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COVID-19 and New Michigan Unemployment Benefits

Bos & Glazier, PLC
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Expanded Michigan Unemployment Benefits
Talking Points drafted by the Executive Direction of the Michigan Association of Justice – Stephen V. Pontoni

  • Michigan employees that are left without an income because of COVID-19 may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
  • On March 16, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 10-2020, which expands the definition of who is eligible for Unemployment. This order is effective through 11:59PM on April 14, 2020.
  • As a result of the order, employees are eligible for Unemployment Benefits if they self-isolate or self-quarantine for one of the following reasons:
  • This applies whether the you are laid-off due to COVID-19, or if you take a temporary leave of absence, so long as you are not already on sick leave or receiving disability benefits.
  • The amount of time you have to file has been extended from 14 days to 28 days.
  • Benefits have been extended from 20 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements have also been suspended.
  • The State is seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance. Efforts are also underway at the federal level to help these workers qualify for benefits.
  • Contact your state representative, state senator, U.S. representative, or U.S. senator and urge them to take action!
  • Eligible employees can apply for unemployment benefits online at, or by calling 1-866-638-3993.
  • If you need to talk with an employment attorney, please visit and click on “Find an Attorney.”
  1. Having elevated Risk from COVID-19 for being immunocompromised;
  2. Displaying symptoms of COVID-19;
  3. Having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19;
  4. Needing to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; OR
  5. Having a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive (i.e. childcare responsibilities arising from school closings)


The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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