Arizona Unemployment Benefits

The Arizona Department of Economic Security oversees the payment of unemployment benefits to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, such as through company layoffs, businesses closing, etc. (If you got fired for disciplinary reasons, or if you quit your job, you probably will not qualify for unemployment.)

Your eligibility for unemployment benefits and the amount you receive will depend on your recent work history. The calculations are convoluted, but at the most basic level you will need to have earned at least $3140 in one of the quarters of the base period (the 4 calendar quarters before the most recent full quarter) and at least $1570 in one of the other quarters of that time. This is an oversimplification; only the state can confirm your eligibility and how much you’ll be paid. (Note: unemployment benefits ARE taxable.)

How To Apply For Unemployment in Arizona

You must apply for unemployment online in Arizona — there are no other choices for applying. (If you don’t have a computer, though, you can use one at a DES Employment Service Office or One-Stop Center.)

To apply online, go to

You should receive notification of your eligibility for benefits by mail after about a week.

After Approval

You will receive an Electronic Payment Card issued by Bank of America in the mail. This is a debit card that will have all your unemployment benefits loaded onto it. It works just like any other debit card — you make payments with the card and the amount of your payment is deducted from the balance on the card.

Now, even though you are approved, you will still have to file weekly claims to confirm you are still unemployed and that you are seeking a job. Go here for information on filing your weekly claim.

You will also need to fill out the Certification of Understanding (which will be sent to you, but you can also download it here) and mail it in.


Go here for a list of phone numbers to call if you are having trouble with any aspect of getting or continuing to receive your unemployment payments.