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The Unemployment Insurance Agency is reminding claimants that federal unemployment benefit programs are expiring. The last payable week of benefits from these programs that were established with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and continued under the American Rescue Plan Act is the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.
Since March 15, 2020, more than 2.4 million Michiganders have received more than $38 billion in unemployment benefits, which has supported local businesses, helped families to pay their bills and contributed to the state's overall economic recovery.
About 442,000 Michiganders will see their pandemic unemployment assistance benefits end.
Here's what you need to know:
What unemployment benefits are expiring Sept. 4?
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): for the self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and others who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
•Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): additional benefits for those on regular unemployment claims after their regular benefits have been exhausted.
• Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): The extra $300 a week for all eligible claimants.
• Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC): an additional $100 per week to certain claimants who have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
When will I receive my last payment for federal benefits?
The week ending Sept. 4 is the last week for which you can receive federal benefits. You may file your weekly certification for that week on or after Sept. 5, and if eligible, you will receive payment for your last week of federal benefits.
What if I still have weeks remaining on my claim?
The Sept. 4 end date applies even if you still have benefit weeks left on your claim. No PUA, PEUC, PUC or MEUC benefits will be paid for weeks ending after Sept. 4 because of the expiration of these programs.
What if I have weeks before Sept. 4 that still haven't been paid?
If you are eligible for benefits for those weeks, we will continue to process and pay benefits for weeks you claimed through the week ending Sept. 4.
What if my claim is still being reviewed or I have filed an appeal?
If there is an issue with your claim, we will continue to work on it. If it's determined that you are eligible for benefits, you will receive those retroactively.
If I am receiving PEUC, will I be eligible for regular state benefits after Sept. 4?
Some claimants receiving PEUC benefits may be eligible for state benefits. To apply, log into your MiWAM account. Under Account Alerts, click the link to reopen/file a claim.
Do I have to do anything to close my account with UIA?
No. But you should continue to respond to any of our requests for information. Even if you have stopped claiming benefits or found a job, we might still need to contact you. Continue to check your account for the next year to assure no new claims have been filed in your name. If you see signs of fraud file a fraud or identity theft referral through your MiWAM account or contact the UIA's fraud hotline at 866-500-0017.
Will I be able to continue using my UIA debit card?
Yes. Because UIA changed its debit card provider, any unemployment funds received as of Aug. 25, 2021, will post to the new U.S. Bank debit card. However, if you have funds remaining on your Bank of America card, you can continue to use it until Nov. 30, 2021. Be sure to review all Bank of America correspondence regarding deadlines and how to access funds on Bank of America's debit cards.
What other type of assistance is available to me?
There are numerous programs and resources available to support you and your next steps. Start your job search on Pure Michigan Talent Connect by visiting MITalent.org. This free resource will help you search through the more than 90,000 jobs currently available in Michigan. Additionally, access services such as career exploration, resume assistance, interview skills, classroom and on-the-job-training, virtual and in-person job fairs and more though your local Michigan Works! service center. Call 800-285-WORKS or visit michiganworks.org.
NAACP, Black leaders demand Congress act on Voting Rights
By Stacy M. Brown,
NNPA Newswire National Correspondent
With voter suppression laws taking shape in Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and just about every GOP-led state in the nation, NAACP President Derrick Johnson is pleading for Democrats and the White House to show a sense of urgency.
In a scathing op-ed, Johnson said, “we cannot out-organize voter suppression.”
“We organized in November to put people in office to address the issue of voter suppression. We did not organize in November to let elected officials off the hook to organize again and overcome a new hurdle. Voters did their job as citizens, and now they’re simply asking elected officials to do their job to protect our right to vote,” Johnson remarked.
Nearly six decades after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights activists led the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, that helped establish voting rights for millions of Black Americans, African American leaders will again descend on the nation’s capital to demand Congress protect the rights.
Martin Luther King III, Yolanda King, Andrea Waters King, and others marched with more than 140 organizations and thousands of Americans on Aug. 28. to advocate for eliminating the Jim Crow filibuster and passing three critical voting rights bills – the For the People Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and the Washington D.C. Admission Act.
The mobilization comes just months after Black voters overcame significant barriers to the vote and organized their communities to change the course of the country — “and now ask that the White House and Congress do their part to protect our democracy and stand on the right side of history,” the leaders said in a news release.
In his Op Ed, Johnson declared that “voting rights shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Yet the contentious dispute on whether to defend every American’s right to vote has taken center stage in Congress, and for an unnecessary amount of precious time.”
He continued: “With time not on our side, there is no reason we should still be debating whether to pass a civil rights bill that will indubitably strengthen our fractured democracy by achieving the one goal our nation’s essence depends on – lending a voice to the people.”
Johnson contradicted Republican Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who infamously and erroneously stated that, “it is easier for eligible Americans to vote than ever before in American history.”
“State legislators around the country have introduced more than 400 bills that will make it more difficult for Americans to exercise their constitutional voting rights, and at least 18 states have passed such legislation,” Johnson wrote.
“Ingrained in these attacks on voting rights are generations-long patterns of discrimination targeting communities of color, particularly Black communities. The overwhelming evidence of voter suppression speaks to this truth: It is easier for privileged, eligible Americans to vote than ever before in American history.”
Any decision not in favor of significant voting legislation under consideration by Congress will cost the lives of millions of Americans whose very voices are jeopardized; Johnson insisted.
“For instance, in May, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation to ban curbside voting, consequentially forbidding poll workers to set up curbside voting centers and preventing voting machines from being stationed outside a polling place,” Johnson noted.
“While many proponents argue that this restriction is rightfully erected to honor the integrity of our elections, this rationalization completely disregards the lack of accommodating resources for the elderly and people with disabilities – and the overall safety and wellness of voters who reside in a state where COVID-19 vaccinations are abysmal and infection rates are rising.”
When signing the 1965 voting rights legislation, President Lyndon B. Johnson understood that the right to vote is an issue of human dignity, Johnson continued.
“He once said, ‘It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of states’ rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.”
“Elected officials hold the invaluable key to ensuring that our future elections are fair and accessible. Those in power who have given an oath to serve their district, their state, and inherently their country has a responsibility to commit to their purpose of guaranteeing that the people they represent, and champion will be heard and not be silenced.”
Federal Unemployment benefits end Sept. 4