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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Emergency Relief Package Extends Federal Unemployment Benefit Programs

Existing PUA and PEUC claimants will experience delayed certifications and payments until implementation

Monday, Dec. 28, 2020
Contact: Lynda Robinson, 313-348-8220

LANSING, Mich.-- A COVID-19 emergency relief package has been signed into law that continues and expands federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs.

Due to the timing of the legislation's finalization, there will be a delay in cetification and payment of benefits for those currently enrolled in the federal PUA and PEUC programs beginning Dec. 26. This will only be a disruption and claimants will be made whole once the extensions are fully implemented. 

Existing PUA and PEUC claimants should ensure they complete any outstanding certifications through Dec. 26. To do this, log in to you MiWAM account and click on the inactive PUA or PEUC claim. Outstanding certifications will appear under the “Alerts” tab should there be any to be completed.

Michigan, like all states, must wait until guidance is issued by the U.S. Dept. of Labor before it can begin processing the benefits provided under the new legislation. This guidance will include new rules and instructions that will require updates to the state’s UI system, but rest assured that Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is making program adjustments with what information is available and will work tirelessly to implement any remaining changes as soon as it can in order to get benefits out the door as quickly as possible.

Claimants do not need to contact the UIA regarding these changes at this time.

UI extensions and expansions include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Extends and phases out PUA, a temporary federal program covering self-employed and gig workers, to March 14 (after which no new applicants) through April 5, 2021.
    • Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by extending PUA from 39 to 50 weeks— with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.
    • New PUA program eligibility requirements: New and active claimants must provide documentation to substantiate employment (not just self-certification as is currently the case) starting at the end of January.
       
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): Provides all unemployment recipients with an additional $300 per week from Dec. 27 through Mar. 13, 2021.
     
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): Extends and phases out PEUC, which provides additional weeks when state unemployment runs out, to March 14 (after which no new applications) through April 5, 2021.
    • Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by increasing weeks available from 13 to 24—with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.

“This federal extension will bring much needed relief to nearly 700,000 Michigan workers who are currently receiving benefits under the PUA and PEUC programs,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “The continuation of these benefits coupled with the additional $300 in weekly payments for all claimants will provide our workers with the emergency financial assistance to buy essential items like groceries and prescription drugs.”

The relief package also includes:

  • Extension of 100% federal financing for the use of the WorkShare program
  • Extension of Emergency Unemployment Relief for Governmental Entities and Nonprofit Organizations through Mar. 14

Visit the UIA website at Michigan.gov/uia for more information as it becomes available.