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Gov. Ducey eliminates $300 federal unemployment payments, announces $2,000 back-to-work bonus

Doug Ducey
Posted at 10:38 AM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 20:00:05-04

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey is rolling back federal payments for unemployed Arizonans, and has announced bonuses to encourage residents to go back to work.

The Governor made the announcement Thursday on Twitter saying, "Effective July 10th, Arizona will no longer be paying the $300/week federal supplement to unemployed workers, and instead we will be helping Arizonans get back to work."

RELATED: What does Gov. Ducey's unemployment benefits change really mean for Arizonans?

The "Return-to-Work Bonuses" will come from $300 million in federal resources that the state has set aside.

The state will cover a one-time bonus of $2,000 to eligible individuals who return to the workforce and get a full-time job, while those who return part-time will receive $1,000.

The state will provide $7.5 million for community college scholarships for currently unemployed workers who are eligible for Return-to-Work bonuses, and $6 million for GED test prep and exam fees for eligible workers without a high school diploma.

In addition to the "bonuses," Gov. Ducey announced that three months of child care assistance will be provided to individuals with children who return to work after collecting unemployment benefits.

The announcement on Tuesday comes less than two weeks after Gov. Ducey reinstated a requirement that Arizonans receiving unemployment benefits will soon have to again prove that they are actively looking for work in order to receive those benefits.

RELATED: Unemployed in Arizona? How to prove you're looking for work

The Arizona Department of Economic Security will begin reinforcing the requirement beginning the week of Sunday, May 23, Gov. Ducey's office said.

According to preliminary March 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Arizona is still higher than where we were before the pandemic, with the latest numbers showing the state at around 6.7%.

Track changes in our state's unemployment rate in the interactive chart below.