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Feds approve Michigan's plan for $300 in additional jobless aid

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan's application to provide $300 in additional federal assistance per week to unemployed residents during the COVID-19 pandemic has won the approval of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the approval Friday, labeling it "good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work."

She also called on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, President Donald Trump and Congress "to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet."

The extra $300 federal payment will benefit about 910,000 eligible residents, according to Whitmer's office. The supplemental unemployment assistance was made available through a Trump executive order. 

Claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the program, according to a press release.

The additional benefits will be added automatically for all claimants who are eligible to receive at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefit payments, the release said. The maximum weekly payment with the federal aid is $662. 

In early August, Trump issued an executive order that replaced the expired extra $600 federal unemployment payment authorized under a prior coronavirus stimulus package with the $300 payment and a $100 match from states. The state said earlier this week that it authorized pulling that $100 from the $362 it would otherwise pay claimants from the Unemployment Trust Fund. 

Michigan experienced record levels of unemployment this spring as restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 shuttered the state's economy.

July's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7%, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.

The figure is 6.2 percentage points below June's rate and above July's national average of 10.2%. A year ago, however, Michigan's unemployment rate was 4.1%.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

Staff Writers Beth LeBlanc and Breana Noble contributed.