AZDES utilizing third-party vendor to launch coronavirus assistance system
PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Economic Security will use a third-party vendor to help process the increase in unemployment claims from the coronavirus outbreak.
AZDES will use Geographic Solutions Inc. to expedite the launch of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program on May 12.
The PUA is part of the coronavirus aid bill signed into effect March 27 by President Donald Trump.
“This solution will help get benefits to people faster, with payments being made retroactively for those eligible,” department director Tom Betlach said in a press release Friday.
AZDES said the federal guidelines constituted a brand new program that is being built from the ground up that couldn’t be seamlessly integrated with Arizona’s existing system.
The program will provide benefits for individuals who normally wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment insurance for up to 39 weeks.
That includes people who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, lack sufficient work history, exhausted all rights to unemployment benefits or otherwise do not qualify.
Nearly 420,000 Arizonans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past month.
According to the release, unemployed Arizonans received a record-high $150.9 million in compensation, which included the $600 in additional weekly compensation provided by the coronavirus aid bill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.