LANSING — The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced on Thursday that the unemployment insurance benefits period has been lengthened under the Federal Extended Benefits (EB) program.
The EB program pays unemployment benefits during periods of high unemployment to workers who have otherwise exhausted entitlement to regular state and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits.
EB is a program that provides an extension of benefits to those who can establish and/or have established a state unemployment claim.
This adds up to 20 weeks of additional benefits for workers who have exhausted their regular benefits (26 weeks maximum) and PEUC (13 weeks). The program is federally funded and kicks in when the state’s unemployment rate averages 8 percent or higher for three consecutive months.
To be eligible, claimants must be unemployed or underemployed and be able to work and available for work. Eligibility for EB will be determined in the same way as regular unemployment benefits. The program’s weekly benefit amount is the same as the individual received for regular state unemployment insurance.
Unemployed Michiganders will be notified of program eligibility through their chosen method of communication with the UIA. They must continue to file their bi-weekly certification and will not need to complete a separate application.
The UIA says that nearly 2.3 million certifying, potentially eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits since March 15, with nearly $24 billion in benefits paid to 2.2 million workers, or roughly 96 percent of potentially eligible, certifying claimants. There are currently around 80,000 claimants needing ID verification and around 13,000 in the adjudication process, which requires a one-on-one review of their claim.
“The Extended Benefit program will provide a much-needed safety net for Michiganders who have exhausted their current benefits and are still dealing with the long-term effects of unemployment due to COVID-19,” said UIA Director Steve Gray.
The UIA says that when an individual files a claim for unemployment insurance, they will receive a written Monetary Determination letter. If someone receives this letter (Form UIA 1575C) and has not applied for unemployment benefits, or the name on the form is not theirs, they may be a victim of identity theft. They are then asked to contact the UIA immediately online at Michigan.gov/UIA