Congressional action needed to extend expanded benefits
July 24, 2020
Contact: Jason Moon, 517-282-0041
The Unemployment Insurance Agency today provided information to Michigan workers on the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) program, which has been providing an additional $600 benefit each week to those receiving unemployment benefits. Michigan’s weekly unemployment benefit of up to $362 will continue for those eligible for state benefits and newly eligible under the CARES Act, which includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Eligible claimants should continue to certify as scheduled.
Unless Congress acts, the PUC program will end on July 25 as states do not have the ability to extend the program. It is unclear at this time whether Congress will act to extend, reduce, or eliminate the PUC program. The UIA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.
The federally funded PUC benefits have been paid to claimants in addition to regular unemployment benefits since the week ending April 4, providing vitally needed emergency support to help families impacted by COVID-19 pay their mortgage, put food on the table and support businesses in their community. More than $13.4 billion in PUC has been paid to Michigan workers to date.
“While we continue to make progress in processing claims with nearly 98% paid, we know that the continued economic hardship caused by COVID-19 and ending of the additional $600 in federal benefits will cause many to worry about their future,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “We remain committed to providing emergency financial assistance to Michigan workers whose jobs were affected by this pandemic and those impacted are encouraged to utilize the many resources the State of Michigan has to offer.”
State of Michigan Resources
Michiganders impacted by the reduced federal benefits are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/MIBridges to explore and access more than 30,000 state and local services to help them and their families with temporary assistance during these challenging times or call their local Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services office. Assistance is available for food and cash assistance, healthcare, childcare and emergency relief.
Workers looking for employment opportunities amid the pandemic, are encouraged to explore Career Planning Tools offered by the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity, and check out the nearly 55,000 jobs posted on mitalent.org.
Paying Unemployment Claims
The UIA has made a determination on all currently eligible, certifying unpaid claims that were filed before June 1. In making a determination, the agency will pay out benefits, determine that the claimant is ineligible and communicate why, or deem the claimant unreachable after multiple attempts to make contact.
Since March 15, over 2.1 million certifying, potentially eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with over $19.0 billion in benefits paid to more than 2 million workers, or roughly 98% of potentially eligible, certifying claimants.