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Michigan governor expands unemployment benefits for workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Photo courtesy MGN

LANSING, Mich.—On Monday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Under Executive Order 2020-10, unemployment benefits would be extended to:

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immuno-compromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

The order is effective starting March 16 and lasting through April 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Whitmer’s office said it is also looking at solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance.

Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be extended:

  • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks.
  • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended

For more information about unemployment benefits in Michigan, visit the state’s website.

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