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Federally-funded Unemployment Benefits Reduced Due to State's Decreased Unemployment Rate Changes in Benefit Entitlements for EUC Program

Agency: Unemployment Insurance Agency

May 29, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Labor recently notified the State of Michigan that Tier 4 of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program will end as Michigan's jobless numbers are below the level required by federal law to continue Tier 4 of the program. 

As a result, week ending June 23, 2012, will be the last week in which Michigan EUC claimants can exhaust Tier 3 benefits and still establish a Tier 4 claim. Under the new provisions, claimants can continue to receive any remaining entitlement they have in Tier 4 until it is exhausted through payment for week ending December 29, 2012, provided they are otherwise eligible. Those who exhaust their Tier 3 EUC benefits after week ending June 23, 2012, will be unable to collect any Tier 4 benefits.

The UIA is in the process of notifying 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 resource information to claimants regarding other available state resource programs including training and educational opportunities, as well as 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 open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Detroit, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mt. Clemens, Marquette, Muskegon and Saginaw.  Please visit the UIA website at www.michigan.gov/uia to view PRO location details.
  • Call the Agency's EUC hotline, 1-800-638-3995, for pre-recorded updates about the EUC program. 

Due to potentially 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 http://www.michigan.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 February 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 December 29, 2012. However, the maximum number of benefit weeks available through the EUC program will be gradually reduced beginning in September 2012. Additionally, the Federal government established unemployment rate thresholds that a state must meet in order to remain eligible for the EUC program. 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. For general purposes, the state's three month average TUR must remain at 9% or above to be eligible to provide all four tiers of the EUC program.

How does the recent declining unemployment rate affect Michigan's eligibility to continue to provide all four tiers of the EUC program? 

The UIA has been notified that, effective week ending June 2, 2012, Michigan will trigger off of Tier 4 of the EUC program.  Claimants currently receiving benefits on EUC Tier 4 will be able to draw benefits until exhaustion or week ending December 29, 2012.  Individuals who are receiving EUC Tier 3 between May 27, 2012, and June 23, 2012, may be eligible to receive up to 6 weeks of EUC Tier 4 benefits. Individuals whose EUC Tier 3 benefits end after June 23, 2012, will be unable to collect any additional benefits as additional tiers of benefits are not available.

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

As of May 16, 2012, approximately 205,044 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 trigger off?

Approximately 102, 246 claimants are collecting EUC Benefits. There are no changes to the first 3 tiers of the EUC program. Individuals who are entering Tiers 1 or 2 of the EUC program must continue to report in-person to a local Michigan Works! Office for reemployment services that include an eligibility review, assessment of skills, participation in job service workshops, and commitment to a work search plan. Additionally, all individuals receiving EUC must continue to provide written documentation of their work search efforts to the Agency prior to certifying through MARVIN or MARVIN Online.  Claimants are required to report the details and results of their work search to the UIA using Form UIA 1583EUC, Bi-Weekly Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Record of Work Search.

How will EUC Tier 4 claimants be immediately affected by recent legislation?

There are approximately 20,771 collecting EUC Tier 4 benefits. These claimants can continue to receive the balance of their Tier 4 benefits until exhaustion or week ending December 29, 2012. Tier 3 claimants may establish entitlement to EUC Tier 4 until week ending June 23, 2012. Those who finish receiving Tier 3 on or before May 26, 2012, may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks of EUC Tier 4. Those who finish receiving Tier 3 between May 27, 2012, and June 23, 2012 may be eligible to receive up to 6 weeks of EUC Tier 4 benefits.   

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 by calling MARVIN (Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network) at 1-866-638-3993 and selecting Option 2.

How are the federal 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 December 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 (1-866-644-3577) for people to call for pre-recorded information about the extension program and their remaining benefits. Individuals can visit www.mitalent.org for job and training information.

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