State News

Feds Approve $300 a Week in Extra Unemployment for Michiganders

August 21, 2020, 5:28 PM

Gretchen Whitmer: "It's still a short term Band-Aid."

Good news: Nearly a million Michiganders who have lost jobs during the pandemic will eventually qualify for $300 per week in extra unemployment benefits approved by the feds, Bridge Magazine reports.

Not so great news: Payments could take weeks to arrive and may not last long. 

"This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still a short-term Band-Aid that falls short of what’s needed," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday approved Michigan's application for the funds, which are in addition to the state's maximum of $362 per week. The $300 replaces the $600 per week federal unemployment payments through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which expired in July. 

The extra $300 payment is expected to last through Dec. 27 or until the $44 billion made available by President Donald Trump's executive order runs out.

But Bridge reports:

For now, the Trump administration is only guaranteeing states will receive funding for three weeks. Additional allocations "will be made on a weekly basis in order to ensure that funding remains available for states who apply for the grant assistance," according to guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Whitmer urged Washington to do more.

"We need the president, Mitch McConnell, and Congress to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers, and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf."

Read more:  Bridge Magazine

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