unemployment benefits

LANSING, MI--   The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Tuesday provided guidance to workers and employers who may be affected COVID-19.

Reopening Unemployment Claims

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills to lengthen state unemployment benefits to 26 weeks, from 20 weeks, through the end of the year. 

The laws enacted Tuesday largely codify changes the Democratic governor had ordered early in the coronavirus pandemic. The Michigan Supreme Court recently struck down a law that was the underpinning of various orders, making the unemployment and other orders invalid.

Whitmer urged the Republican-led Legislature to next make the 26 weeks of benefits permanent, which is the case in 40 other states.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan’s Legislature has passed bills to keep intact longer-lasting unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic after the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law that was the basis for now-negated orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The bill was among several approved during a lengthy session that stretched into early Wednesday. The Republican-led House and Senate backed liability protections for businesses that are sued over COVID-19 infections.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill to fund a federal $300-a-week unemployment benefit, flood cleanup costs in the Midland area and Michigan’s contribution toward a project to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

The $2.8 billion in spending authorized Tuesday is almost entirely federally funded. It's unclear how long the supplemental jobless benefit will last.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan has applied for federal funding to provide an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. 

It's less than the $600 boost that expired last month but still more than the maximum $362 weekly payment Michigan dispenses.

President Donald Trump this month signed an order extending the added weekly benefit after he and Congress were unable to agree to a broader new coronavirus relief plan. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the program will provide much-needed support but is a short-term “Band-Aid" that falls short of what's needed.

FALLS CHURCH, VA (AP)--   States are having to consider whether they can afford a plan from President Donald Trump to extend additional unemployment benefits. 

The plan requires states to provide 25 percent of the funds, and it's unclear whether states have the money or the will to do it.

Trump issued an executive order Saturday to provide an additional $400 a week in benefits after Congress failed to extend a $600 weekly benefit. But Trump's plan requires states to kick in $100 a week, and many states are already suffering budget woes related to the coronavirus.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Claims for unemployment benefits continue to skyrocket in Michigan during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A record 311,000 people filed initial applications last week. That is more than double from the previous week shattering the previous high of 128,000 that was set the week before.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the federal government needs to let Michigan help federal employees who are still working but aren’t being paid.

Thousands of Michigan residents are currently furloughed without pay because of the partial government shutdown. Those that aren’t working can apply for state benefits. But there’s some confusion about whether the state can help people that are still working but not getting paid.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's unemployment benefits agency would assess smaller penalties on jobless workers who are found to have committed fraud under newly introduced bipartisan legislation.

The change is included in an eight-bill package unveiled by lawmakers Thursday. The measures were drafted in response to the Unemployment Insurance Agency falsely accusing tens of thousands of beneficiaries of fraud.

A new state law prohibits fraud determinations based solely on computer-identified discrepancies. But legislators from both parties say other improvements are needed.

MADISON, WI (AP)--   Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has approved a rule implementing drug screening requirements for unemployment benefits. 

The rule implements provisions in the state budget. Under the rule, those who fail an employer drug test or refuse to take one can be denied unemployment benefits.

Those who fail would get taxpayer-funded treatment.

Walker announced the new rule Wednesday, saying it brings the state one step closer to moving residents from government dependence to independence.

The rule will take effect later this week.