Arizona paid $519 million in jobless benefits last week as the Department of Economic Security caught up with weeks of overdue benefits.
Thousands of applicants are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Arizona Republic reported that the department began reviewing applications and making payments to self-employed people, contractors and others who don’t normally qualify for assistance. They got it through a program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Department officials say more than half a billion dollars was paid to 468,000 people. That surpassed the prior week’s $160 million in payments. About 40,000 applications still face processing.