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Michigan to restore work-search rule, keep $300 supplement

All seven of Michigan's Republican U.S. House members are urging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to halt the extra payments.
Credit: WZZM

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan will reinstate a requirement that people receiving unemployment benefits show they are actively searching for work, effective May 30, but has no plan to end a $300 weekly federal supplement going to 816,000 jobless residents.

The work search requirement was suspended in March 2020 to help the increased number of Michiganders facing unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting May 30, claimants must actively seek work and report at least one work search activity for each week they claim benefits. According to the Unemployment Insurance Agency, a work search activity could include:

  • Submitting a job application.
  • Interviewing with an employer
  • Attending a job fair or employment workshop
  • Applying for the new Clean Slate program
  • Participating in reemployment services through Michigan Works! or creating an account on job search sites such as MiTalent.org.

To submit a work search activity, claimants will input the details of their work search when they certify online or by phone. Failure to submit a work search activity will result in a loss of benefits for that week.

“The availability of the COVID-19 vaccinations and the reopening of workplaces allows more opportunities for Michiganders to be safe and successful in their job search,” said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson.

While the search requirement is being reinstated, the state has no plan to end the $300 weekly federal supplement.

All seven of Michigan's Republican U.S. House members are urging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to halt the extra payment, which is on top of maximum state benefits of $362 per week.

But Lynda Robinson, spokeswoman for the state UIA, said it doesn't plan to end any federal unemployment programs, including for self-employed or gig workers who began qualifying in the pandemic.

*The AP contributed to this story. 

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