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Arizona Officials Still Not Sure How Back-To-Work Aid Will Work

By Jill Ryan
Associated Press
Published: Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 9:00am

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Jimmy Johns Rock Stars Wanted Now Hiring Sign
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Now hiring sign on a Jimmy John's restaurant in Phoenix in May 2021.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security is still determining how to implement the return-to-work cash bonuses promised to Arizona residents by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey last month.

Ducey announced May 13 that the bonuses would go to residents who stopped receiving unemployment benefits, returned to work by September and kept their job for at least 10 weeks.

Full-time workers making less than $25 an hour or $52,000 a year would be eligible for $2,000, and part-time workers would be eligible for $1,000, department officials said. Employees would need to submit pay statements for each week worked and an employer address within Arizona and employer contact information.

But ABC15 learned that the state Department of Economic Security must now create an online portal where residents could upload the documentation and has yet to choose a company to create the website.

“DES is currently assessing vendors to implement the appropriate system for the Return to Work Bonuses (RTWB) portal,” department spokesperson Tasya Peterson said.

The program is scheduled to begin accepting applications July 10.

Department officials have not yet provided information about how to access other back-to-work incentives mentioned by Ducey, including $7 million for community colleges and $6 million for GED assistance.

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