Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Wednesday an executive order that extends and adds to the current order expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits in the state.
- Past issues with Michigan's unemployment system affecting people today
- What the Michigan unemployment director says needs to be done to fix the system
The new executive order will expedite benefits for tens of thousands of residents who filed for unemployment, Whitmer's office said. Executive Order 2020-76 will allow the state to review only an individual's most recent job loss to determine their benefit entitlement.
“Nobody should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a crisis. Michiganders everywhere have lost work because of COVID-19, and we must ensure they receive the benefits they’re entitled to as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Whitmer said. “This Executive Order will take us one step closer toward that goal by temporarily eliminating red tape as we continue to flatten the curve of this deadly disease.”
The newly signed executive order also extends Executive Order 2020-57, which:
- Expands the state’s workshare program, offering more tools to employers to reduce layoffs and restart their business.
- Extends unemployment benefits to workers:
- Who have an unanticipated family care responsibility.
- Who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
- Extends unemployment benefits to workers who voluntarily left a job after accepting new employment but were unable to start their new position due to the pandemic.
- Allows anyone with an active unemployment claim to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits.
- Suspends the requirement for individuals seeking unemployment to request a registration and work search waiver from their employer.
- Allows Unemployment Insurance Agency retirees to keep their retirement benefits if they return to work to process unemployment claims or serve on the Occupational Health and Safety Commission.
- Expands cost-sharing with employers to reduce layoffs.