LANSING, Mich. - Michigan is ending its extended benefits program after its unemployment rate fell over the last three months.
The US Department of Labor Building on March 26, 2020, in Washington, DC. - The economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic sparked an explosion of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDEL
The program, which is triggered when high unemployment occurs in the state, offers an additional 13-20 weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted all other sources of financial relief offered by the state.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency was notified by the U.S. Department of Labor that since its unemployment rate fell below an average of 6.5% over the last three months, Extended Benefits will no longer be payable after this week.
Michigan paid out about $419 million through the program after government restrictions on businesses that went into place because of the coronavirus pandemic sent unemployment rates to some of their highest levels in decades. At its peak, Michigan had one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.
A news release from the UIA said that even with EB's ending, there are other relief programs that people can access for additional money.
"Fortunately, with the federal extensions that were implemented on March 27, claimants who were on the Extended Benefits program most likely will be able to receive benefits through other federal programs such as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
Food assistance, children and infant support, and health care benefits are also available through the MI Bridge program. That's done through the state health department. Learn more here.
Other resources include:
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which offers individuals with regular unemployment benefits that may expire soon.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was part of the federal CARES Act and provides up to 50 weeks of unemployment benefits for individuals who are not eligible for normal unemployment insurance.
- If someone unemployed is looking for work, they can find open positions at the Pure Michigan Talent Connect, where 77,000 jobs are available. Learn more here.