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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall Out of Unemployment Extensions Begins, Michigan's Jobless Tier 1 Claims End Nov. 27th

joblessImage by khalilshah via Flickr
Michigan Jobless Will Start Losing
opportunities to claim Emergency
Compensation Benefits starting
November 27th.

The fall-out from Congress not passing Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits will begin to hit Michigan’s jobless as, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will stop taking and processing new claims for new Tier I, Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) after Saturday, November 27th.

Congress left Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 19th, without passing "HR-6419 Emergency Compensation Continuation Act”, which could leave up to 162,000 unemployed Michiganders without any jobless supplemental compensation. The current act, "HR-4213-The Emergency Compensation Extension Act" expires on November 30th.
"If the federal funding for the (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) EUC program is not extended, then EUC Tier I claims cannot be established after Nov. 27," said Stephen Geskey, director of the UIA told M-Live.  "EUC Tiers II, III and IV claims cannot be established after December 4th.  However, individuals already on a EUC Tier can continue to collect the balance of benefits remaining on their tier, but cannot move on to the next tier."

The Extended Benefits program, known as (EB), will also lose its federal funding after November 30th.  The EB program pays up to 20 weeks of federally-funded unemployment benefits to those who exhaust their state and EUC benefits.  

Regardless of where jobless Michiganders stand within the EB program, the last week which EB can be paid out to claimants, is the week ending January 1, 2011. The states' unemployment rate dipped again slightly to 12.8 percent in October, from a high of 13.0 in September 2011.

UIA estimates that 162,000 have exhausted their jobless benefits this year, January through November 2010. The agency estimates another 181,500 of Michigan’s unemployed job seekers will exhaust their unemployment benefits from December through April 2011, if the federal funding is not extended.

If no new extension is granted, the UIA will begin sending letters to those collecting state unemployment benefits and federal EUC or EB benefits in early December.

The UIA has information available to those who are losing their benefits as the agency has added video webcasts and a printable resource guide on its’ website. In addition, the website notes other resources that are available throughout the state to help the unemployed.

Geskey suggested that individuals nearing the end of their unemployment benefits visit the state’s Helping Hand website for information about family support, housing, health care, jobs and training and unemployment benefits.  People can also apply online through Helping Hand for food assistance and to determine if they may be eligible for certain types of public assistance.

There will be no changes in Michigan's initial state unemployment benefit program. The program will continue to provide accept new claimants and provide up to 26 weeks of benefits to those who are newly unemployed and, who meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

Claimants currently receiving unemployment benefits can check the balance on their claims by calling MARVIN at 1-866-638-3993, and choosing option 2.  Michigan jobless can also check their balances online or by calling the UIA toll-free claims line at 1-866-500-0017 to speak with an agent.   

What are your thoughts on this article? Are you a Michigander that will be losing jobless benefits in the near future? How do you feel on Congress failure to provide a timely extension of the program? Feel free to comment on this story, below!
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