Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updates

SEMCA Michigan Works! continues to monitor the Coronavirus situation carefully and will update this page regularly as new information becomes available.

Due to large-scale fraud attempts against state unemployment programs across the nation, the UIA has developed additional measures to protect certain claimants by requiring further identity verification and claim eligibility authentication. It is important to note that no personal data from claimants has been stolen from the UIA.

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The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today warned residents of attempts by criminals to file imposter claims in pursuit of benefits. The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) recently issued a national alert regarding an international criminal ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large scale fraud against state unemployment programs.

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The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation want the state’s food and agriculture companies to know they are now eligible for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and EIDL Advance programs. Qualified Michigan food and agriculture businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have fewer than 500 employees, are encouraged to prepare their business financial information and apply.

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“Futures for Frontliners” program will provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies. 

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The 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Payment website — developed by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan — walks people through a step-by-step process to ensure they’ve provided the IRS with the information necessary to receive their stimulus checks. 

The website has information on how to open a safe and affordable bank account, how to file a simple tax return for free, and how to provide the IRS with a current address (although it still could take up to five months to receive a stimulus check by mail). 

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For those who choose direct deposit on the initial claim, the payment information from the initial claim is not being sent to the PUA claim.

Take these steps in MiWAM to update the payment information on you PUA claim, then certify the weeks to release the funds.

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This guide provides information on how to access programs aimed at supporting Michiganders during the coronavirus outbreak. The programs in this guide are supported by the state and federal government, private companies, and nonprofits that serve the majority of Michigan residents, plus there is a special section for programs serving Detroit residents and links to local resources in other areas of the state. The coronavirus outbreak and responses are evolving quickly, and this guide will continue to be updated.

The guide is available for download in Arabic, English, and Spanish.

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is launching a statewide warmline for Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions. The warmline will connect individuals with certified peer support specialists who have lived experiences of behavioral health issues, trauma or personal crises, and are trained to support and empower the callers.

The warmline will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 888.PEER.753 (888.733.7753). It is intended to serve individuals living with persistent mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and trauma. 

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LANSING, Mich. – Michiganders who lose a job, resulting in a loss of their healthcare coverage or a change in income, may have low or no-cost healthcare options available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Consumers in these situations are not required to wait for the yearly Open Enrollment Period and should act now.

“Michiganders who lose employer-based health insurance may have options to continue or replace their coverage,” said Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita G. Fox. “If consumers have questions about enrolling, DIFS is available to assist.”

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If you are a veteran seeking help in filing claims or appeals, please contact your Veteran Service Officer (VSO). If you don’t yet have a VSO, please call 1-800-MICH-VET and you will be directed to someone who can assist you.

Experts in our Veteran Resource Service Center stand ready to answer any veteran-centric questions about benefits and services for health care, education, employment and other quality-of-life issues. Just call 1-800-MICH-VET, email at MVAAResourceCenter@michigan.gov or go to michiganveterans.com for more information.

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Gretchen Whitmer today announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. 

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Approximately 350,000 Michigan families will have access to additional food assistance benefits as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and about 27,000 individuals will be temporarily exempt from federal work requirements.

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BEGINNING SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 2020

Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA

  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule – 866.500.0017

  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fridays (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

For more information visit Michigan.gov/UIA

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-26, which pushes all April 2020 state and city income tax filing deadlines in Michigan to July 2020, as a part of continued efforts to help Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective immediately, state of Michigan and city of Detroit income tax returns and payments due on April 15 are now due before midnight on July 15. Other state of Michigan cities with income taxes due on April 15 will now be due on July 15, while cities with income taxes due on April 30 will now be due on July 31.

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Michigan’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus can now apply for grants and loans through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The program will provide up to $20 million in grants and loans to provide economic assistance to Michigan’s small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and in turn help support workers and their families facing economic uncertainty during the outbreak. Information on how to apply, as well as eligibility criteria, is available at michiganbusiness.org/covid19.

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The State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today provided updated information for workers affected by COVID-19. Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866.500.0017, but due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal.

The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits.

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The latest data shows 108,710 unemployment claims were filed between last Monday and Friday, compared to a normal average of around 5,000 claims – an approximate 2,100% increase. States from around the country have experienced similar increases in unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19.

Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or 866.500.0017.

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The Michigan Small Business Relief Program approved today authorizes the MEDC provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce.

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“This designation unlocks critical financial resources for small businesses across the state impacted by the tough, but necessary steps we have taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus here in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “While access to these loans is vital, we are continuing to look at every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by coronavirus.”  

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The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity today provided guidance to Michigan employers on how to avoid potential layoffs related to COVID-19.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today announced that MDHHS will close its lobbies to visits from the public, except for appointments, and will stop requiring residents to visit MDHHS offices in order to receive state assistance benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Recent developments caused by the Coronavirus situation have necessitated the following changes to services offered at SEMCA Michigan Works American Job Centers.

Effective immediately:

  • All SEMCA Michigan Works! American Job Centers are open for appointments only.
  • To file an unemployment claim, please file online at www.Michigan.gov/UIAor call 866.500.0017.
  • If your unemployment claim is a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) you are NOT required to report in person at a Michigan Works! American Job Center to register for work.
  • All workshops, job fairs, and large group activities are currently postponed.

Call 800.285.9675 to find the nearest American Job Center near you or visit one of SEMCA’s six Job Centers.

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. This executive order is effective immediately and until Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59 p.m. 

Under the governor’s order, unemployment benefits would be extended to: 

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill. 
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 

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SEMCA Michigan Works! Job Centers are open. However, in light of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) health and safety concerns, we strongly encourage making an appointment before visiting.

If you are applying for Unemployment Benefits, we encourage you to apply online.

Effective Monday, March 16, all workshops, job fairs and large group activities have been postponed until further notice. 

See the phone numbers below or call 800.285.9675 TTY/TDD: 711 to find an American Job Center near you.

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Thank you for being a valuable partner in our efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the announcement of the state’s first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are providing recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of the virus. These recommendations apply at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play. Please take a moment to review the Interim Recommendations to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (March 11, 2020). Information about this outbreak is changing rapidly.

You can stay informed by regularly visiting Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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