Michigan approved for an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent news conference about the coronavirus. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent news conference about the coronavirus.

The federal government on Friday approved Michigan’s request for an extra $300 a week for residents receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration applied for the funding through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

As millions of residents across the country began losing their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government was chipping in an extra $600 a week in jobless benefits, but those payments expired at the end of July. Without an agreement with Congress, Trump signed an executive order last week to make the extra funding available.

Whitmer said about 910,000 Michigan residents are eligible for the extra $300 a week.

“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,” Whitmer said in a news release. “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.”

Michigan pays up to $362 a week in traditional unemployment benefits. The extra FEMA payments will bring the total to $662 a week.

States are eligible to receive up to $400 a week in federal funds, but Michigan decided not to chip in the extra $100 a week.

It’s not yet clear when jobless residents will begin receiving the extra $300.

“This additional $300 a week will provide some much needed support to those who are still struggling to make ends meet during this time of extreme need,” said Steve Gray, Director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “Our goal now is to work as quickly as possible to implement this new program to get people the benefits they need.”

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