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TMCNet:  Legislation Extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program through 2013

[January 03, 2013]

Legislation Extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program through 2013

Jan 03, 2013 (M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs As a result of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, Congress passed and the President signed legislation which extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) until January 1, 2014.

Prior to passage of the legislation, affected claimants had been notified by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) that the week ending December 29, 2012 was the last week for which they could be paid EUC benefits. Since the program has been extended, those who had an EUC claim with a remaining balance beyond December 29, 2012, should continue to certify for benefit payments by phone or online through the Michigan Automated Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN) on their regular appointment dates and times. No other action needs to be taken by claimants. Claimants who exhaust their regular state benefits with payment ending December 29, 2012 or after will receive a notice by mail with instructions to file an EUC claim.

EUC provides up to 34 weeks of federally-funded extended unemployment benefits (based on a four tier system) to workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits.

There are established unemployment rate thresholds that states must meet in order to remain eligible for the EUC program. The thresholds are based upon a three-month average of the total unemployment rate (TUR). Michigan's three month average TUR must remain at 9 percent or above to be eligible to provide all four tiers of the EUC program.

For additional information regarding the EUC program, claimants may contact the UIA in the following ways: - Visit the UIA website at to review EUC program updates or to submit an inquiry to the Agency's Virtual Problem Resolution (ViPR) agents who are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Call the UIA Customer Service Line at 1-866-500-0017. Customer Service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Visit a UIA Problem Resolution Office (PRO) for in-person assistance. There are 14 PROs statewide. Visit the UIA website at for a list of locations.

- Call the UIA Emergency Unemployment Compensation hotline, 1-800-638-3995 for pre-recorded updates to EUC program information.

Due to potentially high call volumes, and wait times in offices, the Agency recommends customers interact with its ViPR agents through an online claim web account. To register for an online claim web account, visit and select "UIA Online Services for Unemployed Workers." Questions and Answers Regarding the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program On January 1, 2013, Congress passed and the President signed legislation which extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) through the end of 2013. The program will end on January 1, 2014.

Prior to passage of the legislation, affected claimants had been notified by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) that the week ending December 29, 2012 was the last week for which they could be paid EUC benefits.

What should claimants do to continue to receive EUC benefits Those who had an EUC claim with a remaining balance beyond December 29, 2012, should continue to certify for benefit payments by phone or online on their regular appointment dates and times through the Michigan Automated Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN). No other action needs to be taken by claimants. Claimants who have exhausted their regular state benefits with payment ending December 29, 2012, or after, will be notified by mail with instructions on how to file an EUC claim.

What are federal unemployment benefits During periods of high unemployment in a state, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) may become available to workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits. The EUC program provides up to 34 weeks of UI benefits. The program is funded by the federal government.

What criterion is used to qualify states for the EUC program The federal government established unemployment rate thresholds that the states must meet in order to remain eligible for the EUC program. In Michigan, the total unemployment rate (TUR) must be at a certain percentage (based on a three month average) for the state to remain eligible for EUC. Michigan's three month average TUR must remain at 9 percent or above to be eligible to provide all four tiers of the EUC program.

How many claimants are currently receiving unemployment benefits through Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency As of week ending December 29, 2012, approximately 205,000 claimants are receiving benefits in Michigan. This includes individuals receiving regular state unemployment benefits and Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

How many claimants are currently receiving federal unemployment benefits through the EUC program Currently, 84,000 claimants are collecting EUC benefits.

Are there additional requirements for claimants entering EUC Yes. Individuals who are entering Tier 1 of the EUC program are required to report in-person to a local Michigan Works! Office for reemployment services. Additionally, EUC claimants must continue to submit documentation of their work searches to the UIA prior to biweekly certification through MARVIN or MARVIN Online. Individuals are required to report the details and results of their work search on Form UIA 1583 Bi-Weekly Emergency Unemployment Compensation Record of Work Search.

How can a claimant determine how many weeks of benefits he/she will receive Claimants can access this information online through their Claimant Web Account or call MARVIN (Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network) at 1-866-638-3993 and select Option 2.

How is the federal unemployment benefit program funded The federal government funds the EUC program. Michigan employers are not charged for any EUC benefits paid to claimants.

When is the last week payable for EUC benefits The last week payable for the EUC program will be week ending Dec. 28, 2013, regardless of any remaining weeks left on any EUC claim.

What should claimants do if they will soon exhaust their EUC benefits Unemployed workers with online web accounts with the UIA can check their "Benefit Payment History" for information about their remaining weeks of benefits. Workers who have not established online accounts can call MARVIN at 1-866-638-3993 and press option 2. Additional information about the end of EUC will be posted on the UIA website (www.michigan.gov/uia). In addition, the Agency has established a toll-free telephone number 1-866-MI-HELPS (1-888-644-3577) for people to call for pre-recorded information about the extension program and their remaining benefits. Individuals can visit http://www.mitalent.org for job and training information.

How can claimants find out more about EUC - Visit the UIA website at to review EUC program updates or to submit an inquiry to the Agency's Virtual Problem Resolution (ViPR) agents who are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Call the UIA Customer Service Line at 1-866-500-0017. Customer Service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

- Visit a UIA Problem Resolution Office (PRO) for in-person assistance. There are 14 PROs statewide. Visit the UIA website at for a list of locations.

- Call the Agency's Emergency Unemployment Compensation hotline, 1-800-638-3995 for pre-recorded updates to EUC program information.

Contact: Mario Morrow 517-373-9280 ((M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com.

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