Arizona's Long-Term Unemployed Face Benefit Cuts

Wednesday, 13 Jun 2012 11:58 AM

By Robert Engler

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The unemployed in Arizona could lose at least 10 weeks of federal benefits if the state’s economy continues to improve, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Currently, the long-term unemployed can receive up to 89 weeks of payments, which includes a 26-week state benefit period and a larger federal payment period.

But federal guidelines call for the benefit program to be capped at a maximum of 79 weeks if a state’s average unemployment rate from March through May dips to 8.5 percent.
Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in April, down from 8.6 percent in March, and state officials told the Daily Star it would have to reach 10 percent in May for recipients to continue to receive a full 89 weeks of payments.

Officials said the rate for May would be released later this week.

More than 89,000 people are currently collecting some kind of jobless benefits in Arizona.

According to state officials, 700 recipients exhaust their first 79 weeks of benefits every week and they estimate that more than 100,000 unemployed state residents have exhausted all their benefits without finding work.

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