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Unemployed Arizonans Eligible For Federal And State COVID-19 Relief

More than a hundred thousand Arizona workers have applied for unemployment benefits in recent weeks. It comes as the federal government has dramatically expanded protections for those who lose income as a result of coronavirus. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

The $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed into law last week by President Trump allows eligible workers to receive $600 per week on top of state benefits.

The law broadens who can receive payments to include independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and those who are sick or caring for someone who’s sick. Anyone who’s quarantined and can’t work and people who’ve lost income because they’re in a vulnerable population to COVID-19 are also eligible.

Arizonans who are out of work through no fault of their own can apply for a maximum of $240 per week for 26 weeks. Those who are working from home or on paid sick leave aren’t eligible for state and federal benefits.

According the Arizona Department of Economic Security, nearly 118,000 Arizonans have filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the last two weeks. Official numbers released by DES Monday show that 88,592 of those claims were made last week alone. Workers can apply at

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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