State extends unemployment benefits by another 20 weeks

Extension only applies to people laid off from jobs, not contract and gig workers.

Some unemployed people in Michigan will be able to claim unemployment benefits for an extra 20 weeks thanks to federal rules and the state’s ongoing high unemployment rate.

The Federal Extended Benefits program kicks in after a state’s unemployment rate has averaged 8% or more for three months in a row.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Unfortunately for many workers the extension of benefits will only apply to people who qualify for the state’s regular unemployment program. That means gig workers, contract workers, and others covered by the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program passed by Congress in March aren’t eligible for the extension.

At least 2.3 million Michiganders have applied for unemployment assistance since the pandemic began, collecting $24 billion in benefits.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.