Michigan Temporarily Extends Unemployment Benefits for Workers Affected by COVID-19

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On March 16, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer temporarily expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits by executive order. This Order is effective immediately and lasts until Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59 p.m. 

Under Executive Order 2020-10, unemployment benefits are extended to: 

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 

Governor Whitmer’s office also stated that the State is “seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance.”

Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be extended as follows: 

  • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 
  • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days.
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.   

The Order also states that employers will not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.  

A press release with more details from Governor Whitmer’s office can be found here

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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