Arizona Department Of Economic Security Director Urges Patience, Persistence For Unemployment Applicants

By Holliday Moore
Published: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 8:39am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey answers questions Tuesday about his latest package of executive orders on April 7, 2020. With him is Health Service Director Dr. Cara Christ and Tom Betlach, who heads the Department of Economic Security.

As KJZZ reported Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) is operating with an outdated computer system while trying to handle unemployment claims now outpacing the 2008 recession.

Newly appointed DES Director Tom Betlach has since confirmed his office is combining federal weekly benefits of $600 with the state's maximum weekly payment of $240.

He said his office became overwhelmed in late March as fallout from the coronavirus shutdown shot up claims by 68% within one week.

“We are looking to add increased staff. We are also working to partner with a private-sector organization to come in and expand our call center capacity," said Betlach.

Betlach says Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order allows DES to waive the one-week waiting period for applicants.

Betlach urges Arizonans applying for jobless benefits to be patient and make sure they update their claim each week.

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