Arizona resident finally receives unemployment benefits after 90 days of waiting

The clock is ticking for thousands on the unemployment backlog in Arizona as the weekly $300 boost to jobless benefits comes to an end.

Valley resident Eric Elliot thought his time had run out.

"[I was] evicted from one spot in Coronado, got a different spot -- was on my way to losing that spot," Elliott said.

That changed on Friday, Sept. 4. The thousands he was owed in unemployment from the Arizona Department of Economic Security returned to his account.

"All of a sudden the back week's money was in my account just magically," Elliot said. "No phone call, no email, nothing. Just, here’s the money."

With his unemployment money, Eric was able to keep his apartment and says the back payments will go right back into his bills.

FOX 10 reported on Eric's months-long back-and-forth with DES on Aug. 31. His company, Arizona Preferred Pedal Cab, no longer had customers. But his bike needed repairs, and his rent needed to be paid.

His case was tied up with the adjudicator, who deals with the unemployment backlogs, for longer than he can remember.

Later in the week, DES director Michael Wisehart answered FOX 10’s question about why the backlog of thousands of cases like Eric’s hasn’t been cleared.

"We have about 12,000 claims that we're working through, of which 5,000 are more than 21 days old," Wisehart said. "We need to get caught up on those and certainly recognize the impact that has on individuals, families and communities."

Elliott, however, doesn't buy Wisehart's explanation.

"He said to you a lot of the cases were more than 21 days old -- but mine was 90 days old. What about those ones?" Elliot asked.

Just days after FOX 10's story aired about Eric and others still waiting for their benefits, Eric’s account was finally cleared.

"Did it take me coming on TV?" he asked. "What about people that are not on TV? Does everyone have to call you to get on TV to get their case figured out? It’s just frustrating."

DES: Thousands more unemployment claims flagged as 'potential fraud' have accounts reinstated

At least 5,000 more unemployment accounts in Arizona were flagged as fraudulent and have now been reinstated, allowing for benefits to post to accounts.