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Unemployment in Arizona

The rate of unemployment in Arizona ascends and descends depending on numerous factors. The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) offers unemployment benefits to residents who have met certain eligibility qualifications. It must be determined that you became unemployed through no fault of your own in order to qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Unemployed residents in Arizona are encouraged to apply for UI benefits while they retrain, get additional skills or search for new jobs. Arizona residents who are still employed are not allowed to apply for UI benefits. They must wait until their last day at work has passed in order to begin the application process. When applying for unemployment benefits, you need to provide the name, current mailing address and phone number of your last employer from the past 18 months, along with the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number, AZ driver’s license or ID card number, as well as your mailing address, city, county, state and ZIP code
  • Date of your last day at work
  • Information about any received amount of severance, vacation or other unused sick payment
  • Four copies of your DD Form 214
  • SF 8 or SF 50 for employees in the Federal Civilian service in the past 18-month period
  • The start date and monthly benefit amount if you receive a pension

In addition to these documents, some applicants may be required to provide information about the name and local numbers of their union hall, or their alien registration numbers. If you belong to a union hall or if you have an alien registration number, make sure to have that information available while completing the application process.

Arizona residents who are temporarily unemployed or looking for new jobs can apply for unemployment claims. The Arizona Department of Economic Security will require you to complete the procedure online, the agency does not have actual offices. The AZ DES Internet Claims Filing System will guide you in the application process. This online UI Claim application is perfect for unemployed residents who want to file new claims or reopen existing claims for unemployment insurance benefits. Before you begin an application on the DES website, you are required to prepare all the above-mentioned information about you and your previous employers. If you cannot obtain some of those details during your first week of unemployment, then contact the Arizona Call Center by phone for help in avoiding a reporting delay. Note that your Social Security Number will be verified through the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the Department of Economic Security fails to verify your SSN, you will not be able to receive unemployment benefits. Once your SSN is verified and you provide the necessary personal information and details about your previous employers, you will be able to continue your online procedure for getting unemployment claims. When you get to the last page of the Internet Claims Filing System, you will receive a confirmation number which signifies that your claim has been submitted. Failure to get such confirmation number means that your claim will not be processed.

After you complete the application process for unemployment claims, you will receive a set of documents at your mailing address within one week. The package will contain the following documents that must be completed and signed:

  • Certificate of Understanding (UB-099-Y)
  • A Guide to Arizona Benefits (PAU-007)
  • Wage Statement (UB-107)

Applicants may receive additional documents in the mail along with the previously mentioned ones. You may get an Electronic Payment Card (EPC) if you are eligible to receive UI benefits. In addition, you may receive a Form UB-436 for any issues that may have arisen during the application process. And finally, applicants may receive a Report of Illness or Physical Disability (UB-296-FF) which must be completed by a certified physician.

Completing the application process and receiving the packet of documents does not mean that you have finished applying for unemployment benefits. Applicants must file five consecutive weekly claims to receive UI benefits, in order to prove that they were really unemployed at the time the online application was filed. You must mail the Certificate of Understanding (UB-099-Y) to the Department of Economic Security by the time you file your third weekly claim. On the contrary, your benefits will be stopped and you will receive another same UB-099-Y form in the mail. Then, you will have to complete and file a Wage Protest in a situation when your Wage Statement (UB-107) document contains inaccurate information. And last but not least, you will have to register with the Arizona Employment Service. Failure to do so will result in denial of your unemployment benefit payments.