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File for Unemployment Benefits
There are no longer physical unemployment insurance offices in Arizona that can help you file for unemployment. All applications to claim unemployment benefits must be filed online through the AZUI system. The AZUI system is available to accept applications or weekly benefit claims from Sunday (12:01 a.m.) to Friday (5:00 p.m.) every week.
If you don’t have access to a computer or internet connection, you may file your Initial Claim application for benefits at any One-Stop office or DES Employment Service office resource center. Both offices grant free access to computers, and could offer assistance with the completion process. You might also try your local library for free use of public computers.
You can find local One-Stop or DES Employment Service Office locations by visiting the AZ Job Connection website. (This is the site where you will register to work as a requirement for eligibility to collect unemployment benefits in Arizona. Find out more information under Work Search Requirements.)
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
Before going online to file for unemployment benefits, be sure to collect all of the necessary information and documents that you will need to complete the filing process (see below: Documents and Information Needed During Filing).
Once you are ready, go to https://extranet.azdes.gov/ders/ea/uiclaims/ to begin your initial claim application on the AZUI system. When you access AZUI for the first time, you will create a username, password, and PIN.
Upon entering the system, you will be asked a series of questions as you enter important information that the Department of Economic Security will use to determine your eligibility. From start to finish, the entire process to file an initial unemployment insurance claim should take about 30 minutes.
When you reach the end of the UI Benefits Claim Application, you will have the opportunity to review your entries to be sure they are true and accurate before submitting. When you are satisfied with the information you entered, you will be asked to certify that the statements you made on your application are true to the best of your knowledge.
Your initial application is complete when you click “Submit” and receive a confirmation number.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
- Names and contact information for all employers from the previous 18 months
- Dates worked (start and finish), and total earnings for each employer for the past 18 months, including the last day you worked prior to filing your claim
- Driver’s license or state ID (If you do not have that available, a voter registration number, military ID, and other forms may be used to verify your identity)
- Social Security Number
- Name and phone number of your union (if you are a union member)
- Non-U.S. citizens must produce Alien Registration Numbers and worker’s permit expiration dates
- A DD-214 form if you were enrolled in the military during the last two years
- Federal employees must produce W-2s or other proof of earning, such as paystubs and forms SF-50 or SF-8
- Bank or checking account information if you will opt for direct deposit of your benefits
You must supply true and accurate information on your application for unemployment insurance benefits. Missing or incorrect information could result in denial or delayed processing time.
Wages Statement and Other Important Documents (After Filing Initial Claim)
About a week after filing your initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits in Arizona, you will receive important documents via postal mail.
- Your Wages Statement: Shows all wages earned during your Base Period, and your weekly and total Benefit Award that you are eligible to collect in your Benefit Year, should you sufficiently meet all of the qualifying requirements.
- A Guide to AZ UI Benefits handbook
- Certificate of Understanding: You must sign and return this document to the Department of Economic Security within three weeks of claiming continued unemployment Benefits. Failure to do so will prevent you from receiving benefits. DES will mail you a new Certificate of Understanding one time, which you must return to restart your benefits. If you do not return the second document within one week, your UI Benefits Claim will be disqualified.
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Claim Weekly Benefits
All weekly claims are for one calendar week beginning Sunday (12:01am), and ending Saturday at midnight. You must wait to file your claim after the calendar week ends. If you fail to file weekly claims, your UI account could be frozen or you may be disqualified for the remainder of your Benefit Year.
Through the AZUI system, you have access to account information as well as the ability to update or make changes to your personal information. You also have access to appeals information, and can file an appeal for a hearing if you disagree with any determinations made by the DES. (Refer to Appeals Process for Denied Claims below for more information)
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
When you log in to the AZUI system to claim your weekly benefits, you will be asked a series of questions pertaining to your unemployment status. You will also need to enter job search information to fulfill your continued UI claim benefits obligations. The following are two questions you will be asked as part of the weekly claim process:
- Were you able and available for work each regular workday?
- Did you look for work?
In order to maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits in Arizona, you must report your work search efforts each week that you file a claim.
To be considered eligible the following two conditions must be met:
- A systematic and sustained effort to obtain work must be maintained for at least four different days of the week you are claiming unemployment insurance benefits, and
- At least one contact must be made each of those four days. You can make contact with a potential employer by mail, internet, or in person.
If you did not search for work during the week you are filing, or your job search is inadequate, you will not receive Benefits for that claim week. However, your UI Claim will stay open, and if you are eligible, you can file subsequent weeks to receive your Weekly Benefit Amount.
The following questions are also asked as a part of the claim process:
- Did you refuse any job offer or any referral to work?
- Did you work or earn money?
You must report any earned income, including tips, lodging, meals, or any other form of payments for services you may have provided.
Continue through the entire form, answer all questions truthfully and honestly. When entering your job search information, you will list the following for each:
- Date of contact
- Name, address, or website of employer or company contacted
- Person contacted
- Method (internet, in-person, mail)
- Type of work sought
- Results (examples might include: submitted application, interview, faxed resume to (555) 555-5555, and others)
You may also file a paper claim by mailing it into the DES; both online and paper require the exact information. When you file your weekly UI Claim for Benefits, you will have the option at the end of the process to request a paper form be mailed to you for claiming your next Benefit Week. (you will receive optional paper claims (2) in the packet of documents that are mailed to you after you submit your initial claim application for unemployment benefits)
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
Wage Statement Discrepancy: After you file for unemployment benefits, you receive a Wage Statement. If you disagree with the information contained on the Wage Statement, you can file a Wage Protest within 10 days of receipt of the statement. Click here to download a Wage/Employment Investigation Request form. After completing the form, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denial Appeals: If you disagree with the DES, Determination of Deputy findings on your claim for UI Benefits, you can file for an appeal hearing. Appeals are heard by an Administrative Law Judge in the Office of Appeals.
The Office of Appeals is impartial, and is committed to serving due process to contested UI claims throughout the state of Arizona.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
You have the right to challenge anything you disagree with on your Wage Statement, should you be denied unemployment benefits. You have 15 calendar days (this includes weekend days) from the date listed on your Wage Statement to request an appeal for a hearing.
Through the AZUI system, you can easily file a request for an appeal hearing. You may also call the number on the front of your Wage Statement (see below) to file an appeal. If you choose to do it by mail, the contact information is listed on your Wage Statement (See below for Office of Appeals contact information).
After you file the appeal, you will receive a Notice of Hearing. The following information is provided on the notice:
- The time and date of the hearing is located at the top of the first page.
- The Notice of Hearing may be for a telephone hearing or an in-person hearing.
- The Notice of Hearing packet is mailed to both parties (or their representatives) at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled hearing.
You must register for the hearing no earlier than one day before, and within 15 minutes of the hearing to confirm your participation and attendance. If you do not register for the hearing, you will lose by default.
You can register in three ways:
Online: C2T Registration (7-digit appeal number from the Notice of Hearing necessary to register: If the appeal number is U-1234567-001 enter: 1234567)
Telephone: (602) 771-9019, or toll free 1 (877) 528-3330
You must speak directly to an agent to register via telephone. If you receive an automated answering system, DO NOT leave a message, it will not register you for the hearing. If you do not register with an agent, you will be excluded from participation in the hearing and forfeit your claim.
In-Person: If you are scheduled for an in-person hearing, you must register at least 15 minutes before the hearing is scheduled.
The Office of Appeals will hear and consider all of your evidence to make a determination. You will receive a written decision within a few weeks. You may also appeal that judgment if you disagree with the findings. (For further information on the Office of Appeals processes, click here.)
Note: The postmark on mailed appeals is the date of your official appeal. All appeals filed any other way (phone, fax, internet) have an official appeal date at the time the Office of Appeals receives it.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Contact UI Benefit Appeals
Phone: (602) 771-9036
Fax: (602) 257-7054
Mail: 1951 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Appellate Services Administration
Phone: (602) 771-9019
Fax: (602) 257-7053
Mail: 1951 W. Camelback Road
Mail Drop: 1721
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Office of Appeals-Phoenix
Phone: (602) 771-9019
Fax: (602) 257-7056
Mail: 1951 W. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Office of Appeals-Tucson
Phone: (520) 629-0211
Fax: (602) 257-7057
Mail: 333 W. Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ 85705