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Arizona Can’t Keep Up With Unemployment|Applications, Class Claims in Federal Court

PHOENIX (CN) - Thousands of people are suffering hunger, illness and homelessness because the Arizona Department of Economic Security has failed to provide "timely determination of eligibility and/or issuance of their unemployment insurance benefits," according to a federal class action.

The class claims the state failed to issue applicants' "first time payments within 14 days of the end of the application week, and to make non-monetary separation and non-separation determinations within 21 days" of the initial application date.

The class claims the number of people "seeking and qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits has substantially increased over the last year," but the state has fallen behind by thousands of applications since August 2008.

"Individuals and families are going without desperately needed benefits," suffering hunger, homelessness and illness, according to the complaint.

The class demands declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. It is represented by Ellen Katz and Lydia Glasson with the William E. Morris Institute for Justice.

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