A new Michigan law allows the state’s unemployment agency to stop seeking repayment of benefits from part-time workers who started to qualify for benefits when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill Monday (Feb. 28), putting an end to a conflict between state law and a federal program that gave unemployment aid to people who weren’t otherwise eligible, such as part-time employees.
It retroactively states that claimants receiving the benefits could certify they were able and available to take on part-time employment.
The law should spare thousands of Michiganders headaches, as the sponsor states it takes care of confusion for part-time workers who started getting benefits but later had to face the possibility of being required to repay them.
“As we continue to grow our economy, my top priority is working toward bipartisan solutions to save Michiganders time and money,” Governor Whitmer said in a statement. “I’ve always said that Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits. The changes in this legislation will streamline our unemployment system and provide relief to Michiganders who needed these federal benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses.”