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Criminal Justice & Legal System

People receiving unemployment checks will get their last $600 federal amount this week

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State of Michigan

This is the last week that Michiganders getting payments from unemployment insurance will see an additional $600  weekly amount from the federal government.

More than two million people in the state have received unemployment checks since the coronavirus pandemic shut the state down in March, causing an overnight recession.

Peter Ruark with the Michigan League for Public Policy says the maximum amount of state unemployment benefits someone can receive is $362 a week.  He says that's far too low, and has been for years.

"Currently, the $362 maximum unemployment benefit covers only 35% of the state average weekly wage," says Ruark.

He says many families could be unable to afford basic needs soon.

"Back to school clothing, car payments, rent or mortgage, emergency expenses," he says.  "$600 a week makes a very big difference in a family budget."

Ruark says it's possible Congress will restore the $600 weekly federal benefit, if the U.S. Senate agrees to pass the so-called  "HEROES" Act, which has already passed the U.S. House.

The HEROES Act is the proposed second stimulus package to mitigate the economic fallout from the pandemic and resulting recession, following the passage of the CARES Act earlier this year.

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