Federal unemployment benefits have ended: What to know

Resources still available for those no longer receiving benefits

Photo of Angela Mulka
FILE - A business woman holds a help wanted sign outside of a store front in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

FILE - A business woman holds a help wanted sign outside of a store front in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Enhanced unemployment benefits have provided salvation for millions of Americans for the last year and a half, but that aid came to an end last week.

Michigan workers who have been receiving federal jobless benefits through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and American Rescue Plan Act saw those programs expire on Sept. 4, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

The enhanced benefits, designed to help Americans who lost jobs because of the pandemic who weren't covered by traditional state benefits, were enacted by the federal CARES Act under former President Donald Trump last year. The boost, originally $600 but later cut in half, was extended twice.

There were still nearly 89,000 Michigan residents receiving regular state benefits as of Aug. 7, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, who will continue to receive benefits after the federal programs expire. Their benefit amount will drop to a maximum of $362 a week as the extra $300 goes away, according to Detroit Free Press.

And there are still 20,000 unpaid claimants, according to the agency's data, and each case needs to be examined.

Due to the unemployment in the U.S. dropping to 5.4%, from from its high of 14.8% in April 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Biden does not plan to reinstate enhanced weekly $300 unemployment benefits. He is encouraging states that want to continue the extra payments to use their portion of COVID-19 rescue funds, $350 billion in direct aid from the American Rescue Plan, for this.

Which unemployment programs have expired?

The week ending Sept. 4, 2021 is the last payable week of benefits from these programs that were established with the CARES Act and continued under the American Rescue Plan Act:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: for the self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and others who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: Extends benefits after you run out of regular unemployment benefits.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: The extra $300 a week for all eligible claimants.
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation: Provides an additional $100 per week to certain claimants who have earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.

Claimants who have eligible weeks prior to Sept. 4 should visit here for what to do.

Resources are available for those no longer receiving benefits.

Benefit recipients are reminded that the State of Michigan has several programs and services to assist in their search for a job or other help. Those who receive federal pandemic unemployment assistance are urged by the State to take part in job search, training and assistance programs that are available through various state agencies.

"There are numerous free resources and programs available to support individuals in taking their next steps," said Stephanie Beckhorn, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's Office of Employment and Training, in a statement. "Whether they want to conduct a job search, explore new career pathways or discover educational or training programs, there are many opportunities they can pursue."

  • Pure Michigan Talent Connect at MITalent.org is a free job search resource that lists more than 90,000 jobs currently available in Michigan.
  • The Michigan Return to Work Playbook is an online portal that features job readiness and industry/job specific resources as well as resources to support specific individuals (such as veterans or individuals with disabilities).
  • Career exploration, resume assistance, interview skills, classroom and on-the-job-training, virtual and in-person job fairs and more are provided through a local Michigan Works! service center. Call 800-285-WORKS or visit here.
  • Apply for healthcare coverage, food and cash assistance, and more using the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services' MI Bridges system, which also lists helpful state and local resources.

Nick Assendelf with Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency told WLNS 6 that there are many work programs available to those that now fall outside of the criteria for state unemployment.

“There’s also the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that has MI Bridges, and that’s if you are still unable to find a job, or pay utilities bills or need food assistance. The MI Bridges program can help you in that sense,” Assendelf said.

For more information about the end of federal benefits or state assistance for those who are unemployed, visit here