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Governor Whitmer expands eligibility for unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich.— Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed an Executive Order that builds upon previous orders expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 2020-76 expands benefits for tens of thousands of residents who have filed for unemployment.

The state can now review only an individual's most recent job separation to determine that person’s benefits. 

According to Whitmer's office, the new 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. 
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