LANSING – State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) this week introduced a House concurrent resolution calling on the US Congress to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (EUCP). This is a federal program providing additional unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits provided under the unemployment insurance system.

“Unless Congress acts, 44,000 unemployed Michigan workers will lose their unemployment checks at the end of this year, and by next June, another 86,500 Michiganders will lose their unemployment benefits after 20 weeks,” said Rep. Roberts. “Michigan’s unemployment rate was back up to 9 percent in October, making us third in the nation behind Nevada and Rhode Island. This isn’t the time to let this federal program expire, especially after Lansing Republicans have already cut unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks.”

The EUCP provides at least 14 weeks of additional unemployment benefits in all states, but for states with a high rate of unemployment, like Michigan, the program provides up to 47 additional weeks. A law passed by Congress in 2012 amended this program, scheduling it to expire at the end of the year and eliminating the gradual phase-out of the program.

“Ending this program will not only impact Michigan families, but also the communities they live in when they have less money to spend on mortgage payments, groceries and other necessities,” said Rep. Roberts. “It is critical that Congress extend this program and not let it die at the end of the year.”