Eligibility for Unemployment in Arizona

“What are the requirements to get unemployment in Arizona?” is a common question asked by unemployed workers. When requirements for eligibility for unemployment are met, workers can collect unemployment insurance benefits for a designated period of time. This monetary assistance is designed to alleviate the financial stress of being unemployed on a worker. Arizona designs unemployment insurance eligibility rules, requirements and guidelines that are specific to the state. To meet qualifications for unemployment, an applicant should understand the personal and financial requirements expected of those who receive unemployment insurance benefits. Arizona’s Department of Economic Security (DES) is the agency that runs the unemployment insurance program in the state. DES assesses who qualifies for unemployment when an initial unemployment insurance claim is filed. To find out how to qualify for unemployment in Arizona, potential beneficiaries can refer to the sections below for more details.

Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements in Arizona

At the state level, eligibility for unemployment requirements have been developed to determine how long UI applicants can receive benefits and the financial aid amounts allowed during the benefit period. Federally, unemployment insurance eligibility guidelines are instated by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and must be incorporated in each state unemployment program. Unique qualifications for unemployment have been developed by Arizona’s insurance program adhering to the national unemployment guidelines. However, because each state runs a different program, eligibility requirements for benefits vary by state. For example, California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) has developed a state-specific unemployment program. Eligibility for EDD benefits in California is different than eligibility for unemployment in other states. Applicants who have worked in multiple states should only apply for benefits in the state where they are eligible to collect the highest benefit amount and meet the state requirements for unemployment.

In Arizona, financial requirements to get unemployment are based on work history and income received in an allotted period of time before an unemployment claim is submitted. Qualifications for unemployment require past employers to have paid unemployment taxes to be accepted on an unemployment application. Hours worked for eligible previous employers and wages received during the base period of employment are used to find the maximum monetary unemployment payment an applicant may receive. Unemployment insurance eligibility in Arizona uses a base period of four out of the five calendar quarters before an unemployment claim is filed during the application process.

Another Arizona eligibility for unemployment requirement is a loss of employment or a status of underemployment at no fault of the employee. Being fired or laid off for economic reasons, lack of available work or an employer downsizing is considered no fault unemployment. Qualifications for unemployment guidelines may also be met if a worker quit a job with good cause, such as being harassed in the workplace or family reasons. In these situations, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits. However, unemployment benefit eligibility is denied if a worker was fired with just cause or quit without good reason. Arizona DES determines the unemployment eligibility of an applicant based on the reason for job loss disclosed in the initial claim.

Eligibility for unemployment may be affected by situations that hinder the ability of an unemployed worker to look for jobs and accept full-time employment. To be eligible for unemployment insurance, applicants must be physically able to work and search for jobs while accepting benefits. Unemployment qualifications may not be met if an applicant is ill or injured, attending school, enrolled in career training, incarcerated or out of the area. These situations must be disclosed in an unemployment claim. To meet unemployment insurance eligibility guidelines in Arizona, applicants must look for work continually and meet specified deadlines for the unemployment program. Refusing an offer of employment, not looking for work or not replying to a work referral could result in denial of unemployment benefits.

Qualifications for unemployment in the state could be affected by the receipt of any extra income while collecting unemployment benefits. Extra income could be in the form of government or employer-issued payments. Unemployment eligibility in Arizona requires retirement, severance, vacation, sick leave, holiday and pension payments to be reported on unemployment insurance claim forms. Social Security Disability and worker’s compensation are government payments that must also be reported to the Arizona UI office.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits in Arizona will be denied if an applicant does not meet the previously listed requirements and guidelines. Workers interested in UI benefits should take careful consideration to meet each requirement when filing an initial claim. Applicants can discover how to qualify for unemployment on a weekly basis after the UI office approves an initial unemployment claim by downloading our comprehensive unemployment guide.

How to Maintain Unemployment Eligibility in Arizona

To maintain eligibility for unemployment in Arizona, UI beneficiaries must prove that they are eligible for continued unemployment payments each week. Acceptance of an initial claim does not guarantee benefits in state for each week. The requirements for continued unemployment benefits in Arizona include:

  • Filing weekly claims with the AZ DES unemployment insurance office.
  • Participating in weekly work searches and reporting search information.
  • Returning required documents after initially filing for unemployment.
  • Registering with the Arizona Employment Service.

Every week, unemployment insurance eligibility guidelines require a claim form to be submitted through the Arizona DES UI website. UI recipients must report weekly work search information in each claim. The state requires workers to contact an employer at least four days out of each week where unemployment benefits are being received. To meet qualifications for unemployment, the information of each employer contacted must be reported in every weekly claim. This includes the employer’s name, address, phone number, day contacted and method of contact (in person, by phone or online). Benefits may be denied or cancelled if an acceptable unemployment claim is not filed on a weekly basis after the completion of the application process.

Another unemployment eligibility requirement in Arizona is for UI beneficiaries to register with the Arizona Employment Service with a certain period of time after being accepted to receive benefits. This service provides career assessment services, help creating resumes, job connection assistance and more. The Arizona UI office will notify accepted applicants by mail of the steps to enroll in the Employment Service website.

Lastly, to meet eligibility for unemployment requirements after being approved to receive benefits, applicants must return required documents to the Arizona UI office within a certain period of time after unemployment benefit acceptance. UI beneficiaries must return the Certificate of Understanding form and a Wage Statement, if required.

To learn more about maintaining eligibility for UI benefits, applicants can download our unemployment insurance guide for an in-depth look at the unemployment program.