PHOENIX - Arizona's unemployment agency revealed Monday that its paying
After the initial surge in applications, agency officials say some will have to wait up to 3 weeks to receive regular unemployment disbursements.
But, others have fallen through cracks. About 40,000 of them.
FOX 10's Steve Nielsen spoke with several people this week who are hitting the two month mark with out any funding.
If you file and the state doesn’t find any issues with your claim, likely you’ll receive payments in that three week window. But, if the state does find an issue, they ask for more paperwork to solve the problem.
Many say they've sent that extra documentation right away, yet are still waiting.
The last two weeks of March, the Department of Economic Security (DES) was overwhelmed with unemployment claims.
While the agency has touted more than a quarter million are now receiving funds, others still have nothing.
"It’s getting a little concerning now that it’s been what 7 weeks," said Chad Kent. He worked for Arizona Christian University and was laid off March 31st.
After no response for two weeks, he called DES and was told there was a problem. He accidentally said he was discharged, not laid off.
That same day he sent in the correct paper work to the office. When called back to make sure he was all set, he wasn't able to get through to them.
"I’ve never been able to get ahold of them since then," Kent said, a problem FOX 10 has heard repeatedly from Arizonans.
DES officials say they average between 70,000 to 120,000 phone calls a day, but only are able to answer between 3,000 to 5,000 of them. The agency says it doesn’t track how many calls don’t get through.
He said someone simply needs to read his paper work and he will begin receiving his much needed payments.
Another filer said it took 8 weeks a for DES to read her paper work and clear up the issue on her account.
A third filer said her family is still waiting to hear back on their documents after 7 weeks. They all say they’ve sent in the paperwork but haven’t gotten a response.
The agency expanded their staff handling unemployment claims to 700 during the pandemic.
The director of the agency has not been available for an interview since the COVID-19 response began.