Michigan Unemployment Eliminates Covid-19 As A Reason To Receive Benefits
In Michigan, as of today any coronavirus related exposure will not qualify you for state unemployment. If you are not eligible for state assistance, you may qualify for federal assistance. Those qualifications include testing positive for Covid-19, having been exposed to the virus, experiencing symptoms of the virus, waiting for test results, among other things. It’s happening because this is part of a state law that is expiring and the Legislature along with the Governor is not renewing it.
This law has hit its expiration date, and here are some of the effects:
Filing deadline: New claims during the pandemic only needed to be filed within 28 days to not be considered “late.” That deadline now reverts back to 14 days from the person’s last day of work.
Workshare program: During the pandemic, employers could reduce hours and wages for workers between 10% and 60% and still be eligible for the workshare program, where the state would pay workers partial unemployment benefits.
Higher rates for employers: Pandemic rules took some pressure off businesses, by not penalizing the rate they pay based on how many people they laid off.
As of early March there were still about 640,000 people in our state continuing to receive unemployment. For 75% of those, they got federal pandemic benefits, not state. It’s still a tough time for many, especially those who have not been able to find employment yet. Hopefully as things continue to open up, there will be more employment opportunity.
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