Michigan Unemployment Benefits Extension – Bill H3548 – 20 More Weeks

Michigan has the dubious honor of highest unemployment rate in all of America.  At 15.1% as of October, it leads the pack by a full 2 percentage points.  Nevada (13.0%) and Rhode Island (12.9%) are the next highest state and California is the next large state at 12.5% unemployment rate.

The reason the unemployment rate is so high in Michigan is because of the concentration of auto and parts plants in that state.  This industry was part of a high-profile government bailout and GM ended up going bankrupt anyway.  Needless to say this provides for a spike in unemployment as the auto sector will probably take a while to stabilize.

Fortunately the federal government has authorized and funded several unemployment benefit extensions this year and the recent bill H3548 extension is the latest (and probably not the last).  These extensions are part of the national stimulus package for 2009.

Michigan unemployment benefits are as follows:

  • EUC Tier 1 – 20 weeks  (7 weeks plus 13 weeks)
  • EUC tier 2 – 14 weeks (used to be 13)
  • EB  – 20 weeks
  • EUC tier 3 (new with bill H3548) 13 weeks or 19 weeks (if unemployment rate is greater than 8.5%)

This adds up to a total of 99 weeks.

The new benefits were originally planned to start in mid-December:

“We still anticipate that payments will begin on this new extension by mid-December,” Isotalo said. “Letters should be going out with information and instructions about the new extension and what people need to do to report for these new benefit payments” by Nov. 25.

In actual fact payments have already started for Michigan residents and many will get their checks starting just after Thanksgiving Day weekend.

The way things are set up now – these latest extensions will expire at the end of the year which means that not many people will get the full 20 weeks.  You need to use the tier 3 up before Dember 31, 2009 in order to get tier 4 which at this point is difficult to do.  There have been reports in the press that congress will be looking to extend the expiry date before the end of the year.

“Now that we have acted on the extension, we must quickly take up legislation to continue the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program itself, otherwise millions will be left without this important insurance come January,” concluded Rep. Levin.

“The action today responds to the needs of 100,000 in Michigan and one million people nationwide who have exhausted their benefits or will have exhausted them by the end of the year,” said Rep. Levin.  “With six people competing for every available job, unemployed workers need insurance to feed their families and pay their bills.”

In Michigan there are 99,000 people who would have run out of benefits by the end of the year without the latest extension.

25 replies on “Michigan Unemployment Benefits Extension – Bill H3548 – 20 More Weeks”

In Michigan, the agency has put out a recording and has made it impossible to reach a live person. Although I’ve certified, no payments were made and online information on my account is nonexistent. I’ve found the only way to reach the agency is through my state representative and senator’s office, who arrange a call to you from a UIA worker. They’ve had weeks to prepare for this while the Bill was stalled in congress, and the result is haphazard and zero ability to communicate with them. is now recognized on Google News Reader and is posting up-to-the-minute information regarding the latest extension!

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this Wednesday on the second omnibus bill which will include HR 4183. The measure will be paid with unused TARP funds in an effort to gain bipartisan support for easy passage this week. This is considered “must pass” legislation because most know it will also include 2010 Defense Spending and funding for other domestic programs.

This action will extend unemployment benefits which Congress has already approved past the 12/26, 12/31 expiration dates into 2010.

The official statement from Steny Hoyer is at

EVERYONE Go to VOTE on how long unemployment benefits should be extended. This is on MSNBC?s website which is good that we are getting the attention but so far there?s 7000 voters and so far Indefinitely is leading by a few % pts so lets show MSNBC there?s THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of us.

Phone Campaign to Begin on Monday 3/15? PLEASE JOIN US!!!

Senator Harry Reid: Phone= (202) 224-3542
Senator Jean Shaheen: Phone= (202) 224-2841

Senator Richard Durbin: Phone= (202) 224-2152
Senator Max Baucus: Phone= (202) 224-2651

Senator Debbie Stabenow: Phone= (202) 224-4822
Senator Sherrod Brown: Phone= (202) 224-2315

Senator Robert Casey: Phone= (202) 224-6324
Senator Chris Dodd: Phone= (202) 224-2823

Senator Al Franken: Phone= (202) 224-5641
Senator Arlen Specter: Phone= (202) 224-4254

Tier 5 to Survive :THE MOVIE made it to at least 2 websites. There is a stationary link to the YouTube video on the Unemployed – Friends website and also the following web page:

In 24 hours it has over 800 views but that will not get us the media attention or Washington action we desperately need! HELP IT GO VIRAL – PLEASE!
Shotgun to all your contacts. Use it in all your emails/fax to Washington and the media and TWEET it to EVERYONE. We will be heard. This is our battle cry!!!!!

House in Session today let?s make them calls to amend, hr

4213 for tier V.And send them faxes all weekend.

So 877-762-8762 is the toll-free number at the Capitol Hill

Switchboard, 202-224-3121

The 99ers need a Tier V added to Unemployment Benefits
The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House,

The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House, Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ), Sen.

Dick Durbin (IL), Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY), Sen. Harry

Reid (NV), Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi

(CA-08), Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Rep. Jim

McDermott (WA-07)

Senators and Representatives:

Good Morning,

I normally post on the Tennessee forum but have the same problems as other long term unemployed in the nation. Exhaustion of Tier 4 benefits. I really believe it is important to get our message out to the media in an effort for us to receive assistance during this period. Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, is going to have a segment tonight regarding unemployment. More importantly she has a blog from which input to the segment is retrieved. We really need our issue to come to light. You may or may not like MSNBC… that is your choice. However our problem extends beyond party or ideological barriers. We need to take care of our families.

16 TIER V TO SURVIVE April 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm


Do you agree with Coburn that an extension should be paid for? Or do you think that the measure should be considered ?emergency spending? and not be offset in the federal budget?

Take our poll, and if you would like to explain your position, do so in the comments section.

Yes 45% (756 votes)
No 52% (880 votes)
Undecided 2% (41 votes)
Total Votes: 1,677


It?s getting there!

Good Morning All! The petition is scheduled to be delivered to Congress next Tues, May 18. Per Issa’s request, I’m helping spread the word. World News Vine has offered their assistance in delivering the petition & covering the story. Sen. Reid’s office told Issa that he was looking at adding weeks to tier 4. We need this amendment to be added to HR 4213. This may be our only chance at more weeks. If you can donate $1 or $2 to help fund the printing of the petition, etc, please do so. See Issa’s letter below:

Great news!
WorldNewsVine has come to our rescue! But we have to help. I was encountering a lot of unexpected obstacles trying to organize getting the petition to Congress, and I began to think it wasn’t going to come together. People in Washington were saying they’d ‘get back to me,’ but even if they did, we just didn’t have time for that. Next week is when the ‘unemployment extension of filing deadlines’ is expected to be raised in Congress, and we hope to get weeks added to Tier 4 at that time. Then Congress leaves again the next week. There’s little hope of getting another bill other than that one because they are discussing such big issues before they leave.

WorldNewsVine has offered to run a short campaign to raise some money to send a person on our behalf. This person is known to them, has press credentials and is familiar with the Senate. He will bring the printed petition with 900 pages of signatures. The Senate requires 6 copies which is one of the obstacles I encountered.

Our emissary knows the ins and outs of the Senate and can arrange appointments with key senators. In addition, because he already has clearance, he can enter the Capital and question staffers in other offices, too. In addition to delivering the petition copies, he intends to ask questions on our behalf both in the Capital and in the ‘haunts’ he knows where staffers go after hours. Like I said, he’s familiar with the scene! He has a vested interest in this just like we do as he has also joined the ranks of the unemployed. What he finds out will be written in the WorldNewsVine, and all together, we’ll get a lot of publicity from this!

Now our part. We have to finance his trip. Many of our signers are already familiar with this online news source as they have been the single largest source of signers for us. They have written many articles about the petition and our numbers have taken a big jump every time they have done so. You’ll notice that I’ve given links to many of their articles in the letters I’ve sent out.

Obviously, they know we don’t have much money so they’re only asking for $1, $2, or $5 donations to cover the printing and travel expenses. The drive for him will be about 600 miles each way. He’s not being paid anything for this. I spent a long time on the phone with him today, and I’m more than impressed with his knowledge and commitment, but we couldn’t expect him to fund this himself.

Below is the site that has today’s article and the donate button. The button will be removed as soon as the goal is reached so if it’s still up there please give something. They have set a goal of Monday night, but sometimes you don’t get this letter until Tuesday. So, if the button is still up, they need more donations! If he doesn’t use the whole amount for his expenses, the rest will be donated to the Humane Society which is a special charity of WNV. I believe that for now, this is the best shot we have at getting additional benefits. Together, with our small donations, we’ll raise the amount needed!

we are really really in need of a tier 5 they was only off by three votes lets keep the pressure on lets do all we can because our families are helpless without this tier 5 it would be great it if could be approved before the 4th of july because we cant do anything for our families we need the help us 99ers need this badly everything is going wrong without the help we help vote them into the office and now its like 3 of those peole forgot about us . we are losing our homes cars and lives over this matter.who ever those 3 was the reason the bill was not passed for a tier 5 please find it in your heart to change your minds and help approve this bill thank u and may god bless u.

I am getting the shaft from the state of Michigan. I have gone over all the tiers about how many weeks I should have gotten and from adding them all up, I only got 33 weeks and I should have gotten ALOT more than that. Everytime I contact the UIA office here, they only tell me that I have exhausted all my weeks. Does anybody know of a good way of getting this taken care of?

In response to the above post by Ronald Brown…
If you find an answer to that question please share it with me as I have the same issue going on right now. I know many people that have collected for almost 2 years yet I’m being told I’ve exhausted my benefits and haven’t collected nowhere near as long.

We need to have a mass target of CALLS to the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell he must feel the pain and suffering of the 99ers by requesting that an e…xtension of a TIER 5 be added to the tax bill. just 3 hours 99ers ONLY HIM… ONLY HIM for… 3 hours. Office # 202-224-2541 Fax # 202-224-2499 Senate operator # 202-224-3121 The Senate has no 1-800 number….Thank u alll and God Bless u and your family

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