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Federally-Funded Unemployment Benefits Set to Expire

Targeted News Service

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 19 -- The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued the following news release:

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which provides federally-funded unemployment benefits for people who exhaust their regular state benefits, will expire on December 28, 2013.

According to federal law, the last week anyone can be paid EUC is December 28, 2013. Unless Congress passes legislation funding the program, no extended benefits can be paid for any weeks after the week ending date of December 28, 2013, even if there is a balance on a federal extension claim.

The federally funded EUC program has most recently provided up to 37 weeks of extended benefits for people who have exhausted their regular state benefits.

"Currently, over 43,000 people are receiving EUC benefits in Michigan," said Shaun Thomas, director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). "Although it's been modified several times, the EUC program has been around since 2008 to provide an extra cushion for people while they are looking for a new job."

The UIA is in the process of notifying claimants affected by this change. Additionally, the UIA continues to partner with the Michigan Works! Agency to offer valuable re-employment, training and educational opportunities. The UIA also provides information to claimants regarding other state resources and supportive services that may be available.

"While the end of EUC will present a challenge for those who are searching for new employment," said Stephanie Comai, deputy director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. "Michigan's improving economy and new job placement programs will present more opportunities for unemployed workers now, than in the past five years for workers who are making the transition back to into the workforce."

Those who have exhausted unemployment benefits can find additional resources for health care, family support, housing, and more, by visiting http://www.michigan.gov/helpinghand. Unemployed workers should also visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at http:www.mitalent.org to obtain information regarding job and training opportunities.

For pre-recorded updates about the EUC program, contact the Agency's EUC hotline at 1-800-638-3995. TTY customers should call 1-866-366-0004.

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara

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Frequently Asked Questions

Expiration of Tier 4 of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Benefits

As a result of federal law, the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program will end effective December 28, 2013.

What is EUC?

During periods of high unemployment in a state, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) may become available to workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits. The EUC program is funded by the federal government.

EUC is a 100% federally funded program that provides benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular state benefits. The EUC program was implemented on June 30, 2008, and has been modified several times. Most recently, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) extended the expiration date of the EUC program to week ending Dec. 28, 2013.

What does this mean for Claimants?

* Effective immediately, if you are currently receiving EUC Tier 3 and you exhaust during week ending 12/7/2013 or later, you may qualify for Tier 4. If you are eligible for Tier 4 you will collect Tier 4 EUC benefits until December 28, 2013 after which no federal extensions are available.

* If you exhaust EUC Tier 3 benefits on or before week ending November 30, 2013, your EUC benefits will end with your Tier 3, as you would not be eligible for EUC Tier 4.

* If you are currently collecting Emergency Unemployment Compensation, also called EUC benefits, from one of the four tiers, the last week for which you can be paid EUC benefits is December 28, 2013. Regardless of the number of remaining weeks of payment on your EUC claim it will end with payment for week ending December 28, 2013. You cannot be paid for any EUC weeks after the week ending December 28, 2013, even if you have certified for those later weeks in MARVIN.

What criterion is used to qualify states for the EUC program?

The federal government established unemployment rate thresholds that the states must meet in order to remain eligible for the EUC program. Michigan's three month average total unemployment rate (TUR) must remain at 9 percent or above to be eligible to provide all four tiers of the EUC program. For Tier 3, the TUR must remain at 7 percent or above; for Tier 2 the TUR must remain at 6 percent or above. Tier 1 does not have a TUR threshold.

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When is the last week payable for EUC benefits?

The last week payable for the EUC program will be week ending Dec. 28, 2013, regardless of any remaining weeks left on any EUC claim.

How many claimants are currently receiving unemployment benefits through Michigan'sUnemployment Insurance Agency?

* As of November 2013, there are 82,000 claimants collecting regular state and federal EUC benefits. Of that total, approximately 43,000 claimants are collecting EUC Benefits.

What help is available for claimants when EUC benefits end?

* Claimants may call the UIA Information Hotline at 1-800-638-3995 for pre-recorded information about EUC (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week). For TTY services, please call 1-866-366-0004.

The UIA has provided a list of agencies that may be able to provide assistance to claimants when their unemployment benefits end:

HealthCareResources

Visit www.healthcare4mi.com or phone1-888-988-6300.

FamilySupport, HousingAssistance and HealthCare

Visit the Helping Hand Websiteat www.michigan.gov/helpinghand

Foreclosure Assistance

Visit the Michigan State Housing Development Authority website at www.michigan.gov/mshda

UtilityBillPaymentAssistance

Visit the Michigan Public Safety Commission website at http:www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/winterwise/eadirectory11.pdf

FoodAssistance, MedicalAssistance, CashAssistance, EmergencyServicesand Child Care

Visit the State of Michigan's Bridges Program website at www.mibridges.michigan.gov

Educational Opportunitiesand Employment Assistance

Visit the Michigan Works!Agencies website at http://www.michiganworks.org/

Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org

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Copyright: (c) 2013 Targeted News Service
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