Unemployed Michigan workers to receive additional $900 payment as new unemployment funds open up

The newest round of unemployment money will soon be paid out to eligible unemployed workers in Michigan who will receive $300.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced Thursday it has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. The UIA said it has a large volume of payments to process and expects workers to receive benefits over the next week to 10 days.

The funds will provide $300 per week to supplement unemployment benefits for those who are out of a job due to COVID-19.

To be eligible for LWA, a claimant’s weekly benefit amount must be at least $100 before deductions.

The first round of payments will be larger as it will cover unemployment from the weeks ending on August 1, August 8, and August 15.

A new $300 federal unemployment benefit? Not likely for some

"An estimated 910,000 claimants will receive these much-needed additional benefits," said UIA Director Steve Gray.

Workers do not have to file a separate claim or application for LWA but have to self-certify whether they are unemployed due to COVID-19.

For claimants who have already provided a self-certification on their claim filing application, no further action is needed to qualify. Also, all unemployed workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step.

The $300 per week payments were signed into law by executive order by President Donald Trump. Under the federal order, it requires jobless to make at least $100 in state benefits to qualify.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to fund the additional $300 per week for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.   

The administration rolled out the new $300-a-week benefit, using money from a $44 billion disaster relief fund after Congress and the White House failed to agree to extend the $600 payment. It was initially announced as $400, but that included an additional $100 from state funds that almost no states are providing.

Yet because of a raft of restrictions and bureaucratic hurdles, more than 1 million of the unemployed won't receive that $300 check, and their financial struggles will deepen. Many, like Fenderson, were low-paid workers whose state unemployment aid falls below the $100 weekly threshold. That stands to widen the inequalities that disproportionately hurt Black and Latino workers, who are more likely to work in low-wage jobs.