Here is a recent email received from DES – OMBUDSMAN OFFICE


Good day,


Thank you for contacting the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Ombudsman’s Office. The Department is closely monitoring the unemployment situation that has impacted many individuals throughout our state. Unemployment Insurance benefits are determined based on monetary and weekly eligibility criteria established by federal regulations and state law. Recent legislation will also impact who is eligible to receive unemployment insurance assistance and how much they can receive.


The CARES Act created a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for individuals that are self-employed, contract workers, those ineligible for state unemployment benefits or have exhausted benefits. PUA applications will be processed beginning the week of May 12 and payments will begin for eligible claimants that same week. Individuals are still encouraged to file their applications now; individuals who have already submitted an application and have been denied should not apply again, as DES will be implementing PUA to those who have been denied dating back to February 2.


PUA benefits will include retroactive benefits for all eligible weeks back through February 2, as well as the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) for eligible weeks back through March 29. FPUC payments will be included on top of PUA benefits for all eligible weeks through July 25, 2020.


As changes are made to federal regulations or state laws regarding unemployment insurance benefits, those changes will be updated on the DES COVID-19 webpage at:


For assistance or information about your Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, please contact the UI Call Center at: 1-877-600-2722.


Thank you again for contacting DES. Please contact our office again, should you have additional questions or require further assistance.




Tamela West

Assistant Ombudsman

Department of Economic Security

1789 W Jefferson St, Phoenix AZ 85007

(602) 364-2860 | e-mail: