Michigan Enacts Law to Reduce Weeks of Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation – New Trend in Payment of State Unemployment Benefits?
late March, the Governor of Michigan signed into law a bill that would reduce the
number of weeks an individual would be able to collect future unemployment compensation
benefits. Effective January 1st, 2012, Michigan will stop paying benefits to the unemployed
after only 20 weeks versus adhering to the current national standard of 26 weeks.
This 23% reduction in the amount of available benefits will be coming at a time when
the average duration of unemployment continues to rise and at the same time federal
extended benefits are currently scheduled to end.
change was quietly slipped into a bill geared toward making a technical change to
state law that would enable the state’s current long-term unemployed to continue receiving
extended unemployment benefits from the federal government for up to 99 weeks. These
federal extended benefits would have started being phased out in early April without
this technical change being made.
along with over thirty other states, have seen their unemployment trust funds become
depleted, as they were not sufficiently funded to meet the unforeseen demands of the
recent recession. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce indicated the new law could save
up to $300 million a year.
states, including Florida, are taking a hard look at ways to curtail benefits and
bring their unemployment trust funds back to solvency.
that Michigan has taken the initial “hit” from moving in the direction of reducing
the duration of unemployment benefits, it will be interesting to see if other states
will find it easier to follow their lead.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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