|Dear Friends and Neighbors,
During this difficult time in our state and country, I want to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information about our response to COVID-19. Please join me for a virtual coffee hour on Monday, April 27 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. with special guest Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. We will provide a state and county level update along with answering any questions you may have. There will be an opportunity to ask questions. Join via Zoom or phone by calling +1 (312) 626-6799.
Meeting ID: 841 0264 4928 Password: 860483
I hope you and your family are healthy, and I look forward to speaking with you all soon. Below, you will find more information regarding available support programs.
State Representative, 18th House District
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and Michigan’s financial institutions created the MiMortgage Relief Partnership to expand assistance to Michigan residents to ensure no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 loses their home during this crisis.
Participating financial institutions have agreed to continue working with affected mortgage bowers by:
- Providing affected home-owners with a 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments. Allowing home-owners to reduce or delay their monthly mortgage payments.
- Providing relief from mortgage-related late fees and charges for 90 days.
- Foregoing new foreclosures for 60 days. Financial institutions will not initiate any foreclosure sales or evictions for 60 days for affected home-owners who reach an agreement with their lenders.
- Refraining from reporting adverse credit scoring information based upon the home-owner’s accessing relief. Financial institutions will not report adverse credit scoring information for affected home-owners who reach an agreement with their financial institution. Financial institutions will report other credit information consistent with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or other federal agency guidance.
- Working with home-owners on their specific needs or concerns. Some challenges require individualized support – financial institutions may provide specific support to benefit a home-owner or address their specific requests, concerns or individual financial health.
Michigan home-owners experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out directly to their financial institution to learn the details of the relief options available to them, and to work out with the institution an agreement applicable to their loan. Home-owners are encouraged to reach out before their loan becomes delinquent.
Lenders who service federally-backed mortgages are subject to federal rules. To learn more, click here.
Gov. Whitmer recently issued an executive order extending unemployment benefits for workers displaced by COVID-19, while providing additional flexibility for shared-work programs for employers looking to avoid layoffs. If you or anyone you know has been affected by this crisis, below you will find some helpful information about the assistance now available.
Extending Unemployment Benefits
Michigan is temporarily expanding unemployment benefit eligibility to those affected by COVID-19. Benefits will be extended to:
- Workers who are isolated, quarantined or immunocompromised, and do not have access to paid leave time or are laid off;
- Workers who display at least one of the principal symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever or cough;
- Workers who have had contact in the last 14 days with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
- Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, like child care due to school closures or caring for a loved one who is ill; and
Self-employed workers, gig workers, low-wage workers, and 1099-independent contractors are also eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs.
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.
Greater Flexibility for Shared-Work Plans
The newest executive order provides greater flexibility to both employers and workers to use shared-work plans, including:
- Allowing Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to approve participation regardless of whether an employer meets the usual requirements.
- Allowing shared-work plans whether or not an affected employee has been employed for less than three months.
- Allowing shared-work plans for employers that certify the plan would be implemented in lieu of layoffs affecting no less than 10 percent and no more than 60 percent of employees.
Opportunities for Retirees
The number of Michigan workers displaced by this pandemic has resulted in significantly increased online and phone traffic to Michigan’s UIA. The latest executive order allows retirees to return to work with the UIA or the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) without affecting their pensions to assist in handling the high volume of claims. The UIA is committed to ensuring every eligible worker who needs to apply for unemployment benefits receives them.
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.
Remember, 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.