Arizonans continue wait for payment as DES investigates unemployment fraud

Posted at 7:47 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 22:53:21-04

Jenny Gonzales, of Flagstaff, is one of the thousands of Arizonans to have their unemployment payment abruptly cutoff off in the past several weeks as the Arizona Department of Economic Security struggles to weed out fraudulent claims from legitimate claims.

Gonzales is a dishwasher at a restaurant where she has been on furlough since March.

In May, she qualified for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but, she says, after only three payments they stopped.

"With nothing coming in, I had to use all my savings. Everything," she said.

She fell two months behind in rent for the motel room she shares with her 21-year-old daughter who suffers from fibromyalgia.

Because they didn't have a traditional lease, Gonzales said she was told they did not qualify for rental assistance.

"The owner has come knocking on our door multiple times, saying we need to have something now. We need to have something today. We need something and I'm like, 'my hands are tied. I don't have anything coming in,'" Gonzales said.

ABC15 reached out to DES and a spokesperson said they would look further into her case. Within minutes, Gonzales received a call. The problem she spent weeks waiting to get resolved was over an IP address used to file her claim showed up as being out of state.

Gonzales said she was told this issue had been resolved and she would receive payment in the next couple of days.