Uia Update: All Pua Peuc Claimants Can Now Reopen Or Certify Unemployment Claims
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has completed system updates for the recently extended federal unemployment insurance programs. All remaining Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claimants whose claims ended when CARES Act programs were interrupted in December can now either reopen, certify or apply for benefits available under the Continued Assistance Act . Claimants were notified by the UIA with information and instructions regarding the changes.
The CAA allows PEUC and PUA claimants an additional 11 weeks of benefits payable for the week ending Jan. 2 through March 13, 2021. Payments also include the additional $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation weekly benefit.
Michigan’s Extended Unemployment Benefits Ending For Some
LANSING, Mich. The state is putting an end to some additional unemployment benefits because Michigan is no longer in a high unemployment period.
People who were receiving Extended Benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance won’t be receiving additional weeks of payment under those programs. Those impacted have been notified of the change, according to the state.
The high employment period is dependent on the state’s unemployment rate. Recently, Michigan’s unemployment rate fell below the threshold for the state’s high unemployment period to remain active. The result is that some will no longer qualify for extended benefits.
Additional information regarding the state’s EB and PUA programs:
For individuals receiving EB:
- If claimants have already been paid their maximum weeks of EB, their EB claim is considered exhausted and there are no more weeks of EB available.
- Claimants who exhaust EB may be eligible for benefits on another program. If so, they will be notified that they may apply for benefits on a different program.
For individuals receiving PUA:
- The maximum number of weeks available to PUA claimants has been reduced from 57 to 50 weeks.
Will I Have A Lapse Or Delay In Getting My Benefits If A Bill Does Pass This Year
Some are arguing that the ongoing delays in Congress passing a new stimulus bill that includes UI benefits extensions may mean a lapse or extended delay in 2021 payments even if a bill is passed in the next week or two. Based on the challenging rollout of other Pandemic unemployment programs this year, worker advocates say it could take weeks for the antiquated state unemployment systems and programs to get updated and process claims/payments for new benefits.
With Democratic candidate Joe Biden winning the Presidential election and Senate Republicans likely to retain control of the Senate , the probability of a stimulus package containing supplementary unemployment benefits happening this year is very remote as Trump and the Democrats have no political incentive to compromise. This means current and retroactive payments under the CARES act enhanced unemployment programs will expire at the end of the year. Further, it is also highly likely that the next stimulus package will be much smaller and more focused. This means any supplementary unemployment benefits will be in the $300 to $400 range and for a short period . More details will come soon and I will post updates as that happens.
See details on when the renewed unemployment stimulus could be paid if passed in the next few weeks. Payments will be retroactive to September 12th, the week after LWA benefits expired.
For additional unemployment resources and state based information see the UI resource page.
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Michigan Begins Paying Extra $300 To State’s Unemployed
Lansing Michigan has begun issuing $300 supplemental payments to unemployed residents, according to a Monday announcement from the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
Under federal relief legislation signed last month, the payments will go to an estimated 365,000 people on regular state unemployment insurance and extended benefit programs. The supplemental payment brings the maximum weekly payment in Michigan up to $662.
The supplemental money is payable from Dec. 27 through March 13. It provides an additional $300 per week for all unemployment recipients getting at least $1 for the week. Claimants don’t need to take any action to receive the additional benefit, which will be paid after they certify, according to the agency’s announcement.
The announcement added that workers on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation “continue to have no actions to take at this time.” They will not be able to complete certifications and payments will not be issued for weeks after Dec. 26 until the technical updates to the unemployment insurance system are completed.
“This will only be a disruption and claimants will be made whole once the extensions are fully implemented,” a press release said. “An estimated completion date is not available at this time.”
President Donald Trump signed the $2 trillion COVID-19 and federal spending plan into law on Dec. 27.
Michigan House Votes To End Unemployment Extension
The House voted 60-49 to end the additional payments of $300.
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State House of Representatives have voted to end federal extended unemployment benefits. Under current legislation, those collecting unemployment received an extra $300 a week on top of state unemployment.
The House voted 60-49 on House Bill 4434, which calss for the end of that payment. All republicans voting for and all except for two democrats voting against. Upper Michigan representatives Sarah Cambensy , Greg Markkanen , and Beau LaFave all voted in favor of ending the payments.
A press release from, Markkanen, a co-sponsor of the bill, said its important to end the payment as COVID-19 state restrictions will soon lift. The Legislature has consistently listened to people throughout the state and called on the governor to re-open Michigan and she has finally listened to the people, Markkanen said. The state is moving pretty much all the way back to pre-COVID normalcy with this announcement and many areas of the state have already been in a position to do so. Its well past time for our unemployment benefit structure to reflect those changes. The press release also pointed out that, with federal and state unemployment combined, many unemployed people are making more money than they would in the pre-pandemic workforce.
The bill still has to go through the GOP-controlled senate for further consideration.
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Unemployment Extended Benefits Program
The federal government may provide additional benefits to people who have exhausted unemployment benefits. There are additional weeks of federally funded Extended Benefits in states with high unemployment rates.
Unemployed workers are eligible for up to 13 or 20 weeks of additional unemployment benefits, depending on state laws, and the unemployment rate.
These benefits are paid through the state unemployment departments, and eligibility would start when all other benefits are exhausted. If you’re eligible, your state unemployment office will notify you.
Eligibility requirements vary by state, so be sure to check the FAQ section of your state unemployment website for details.
A Compromise On Extending Unemployment Benefits
It appears highly likely that the President and his administration will have to provide some level of support to the millions of unemployed workers given the resurgence of the Coronavirus in several states that has forced extended business closures. As such a Senate proposal by the Democrats called The American Workforce Rescue Act , may provide a party line compromise that the president could get behind, particularly as the presidential election is only a few months away. The AWRA proposal would continue to provide the full $600 extra weekly unemployment payment as long as the states unemployment rate is above 11%. When it drops below 11% , it will start to phase out to $0 until the states unemployment rate drops below 6%. So essentially $100 less for every percentage drop between 11% and 6% of a states unemployment rate.
With the current provisions expiring in a few weeks, I expect that that Congress will eventually craft a bill to extend these UI benefits to the end of 2020 using a hybrid of one of the above proposals which may well also include another 2020 stimulus check to cover those not eligible for unemployment benefits.
The table below shows the impact of losing the extra $600 weekly payment against the maximum weekly benefit amount current paid by state unemployment agencies. As you can see, in several states it is pretty significant and the impact is much, much higher if you are not getting close to the maximum amount in your respective state.
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Opt Grace Period And 90 Days Opt Unemployment Important Facts
International students enrolled in an educational institution in the USA and holding an F1 visa are allowed to gain employment after completing their studies. This employment is known as Optional Practical Training or OPT . F1 student visa holders can pursue OPT for 12 months. Students participating in one of the designated STEM courses get an additional period of 24 months which is known as STEM OPT Extension.
Most of the current and prospective students possess sound knowledge about various aspects related to optional practical training, such as pre-completion & post-completion OPT, part-time & full-time OPT jobs, and application procedure.
But OPT grace period and OPT unemployment are the points or aspects that seem confusing or unclear to many students. Therefore, we have provided a detailed explanation regarding both of them in this blog post. Hope you get benefitted from our efforts.
Essential Facts about Post-Completion OPT
- Nature of Employment
The employment opportunity that you wish to undertake during optional practical training should be related to your major area of study. You can engage in paid jobs, paid internships, unpaid internships, volunteering work, and self-employment. In simple words, your employment can be paid or unpaid. As long as the tasks or activities you perform are related to your field of study and you do not violate any labor laws, lawful F1 status is maintained.
- Number of Hours & Employers
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Michigan Could Extend Federal Unemployment Benefits Again
The extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits for all federally funded COVID-19 related unemployment insurance programs will end September 4, 2021, under a deadline set by the U.S. Congress. Benefits payable under the federal programs will not be paid for any weeks ending after September 4th.
While the Biden administration has said it wont seek to reinstate the enhanced benefits past the early September expiration date, it has urged states that want to continue the program to do so using COVID relief funds. The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the U.S. Secretary of Labor have indicated that states could use some of their shares of American Rescue Plan Act funds to further extend expanded unemployment compensation and assistance beyond the September 4th end date. Michigan still has $6.5 billion in federal ARPA funds that have not been appropriated and will be the subject of budget negotiations between the legislature and the governor when they return after the Labor Day holiday.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey made it clear in a press statement that he would not support any effort to use federal ARPA funds, or any funds, to extend the extra unemployment benefits beyond the September 4th end date. Its past time to get back to work, as there is an abundance of jobs available, said Shirkey. Meaningful work is a key factor in an individuals mental and physical health. This supplemental increase needs to end as planned.
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What Is The Federal
Another unemployment extension program is the Federal-State Extended Duration , also called Extended Benefits . You can only qualify for EB unemployment benefits extension if you have exhausted all of your regular unemployment benefits and also used up all of your EUC08 unemployment extension. If you qualify for an EB unemployment extension, you will receive additional benefits in the amount of 20 weeks or 80 percent of the maximum benefit amount on the original unemployment claim, whichever amount is less.
Remember, these programs are only available during high unemployment periods and that you cannot arbitrarily apply for an unemployment benefits extension in Michigan. If you are eligible for an unemployment extension, the government will notify you by mail.
States Aim To Provide Workers With Full $400 Benefits 1 State Considered $400 But Chose $300
Most states that have submitted applications signaled that they will not provide an additional $100 to unemployed workers, meaning eligible claimants will only receive the $300 in federal funds each week. However, three states so far have decided to match the federal funds, while one states payout is in flux.
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Do I Have To Pay Taxes On Unemployment Compensation
Normally yes. Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service . That means unemployment benefits are always subject to federal taxes, but state taxes on the benefits vary depending on the state where you live.
However, as part of the stimulus package, the federal government is forgiving taxes on up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits earned in 2020 for individuals earning less than $150,000.
If you already filed your 2020 taxes, you dont need to amend your return. The IRS is adjusting qualifying returns automatically in two phases. Nearly three million refunds were sent the week of June 7, and another batch of refunds is expected to be distributed later in June. The IRS will send a mailed letter to anyone whose return has been adjusted.
If you havent yet filed your 2020 tax return, If you filed for benefits in 2020, your state should mail you Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payment, which will include your total unemployment compensation received during the year. Youll use this form to determine how much to adjust your tax return calculations in order to get the tax break.
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Federal Benefits Ending September 4
Effective September 4, 2021, in accordance with federal law, several federal unemployment benefits offered through the American Rescue Plan Act will expire.Benefits will end for claimants who are currently receiving the following:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- UA covers individuals who were not eligible for regular UI benefits. This included self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.
Under federal law, no PUA, PEUC, FPUC, or MEUC payments may be made after the week ending September 4 regardless of the claimants balance at the time of program termination. The amount claimants will receive as part of their weekly unemployment benefits after September 4 will be impacted by these changes from the federal government. The benefit amount in D.C., based on eligibility and wage information submitted to DOES, can range from $50 to $444 per week. Claimants can estimate their weekly benefit amount by visiting DCNetworks.org and clicking Estimate Your Benefits.
Expiry Of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Congress amended the PEUC program several times to expand it. The initial benefits were set to expire on the final day of 2020, but were extended to March 14, 2021, increasing the number of weeks a claimant could get from 13 to 29. This was further increased to 53 weeks and allowed to run through September 6, 2021.
Biden Emergency Extension To Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
With the rapid spread of and potential economic slowdown from the virulent Delta COVID-19 strain there is now talk of the Biden administration repurposing some of existing ARPA stimulus bill funding to extend pandemic unemployment programs to the end of 2022.
This is similar to the six week LWA extension that President Trump passed by executive order last year when Congress could not initially agree on funding an extension to pandemic unemployment benefits.
If Congress cannot provide additional funding then this will be the most likely path for a short-term emergency extension of pandemic benefits and could be done relatively quickly along party lines, or simply by a Presidential Executive order. White House lawyers are likely already working on this as a possible option.
Note that states which had ceased participation early in the federally funded unemployment programs will need to reapply to get access to this short term extension, if indeed it is passed.
To Extend or Not?
Which States Ended Unemployment Benefits Early?
Following recent job reports that showed a shortage of workers to fill open positions, many Republican led states have now ended federally funded pandemic unemployment programs in order to incentivize workers to return to work. You can see the table below for when states ended one or more of the pandemic unemployment programs early.
|States Ending Unemployment Early|
|$300 FPUC, PUA, PEUC, MEUC|
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Gov Whitmer Announced The Michigan Covid Recovery Plan Unemployment Updates
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with Chief Medial Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, provided an update on COVID-19 in Michigan on Dec. 1, 2020. Photo courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan addressing vaccine distribution, support for small businesses, food and rental assistance, schools and more.
Whitmer said that the MEDC will provide $225 million to fund an additional three programs that will support small businesses as a part of the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan.
The Michigan Mainstreet Initiative will provide grants to restaurants and other place-based small businesses. The Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative will support businesses with less than nine employees that have struggled during the pandemic. The Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative will provide grants to high-tech startups.
The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help small businesses get through the winter, help us put more shots in arms and ramp up vaccine distribution, and get our kids back on track in school. Its the right thing to do to protect public health and jumpstart our economy, and Im ready to work with the legislature to get it done, Gov. Whitmer said in a press release on Jan.19
The plan also includes:
The Michigan COVID Recovery Plan also calls for the Michigan Legislature to permanently extend unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 weeks.