Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) on March 28 signed HB 5525, which contained $139.8 million in funding for the state’s unemployment insurance program. The bill directed $100 million of federal coronavirus relief funding into the state’s unemployment trust fund. The remaining funds were earmarked to cover administrative improvements to the Unemployment Insurance Agency and fund the Office of the Attorney General’s fraud recovery activities.
Unemployment insurance refers to a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.
The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.