Federal Unemployment Benefits End, Affecting Thousands of Michigan Families

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Nearly 230,000 Michiganders will receive less money from their weekly unemployment checks. Federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs end Tuesday. The programs were in part of both the CARES Act and the American Recovery Plan Act. This means that the extra $300 that people received will no longer be provided. The expanded eligibility that let more people receive those benefits will expire.

More than 7.5 Million Americans will be losing federal pandemic unemployment benefits this week. But some states could choose to extend some of those benefits.

“Myself and Secretary Yellen sent a letter to the states letting them know that they have the ability to use the American Rescue Plan to extend benefits that they like to. Each state and as you know, the states are different, the unemployment numbers are different state to state,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in an interview with CBS This Morning.

He said the focus is investing in getting Americans back to work.

“The Department of Labor since the beginning of the year has invested over $2 billion dollars in job training and work development money. So we are getting that money out into the communities to make sure we can start those investments,” he said.

As to why there are many job seekers and yet many open positions, Walsh said that could be caused by several on going factors.

“I think we have a couple of things going on here. Number one is child care, lack of child care. And also the fear of the delta variant and the fear of coronavirus. As school starts this week, one of the things we have to monitor is that if some schools don’t reopen over the course of the next weeks, that’s when we potentially have issues with parents having no place to put their kids. They’ll be learning back on zoom, parents will have to be home. So we have to monitor pretty closely,” he said.

What can people do? Nick Assendelf with Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency said that there are many work programs available to those that now fall outside of the criteria for state unemployment.
“There’s also the Michigan department of health and human services has M-I bridges and that’s if you are still unable to find a job, or pay utilities bills, or need food assistance the mi bridges program can help you in that sense,” he said.

Assendelft also recommended to keep checking your MIWAM dashboard for any updates to your claim. If your case is still pending an appeal, those will continue to be produced after the expiration deadline.

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