Governor Rick Snyder signed controversial legislation making Michigan the first state in the country to reduce unemployment insurance. Starting in January, laid off Michigan residents will be eligible for only 20 weeks of jobless aid, instead of the standard 26 weeks. Snyder says the change was necessary to win political support in the Michigan legislature for maintaining the state’s eligibility for the federal Extended Benefits program.
EB provides 20 weeks of benefits for the long term unemployed. EB kicks in after a person has exhausted 53 weeks of Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation and 26 weeks of state benefits. Both EB and Federal Unemployment Compensation are set to expire in January. There is no guarantee that they will be extended as states all across the country struggle to manage their debt.
Laid off Michiganders could be left with just 20 weeks or five months of unemployment benefits.