PHOENIX - By way of an executive order, President Donald Trump announced Aug. 8 that $400 a week will act as an extension to the previous $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits that ended at the beginning of August as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Just hours later, the office of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey thanked the president, saying the changes will be applied to the state's unemployed residents as soon as possible.
“We are very thankful to President Trump for extending these critical benefits. We will be working diligently to apply these changes in Arizona, and will have more information early in the week," said a spokesperson for Ducey on Saturday.
Currently, the weekly unemployment benefit in Arizona is just over $200, one of the lowest weekly payouts in America.
Arizonans reacted to the news just a day after the announcement.
"I can't afford to pay anything this month. I had to pick, I had to decide what bill was most important and I have groceries, car insurance, car payments. I mean there are bills that have to be made," said Leslie.
Right now, she's just trying to get by each month which is an uphill, financial battle during the pandemic.
States will be asked to cover 25% of the $400 using existing funding such as the tens of billions of dollars made available to them through the coronavirus relief fund.
"It was positive, but it was frustrating too that this should have been done sooner," she said about the extension.
Arizona pays out more than $40 million every week. The state's unemployment fund sits at $600 million and could run out by the end of the year.
For Arizonans who just lost their jobs, it's unknown how long it'll take just to get in line with those who are already waiting for funds.
For more information on unemployment in Arizona, visit the below links: