PHOENIX - Sept. 13 has been a wake-up call for many Arizonans as their $300 additional weekly payments came to an end.
Randi Rosen had finally had her unemployment benefits reinstated after the Arizona Department of Economic Security flagged her account for fraud along with 100,000 others.
"Real hard," Rosen said. "It’s not easy."
Now times will get tough again, she says. Sunday morning she filed for her weekly claim as did her daughter.
The difference? Her benefit now maxes out at $117 a week.
The $300 extra benefit that came from a FEMA account came to an end after 6 weeks. She says the smaller benefit won’t last long as grocery bills keep rising.
"How does we justify 117 dollars a week when we’re paying 14 dollars for toilet paper?" Rosen asked.
Arizona continues to pay out the second-lowest unemployment benefit in the country. The maximum a claimant can receive now is $240 a week.
Rosen, speaking to FOX 10 from Pinetop with a weak Internet connection, says her location adds to the difficulty of finding a new job.
"The competition for jobs is greater because there’s more people out of work, and they’re applying for everything," she said.
A bill to reinstate the $300 in Congress didn’t go anywhere as Republicans and Democrats haven’t been able to find a middle ground.
"Just work for the people -- stop bickering," Rosen said.
Arizona was the first state to pay out the $300 extra payments and paid out $800 million total. It lasted for 6 weeks but now it’s over. And it will have a financial impact on the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans claiming unemployment.
"It’s just too much. Too much," said Rosen. "There are not enough jobs and too many people."
For more coverage on unemployment in Arizona, visit this link.