Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed Executive Directive 2020-3, temporarily restricting discretionary spending by state departments and agencies while they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. The governor also signed Executive Directive 2020-4, temporarily suspending hiring, creating new positions, filling vacant positions, transfers, and promotions within the executive branch of state government.
“I want to thank the countless state employees who are working around the clock to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19. We will get through this together,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we continue to navigate this crisis, my number one priority is protecting Michiganders’ health and safety. However, we must also work to prepare our state for the impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on our economy and the state budget. These executive orders will help us do just that.”
Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders also announced the signing of two supplemental budget bills that provide $150 million in news state funding in the current fiscal year for response to COVID-19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Mike Shirkey, Sen. Jim Ananich, Rep. Lee Chatfield, and Rep. Christine Greig issued the following joint statement:
“Residents across the great state of Michigan need to know that the Executive and Legislative branches of state government are working together to do whatever is necessary to ensure an effective response to COVID-19. Today’s signing of two supplemental budget bills will provide new state funding of $150 million to bolster response efforts. To date, the state has already expended more than $130 million to secure more than 20 million masks, more than 2,000 ventilators, nearly 9 million ounces of hand sanitizer, more than 255,000 boxes of gloves, 2.4 million gowns, more than 2,000 beds, 210,000 testing supplies, 3,000 thermometers, 185,000 face shields, 22,000 cartons of disinfecting wipes, as well as other needed supplies. The additional funding provided today, along with the supplies and funding provided by the federal government, helps ensure that Michigan has the necessary resources to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Also Monday, Gov. Whitmer announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.
“The State of Michigan is dedicated to implementing measures to protect the health of all our residents and we understand financial health is critical as we meet this challenge together,” said Whitmer. “This increase and expansion of unemployment benefits will provide a measure of security for Michigan working families who lost their income due to the pandemic. We are committed to ensuring emergency financial relief for unemployed residents who continue to stay home and stay safe.”
Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19
Under the 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. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.
Benefits Increased for All Unemployed Workers
Under the CARES Act, weekly benefits for all unemployed workers will be increased 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. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken.
“We appreciate the patience Michigan residents have shown with the unemployment system over the last few weeks as we continue to provide emergency financial assistance during this historical demand. I want to assure every eligible worker in our state who needs to apply for unemployment benefits that they will receive them,” said Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “We continue to urge workers to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA and to utilize our new filing schedule based on their last name. UIA staff is working as hard and fast as they can to process claims and we continue to reallocate resources and upgrade technology to serve our customers.”
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.
New Filing Schedule:
Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA. Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8PM-8AM
- 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 8:00am – 5:00pm.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
- Fridays (8:00am – 5:00pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.