Federal Unemployment Expiring, Starting Today

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

So many people are wondering about their jobless benefits that unemployment offices across the state are packed with people trying to find out when exactly their benefits expire.

There's so much traffic you may not even be able to get through on the phones.

That's because you're not the only one calling. With federal benefits discontinued as of December 1, Michiganders have a lot of questions.

"They're wondering, 'how many more weeks do I have left before the unemployment benefits that have been putting on food on my family's table are actually gone?'" said Stephen Geskey, director of Michigan's Unemployment Agency.

The answer depends on your program. According to Geskey, the 26-week state benefits won't be affected but once you've exhausted those you'll no longer be able to extend them. He says if you're already getting federal emergency unemployment compensation you're eligible through the remainder of your tier but can't advance to the next one. If you've already exhausted those benefits and are getting extended benefits, those run out January 1.

In the next few months, the agency expects even more people to be calling and visiting its problem resolution offices. It predicts between now and April of next year nearly 200,000 people will lose the benefits they rely on.

Sherin Weicht has been out of work for four years but now that her husband is too, things have become even more difficult on their family.

"We've had to downsize. We moved from a house to an apartment, from Charlotte to Lansing where jobs are more readily available," Weicht said.

"We've got kids in school, kids in college," said her husband David Weicht. "We're obviously concerned."

David Weicht just started receiving unemployment a month ago, so he's safe for at least another 22 weeks under the state benefits.

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