State Temporarily Expands Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-10 temporarily expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits effective immediately, and until Tuesday, April 14, at 11:59 p.m. 

Under the order, unemployment benefits would be extended to the following:

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

The State is also seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance. 

Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be extended: 

  • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 
  • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days.  
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.  

Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found here.  

This response came following the Governor signing an order earlier today suspending the operations of all restaurants and bars, theaters, casinos, and other public spaces in the state of Michigan to help mitigate the novel coronavirus pandemic. The order will go into effect at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 16, and is in effect through March 30.

The order states that it applies to:

  • Restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries and clubs
    • Restaurants may allow five customers inside at a time to pick up orders, so long as they stay six feet apart from each other, according to the order.
  • Movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues
  • Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios and spas
  • Casinos

The order states that it does not apply to:

  • Office buildings
  • Grocery stores, markets and food pantries
  • Pharmacies, drug stores, providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities and residential care facilities
  • Juvenile justice facilities
  • Warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities

To stay informed of the most recent Executive Orders and for other business and individual resources available from the State, please refer to the State of Michigan’s dedicated Coronavirus site at

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