Self-employed, gig workers now able to get extra $300 in jobless aid in Mich.

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
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Workers relying on jobless aid in the form of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation can now reopen or certify their claims for the extra $300 in federal aid authorized by Congress in December. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is jobless aid available to those not always eligible for unemployment, such as self-employed or gig workers. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is for those who exhausted state benefits last year.

People seeking to apply under PUA and PEUC have been delayed since December as they waited for the state Unemployment Insurance Agency to update its system to comply with the federal extension, which also added 11 weeks of benefits. 

Those benefits will be payable retroactively for the week ending Jan. 2 through March 13.The supplemental $300 payment brings the maximum weekly jobless benefit to $662. 

The state began paying the extra $300 on regular state unemployment insurance on Jan. 11. 

"These are vital programs that have helped Michiganders provide for their families as we continue to navigate COVID-19,” UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson said in a statement. “While this is a huge step forward, we know there’s still more work to do to ensure everyone receives the benefits they are entitled to.”

President Donald Trump signed the $2 trillion COVID-19 and federal spending plan into law on Dec. 27.

New Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants should visit michigan.gov/uia to apply. Other Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claimants who exhausted jobless benefits last year will receive notification that they can reopen or certify for additional weeks.

Under new provisions, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants must provide proof of employment or self-employment, such as paycheck stubs, tax documents, business licenses or receipts, a signed affidavit or state or federal employer identification numbers. But they shouldn't submit the supplemental documentation until they're prompted to in the unemployment system. 

The state agency still is developing a program to compensate mixed earners, people who earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income to apply for another $100 in federal benefits. Once that's developed, it will be payable for unemployment between Dec. 27 and March 13. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

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