 4.7 percent, which is below the six percent that is nationally regarded as “high” unemployment (BLS). Typically, unemployment extensions are only offered during times of soaring unemployment and the DES makes public announcements to notify claimants of their eligibility for any such extensions. For all the details on understanding federal unemployment extension, download our comprehensive guide.



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.