WASHINGTON D.C.(WTVB) - Weekly emergency unemployment checks counted on by thousands of jobless Michigan residents will be smaller with less money beginning March 31st. The federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation program offers up to 34 weeks of benefits to unemployed Michiganders who have used up their 5 months of state unemployment benefits. But starting at the end of the month, the weekly check amounts will be reduced by 10.7 percent.
The cutback is because of that word sequester — the $85 billion in automatic, immediate federal budget cuts that took effect March First .The bottom line shows the average weekly jobless benefit drops from $285.21 down to $254.69. Just under 75,000 people in Michigan receive the money through the EUC program. Those benefits were going to expire at the end of 2012, but on January 1, Congress passed legislation to extend the program through the end of this year. Michigan’s extended benefit program was stopped in February a year ago as a result of declining unemployment rates.