I hope you and your family are staying safe during these uncertain times. Gov. Whitmer announced Executive Order 2020-42 to extend and expand the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy from April 13 to April 30, 2020. For more specifics, please click here to view EO-2020-42.
I share your frustrations as the state tightens the restrictions necessary to keep us safe and save lives. As we see the first signs of the COVID-19 spread slowing in Michigan, we continue to confront about 100 deaths a day. Together, we can fight COVID-19 but we must remain home, slow the spread, and allow medical workers on the frontline to provide the care they can.
COVID-19 represents one of the greatest challenges Michigan has faced in our recent history, leaving thousands of Michigan workers displaced or out of work. We are doing everything we can to ensure that every Michigander can stay on their feet as we fight the spread of this virus. Included in this email is some helpful information about unemployment assistance that is now available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (517) 373-1180 if we can be of further assistance.
State Representative, 18th House District
I will continue to host virtual townhalls and coffee hours to provide an update and answer questions about the state’s response to the everchanging COVID-19 pandemic.
The upcoming virtual coffee hours are:
- Monday, April 20 9:30-10:30 a.m. via Zoom
- Saturday, May 2 10-11 a.m. via Zoom
Please visit https://housedems.com/hertel/calendar for information about our upcoming events.
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Michigan, please visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
UIA Unemployment Assistance:
Expanding Unemployment Benefits
Michigan is temporarily expanding unemployment benefit eligibility to those affected by COVID-19. Benefits will be extended to:
- Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, like child care due to school closures or caring for a loved one who is ill;
- Workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised, and do not have access to paid leave time or are laid off; and
- First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined.
Benefits will also be extended from 20 to 39 weeks, the application eligibility period would be increased from 14 to 28 days, and the normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.
For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017.
Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19
As of this morning, self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history are eligible for unemployment assistance. Under the recently approved federal CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks.
If you are a newly eligible worker and you have yet to apply, apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA.
If you have already applied and been previously denied, login to your MiWAM account at Michigan.gov/UIA and complete the next steps for federal benefits. Do not file a new claim.
Benefits Increased for All Unemployed Workers
The federal CARES Act also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual.
Please note, the $600 federal payment is only retroactive back to March 28.
New Unemployment Filing Schedule
The number of Michigan workers displaced by this pandemic has resulted in significantly increased online and phone traffic to Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). While UIA mobilizes its entire team to respond to claims and hires hundreds of additional staff to assist, they encourage workers to follow a new filing schedule to streamline the process.
Online Filing Schedule — Michigan.gov/UIA.
Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule — (866) 500-0017
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Fridays between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether a worker receives benefits or their benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19. The eligibility window to apply has also been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage.
UIA appreciates the patience Michigan residents have shown with the unemployment system over the last few weeks and is committed to ensuring every eligible worker who needs to apply for unemployment benefits receives them.
If you are unable to speak with the UIA, please contact my office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 517-373-1180
For help paying bills:
- For further assistance (food, senior services, etc.,), please contact the Macomb Community Action Helpline at (586) 469-6999.
- For help with bills, please visit: usa.gov/help-with-bills
- Utility Service Resource
- DTE Energy
- Suspending shutoffs for non-payment for those customers who are low income eligible through April 5, 2020.
- Customers impacted by COVID-19 — those with a sudden loss of income or medical condition — as well as our vulnerable senior citizens, are encouraged to contact us at 1.800.477.4747 to determine eligibility for the payment assistance program.
- Consumers Energy
- Suspending shutoffs for non-pay for low-income and senior customers through April 5, 2020.
- For senior citizens and low-income customers, all shut-off notices will be withheld to prevent any additional stress for these customers.
- Customers impacted by COVID-19 seeking flexible payment arrangements, are encouraged to call 1-800-477-5050.
Additional Small Business Support:
The Paycheck Protection Program is now available for small businesses. If your business has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis and you have fewer than 500 employees, you can apply for a federal loan that: Covers payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities and other expenses; and is forgivable upon meeting criteria.