Wednesday, September 22, 2021 3:44 am

Jobless benefits expand next month, but is it too little, too late?

Illustration by iStock / Getty Images Plus

By MacKinley Lutes-Adlhoch | Cronkite News 

Arizona unemployment benefits will expand next month to cover workers who are not now eligible, to last longer than before and to pay more in weekly benefits to some jobless workers.

But economists and advocates say that while the change is welcome – it’s probably too little, and too late.

The changes, which take effect May 12, are part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that all states are rolling out under CARES Act, the $2 trillion federal relief package approved last month.

Under the new rules, benefits will be available to the self-employed, to people seeking part-time work and people who lack sufficient work history. It also includes federal funds that extend benefits to 39 weeks for some workers and can add $600 a week to unemployment checks.

The Department of Economic Security said last week that it had contracted with a private firm to help speed the delivery of benefits under the expanded program.


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April 2020