Arizona’s social services agency is struggling to process a wave of unemployment claims that began when the coronavirus hit the state in mid-March.
The Department of Economic Security has hired hundreds of workers to process the nearly 514,000 claims. As of last week only 283,000 people were receiving benefits. That leaves out more than 230,000 residents who are either stuck in a backlog, been denied benefits or who fall into a new category of people that Congress said in March could receive benefits. The state won’t start processing those claims until next week.