Thank you for your patience and resilience as we continue to do our best to stay home, save lives and combat the spread of the coronavirus. We want to ensure public safety for everyone in our communities until public re-engagement is possible, identified by a few key factors below:
- Sustained reduction in case counts.
- Enhanced ability to test and trace.
- Sufficient health care capacity.
- Best practices for the workplace.
For a complete list of strategies from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to minimize your risk of exposure and to keep you and your loved ones healthy, click here. For the latest information as the situation continues to develop, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
Additionally, below you’ll find information regarding my upcoming virtual events, Gov. Whitmer’s recent executive order extending the period of renewal for state licenses and identification cards, expanded unemployment benefits and mental health resources. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1783 or email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov, for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 41st House District
Upcoming Virtual Events
Small Business Virtual Town Hall
On Thursday, April 23, beginning at 6 p.m., I will be hosting a small business virtual town hall with special guest state Rep. Jim Ellison. In order to participate in this event, please register in advance by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the meeting.
When: Thursday, April 23, beginning at 6 p.m.
How: Register in advance here.
COVID-19 & The Asian American Community Virtual Town Hall
On Wednesday, April 29, from 6-7 p.m., I will be hosting another virtual town hall regarding COVID-19 and its impacts on the Asian American community. Special guests that will be joining me include state Sen. Stephanie Chang and Assistant Attorney General Sunita Doddamani from the Hate Crimes Unit. In order to participate, please register in advance by clicking here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the meeting.
When: Wednesday, April 29, from 6-7 p.m.
How: Register in advance here.
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
Self-employed workers, gig workers, low-wage workers, and 1099-independent contractors are now eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs. All eligible workers will now be provided a set amount of $600 on top of the state benefit for up to 39 weeks.
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.
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.
COVID-19 Mental Health Hotline
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently launched a statewide mental health hotline for Michigan residents in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The hotline will connect Michiganders with certified peer support specialists on behavioral health issues, trauma or personal crises, who are trained to support and empower those calling.
This service will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at (888) PEER-753 (888-733-7753).