Michiganders could lose unemployment benefits if no action is taken in next few days, Whitmer says

Whitmer says hundreds of thousands of residents will lose benefits if legislature doesn’t act

Michigan investigating if new hires are stealing from Unemployment Insurance Agency

LANSING, Mich. – Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents could lose their unemployment benefits if lawmakers don’t act in the next few days, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Michigan Supreme Court struck down Whitmer’s coronavirus (COVID-19) executive orders last week, ruling that the 1945 law she cited to issue them without legislative approval is unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, she called on the Republican-leg legislature to return to the Capitol and negotiate new orders.

“The first order of business they should undertake when they return is to codify my executive order on unemployment, because without swift action, hundreds of thousands of people in our state -- hundreds of thousands of hard-working people who have families and need to put food on the table -- will lose their unemployment benefits if the legislature doesn’t act in the next few days.”

The legislature has called a recess through the end of October, but Whitmer asked them to return to Lansing for negotiations. The two side haven’t been able to reach agreements since Whitmer extended the state of emergency without legislative approval in April.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued regulations on masks, gatherings and some businesses, but Whitmer specifically wants to tackle the topic of unemployment.

“These are the men and women who’ve lost a job and were counting on expanded benefits to put food on the table for their kids,” Whitmer said.

On Sept. 8, Whitmer signed a bill to allow Michigan residents who qualify for unemployment to earn an extra $300 per week.

The bill appropriated $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The $300 payments were set to continue until the relief funding was exhausted.

More coverage

Here’s much more previous coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:




Individual stories:


About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.