Coronavirus stimulus checks: Some states paying up to $2000 to return to work

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There is no decision yet on another round of stimulus checks, but that does not mean you won’t get any direct payments. Some states are sending direct payments to their residents in one form or another. The latest state to do so is Arizona. It is offering up to $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks to people if they return to work.

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Coronavirus stimulus checks to return to work

Arizona has come up with the Back to Work Program. Under this program, the state is offering a one-time $1,000 payment to unemployment recipients who accept part-time employment. Those who accept full-time employment would be eligible to get $2,000 under the program.

“In Arizona, we’re going to use federal money to encourage people to work instead of paying people not to work,” Gov. Doug Ducey told reporters.

Along with a one-time bonus, people would also be eligible for cash for community college and child care, Ducey said. The full bonus check and other benefits would go to those who work for at least eight weeks and 40-hours a week in their first ten weeks of starting the new job.

On the other hand, $1,000 one-time checks will go to those working at least eight 20-hour weeks. The eligible recipients must have worked at a qualifying job between May 13 and September 6.

As of now, there is no information on how eligible people can apply for the Back to Work Program. The Department of Economic Security said the method to apply for the program is unlikely to be available until July 10. However, the department has asked people to keep their pay stubs for proof.

“Individuals who intend to apply should save their pay stubs in order to verify their qualifying hours worked after leaving unemployment and returning to work," the department said recently.

States ending extra unemployment benefits

A point to note is that people who plan to apply for the Back to Work Program will have to quit the unemployment program. Moreover, they need to provide the pay stubs as work proof, as well as the contact details of their employer.

Paying bonuses for returning to work is part of a broader strategy to address the issue of the labor shortage. To push the program, several states have announced ending their participation in a supplemental unemployment program, which pays $300 per week extra to eligible recipients.

The withdrawal of benefits of these states is estimated to end or reduce the unemployment benefits for 3.6 million people, or about a quarter of Americans currently qualifying for such benefits. However, the federal unemployment benefits will continue till early September.

Other states have also come up with similar programs to encourage people to return to work. For instance, New Hampshire’s Summer Stipend Program is giving bonuses of up to $1,000 to new employees. Montana and Oklahoma are offering $1,200 to people to go back to work full-time.