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Additional Unemployment Benefits Expire July 25

Published: Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 7:12am

Without congressional action, Arizonans relying on an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits will lose those extra dollars after July 25.

Those dollars, provided through the federal CARES Act that Congress passed in March, help supplement benefits provided by the state of Arizona, which caps unemployment payments at $240 per week.

But while the federal benefits are technically available through July 31, they can only be paid for the last “full week” of July. 

That means that in states where the week of unemployment ends on a Saturday, as it does in Arizona, the last week those on unemployment will receive the extra $600 is July 25.

Congress is in a stalemate about what to do after the CARES Act funding benefit expires. House Democrats passed a measure to extend the benefits, but Senate Republicans have balked at considering the bill.

At this time, the federal government has not changed or extended the unemployment programs created under the CARES Act. If [Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation] or any of the unemployment programs under the CARES Act are updated or extended, DES will act accordingly,” wrote Brett Bezio, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Dave Wells, research director for the Grand Canyon Institute, said he’s concerned that any solution reached by Congress following their recess will be too late or too complicated.

“So if they changed it to some kind of formula, some kind of system, or anything that's not a straight number amount, it's gonna really cause complications for the various unemployment agencies, including DES,” Wells said.

The capped unemployment benefits of $240 per week offered by Arizona are “absolutely inadequate,” Wells said.

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