Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Information Released Concerning UIA Extension in Michigan

unemployment benefits

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has issued an informational memo, designed to more fully explain exactly how the new unemployment extensions, passed by Congress and effective November 8th, will work.

According to the memo, available for download here, those who have already exhausted their regular and extended benefits should begin receiving letters in the mail, by November 24th, with instructions on how to apply and certify for the new extensions. Those who have not, yet, exhausted their benefits, but will do so by year's end, will receive further instructions as they continue to certify through Marvin.

Under the new law, those whose benefits have or will expire by December 31st will qualify for the first extension, called Tier III, which will be paid retroactive to date of passage of the bill, November 8th. Payments should begin sometime in December. Initially, the extension will run for 14 weeks. There is another 6 weeks available, but that extension, called Tier IV, also expires on December 31st. So, as it stands now, no one will be able to qualify for the additional 6 weeks of benefits, since one must first exhaust the Tier III period of 14 weeks and there are less than 14 weeks left in the year. This is due to the delay in getting the bill through Congress. Congress has stated, however, that they will revisit the issue to try and correct this discrepancy and further extend unemployment benefits into 2010. Only time will tell.

One little known aspect of the new bill is that it also added one extra week of benefits to the current Tier II extension, increasing it from 13 to 14 weeks. Those who are now collecting on Tier II benefits will receive a redetermination in the mail, adding the extra week of benefits. The UIA expects to begin making payments on the new extension as quickly as possible. They estimate that 70,000-80,000 unemployed Michigan workers, who have exhausted all unemployment benefits, may qualify for the new extension.