$5.6B distributed to unemployed Michigan workers amid the coronavirus pandemic

Officials say about 92% of eligible claimants have received benefits

(Photo by Alexander Mils)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced Wednesday that 92% of eligible individuals have received their unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand as of Wednesday morning

According to the UIA 1,717,555 Michigan residents have filed a claim for state and federal benefits since March 15, when the pandemic hit the state.

Of those who filed a claim, officials say 1,374,751 workers -- about 92% -- have received benefits totaling $5.6 billion.

The update follows news that the U.S. unemployment rate his risen to 14.7% in April from 4.4% in March -- an increase resembling trends from the Great Depression in the 1930s.

READ: US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7%

Though officials report high percentages of Michigan claimants receiving benefits, Michiganders have been struggling to apply for and receive unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With an unprecedented number of lay offs, furloughs and terminations for Michigan workers due to the pandemic, the state’s unemployment infrastructure was overwhelmed by millions of people in need.

In response Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order last week intended to help residents receive their benefits much quicker.


Check out our latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.