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Change in Benefit Entitlements for Federally-Funded Unemployment Benefits; Adjustments affect Tiers 1 and 3 of the EUC Program

Agency: Unemployment Insurance Agency

September 11, 2012 - As Michigan's federally funded benefits near cessation at the end of this year, federal law mandates an adjustment to the maximum benefit amounts for specific tiers of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.

Under federal legislation passed earlier this year, the maximum number of weeks available to collect benefits on EUC Tiers 1 and 3 will be lowered. Beginning the week of Sept. 9, 2012, the maximum number of weeks available for new EUC Tier 1 claims will be reduced from 20 weeks to 14 weeks. Additionally, the maximum number of weeks available for new EUC Tier 3 claims will change from 13 weeks to 9 weeks. The maximum number of weeks available for Tier 2 benefits remains unchanged at 14 weeks and is not affected by this reduction. 

With this adjustment, the maximum number of combined weeks available for Michigan's regular unemployment and EUC will be reduced from a maximum of 73 weeks to a maximum of 63 weeks. However, the last payable week for any EUC claim will be week ending Dec. 29, 2012, regardless of any remaining weeks left on any EUC claim.  

 

The UIA is communicating this information to claimants affected by this change. Additionally, the UIA continues to partner with Michigan Works! Service Centers to offer valuable re-employment, training, and educational opportunities and to provide information to claimants regarding available state resource programs and other supportive services that may be available.

 

For additional information regarding changes to the EUC program, claimants may contact the UIA in the following ways:

  • Call the UIA Customer Service Line at 1-866-500-0017 to speak with an agent. Agents will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST, Monday through Friday. TTY customers should call 1-866-366-0004.

  • Visit the UIA website at www.michigan.gov/uia to review EUC program updates or to submit an inquiry to the Agency's Virtual Problem Resolution (ViPR) agents who are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST.

  • Visit a local UIA Problem Resolution Office (PRO) to speak with an agent in person. PRO offices are located in 14 locations across the state. Please visit the UIA website at www.michigan.gov/uia to view PRO locations and hours of operation.

  • Call the Agency's EUC hotline, 1-800-638-3995, for pre-recorded updates about the EUC program.

Due to continued high call volumes, the Agency recommends customers interact with its ViPR agents through an online claim web account. To register for an online claim web account, visit www.michigan.gov/uia and select "UIA Online Services for Unemployed Workers." Users will be taken to a login page where they can register and create their online account with the Agency.

Those who have exhausted unemployment benefits can find additional resources for health care, family support, housing, and more, by visiting www.mi.gov/helpinghand. Unemployed workers should also visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at http:www.mitalent.org to obtain information regarding job and training opportunities.

 

 

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Questions and Answers Regarding Recent Changes to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program

 

What are federal unemployment benefits?    

  • During periods of high unemployment in a state, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) may become available to workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits.  Historically, the EUC program provided up to 53 weeks of UI benefits and the EB program provided up to 20 weeks of UI benefits. Both programs are funded by the federal government. Currently, just the EUC program is available to claimants who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits. The EB program ended with the week ending Feb. 18, 2012. 

What criterion is used to qualify states for the EUC program?

  • With the most recent federal legislation authorized by Congress and President Obama, the EUC program has been extended until week ending Dec. 29, 2012. However, the maximum number of benefit weeks available through the EUC program will be gradually reduced through Sept. 9, 2012. Additionally, the federal government established unemployment rate thresholds that the state must meet in order to remain eligible for the EUC program. In Michigan, the total unemployment rate (TUR) must be at a certain percentage (based on a three month average) for the state to remain eligible for EUC. Effective June 2, 2012, the state's three month average TUR dropped below 9%, which made the state no longer eligible for Tier 4 benefits of the EUC program.

How many claimants are currently receiving unemployment benefits through Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency? 

  • As of August 31, 2012, approximately 167,348 claimants are receiving benefits in Michigan. This includes individuals receiving regular state unemployment benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

How many claimants are currently receiving federal unemployment benefits through the EUC program?  How are they immediately affected by this recent legislation?

  • Approximately 86,390 claimants are collecting EUC Benefits. Claimants who establish EUC Tier 1 claims effective on or after Sept. 9, 2012, will experience a reduction in the maximum entitlement from 80 percent to 54 percent of regular UI benefits. Claimants who establish a EUC Tier 3 claim on or after Sept. 9, 2012, will experience a reduction in benefits from 50 percent to 35 percent of regular UI benefits. Those collecting on EUC Tier 2 will not experience an entitlement reduction. Additionally, EUC claimants must continue to submit documentation of their work searches to the UIA prior to biweekly certifying through MARVIN or MARVIN Online. Individuals are required to report the details and results of their work search on Form UIA 1583 Bi-Weekly Emergency Unemployment Compensation Record of Work Search.

Are there additional requirements for claimants entering EUC as a result of recent changes to the federal legislation?

  • Yes. Individuals who are entering Tier 1 of the EUC program are required to report in-person to a local Michigan Works! Office for reemployment services.

How can a claimant determine how many weeks of benefits he/she will receive?

  • Claimants can access this information online through their Claimant Web Account or call MARVIN (Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network) at 1-866-638-3993 and select Option 2.

How are the federal unemployment benefit programs funded?

  • The federal government funds the EUC program. Michigan employers are not charged for any EUC benefits paid to claimants. 

When is the last week payable for EUC benefits?

  • The last week payable for the EUC program will be week ending Dec. 29, 2012.

What should claimants do if they will soon exhaust their EUC benefits?

  • Unemployed workers with online web accounts with the UIA can check their "Benefit Payment History" for information about their remaining weeks of benefits. Workers who have not established online accounts can call MARVIN at 1-866-638-3993 and press option 2. Additional information about the end of EUC will be posted on the UIA website (www.michigan.gov/uia). In addition, the Agency has established a toll-free telephone number 1-866-MI-HELPS (1-888-644-3577) for people to call for pre-recorded information about the extension program and their remaining benefits.  Individuals can visit http://www.mitalent.org for job and training information.

 

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