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About 545,000 Michiganders could regain federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits soon

Jordi Vich Navarro

Some financial relief is on the way for about 545,000 people in Michigan whose unemployment benefits abruptly ceased in December. 

The state of Michigan says it has now completed updates to its unemployment claims websiteto accommodate the additional federal aid. 

Eleven weeks of additional federal pandemic-related benefits were reinstated in December under the Continued Assistance Act, for people who can't work for COVID-19 reasons, self-employed people whose jobs and income dried up, and people whose state benefits ran out. The benefits are retroactive to the week ending January 2, 2021. 

State officials say there could be many more people who become eligible over time for the additional benefits if they end up losing a job more than once due to the pandemic.

But the state's benefits application website was not functioning properly on Monday, meaning many people who tried to re-apply right away were likely unable to do so. State officials say they will update the status of the website on Facebook and Twitter as soon as it is functioning again.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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