Michiganders currently receiving unemployment benefits may soon – if they haven’t already – see a reduction in the money paid to them.
Under the federal CARES Act, people receiving unemployment were eligible to receive an additional $600 a week on top of their state benefits which maxes out at $362. However, these additional extra payments expired on Saturday, July 25.
Like many states affected by COVID-19, Michigan has been experiencing a record level high of unemployment cases. Yet, Michigan is also one of the states to have recovered the fastest.
But despite the states gradual uphill recovery it still sits at record levels in terms of unemployment with a rate of 14.8-percent this past June, or 732,038 jobless Michiganders.
The U.S. House of Representatives — with a current majority of democrats — voted to extend the additional $600 through the proposed HEROES act which has yet to be taken up by the mostly Republican U.S. Senate.
The Senate on the other hand has proposed their own relief package – the HEALS act. Which much like CARES act, and to some extent the HEROES act, would extend benefits to out of work citizens.
Much like CARES act, both the HEALS and HEROES acts would give out a one-time stimulus payment of $1,200 to citizens. However, the criteria to qualify for the payment is different from act-to-act.
However, that is where the similarities between the two seem to end. The HEROES act appears to be an expansion of sorts on the CARES act and comes with $3 trillion price tag; whereas the HEALS act seems to be a reduction and comes with only a $1 trillion price tag.
Under the HEROES act out of work citizens would get an additional $1,200 for their dependents, with a capped amount of $3,600 (three dependents). Under the HEALS act, much like the CARES act, would give out $500 for dependents with no limit on the number.
Perhaps the most radical difference between the two proposed acts is their treatment of unemployment benefits. Whereas the HEROES acts look to extend the additional $600 a month to people’s unemployment benefits, the HEALS act looks to reduce this amount.
There would be an additional first-time payment of $200 made to people currently receiving unemployment, that would then be followed up by an additional $500 meant to supplement a person’s pay up to 70-percent.
The HEROES act would expire in January of 2021 for most workers, and March for gig workers. But the HEALS act would expire this September.
The HEROES act would continue to provide eviction protection to people currently unemployed. The HEALS act would not, but it does offer a return to work bonus of $450.
These are only some of the differences between the two acts. But in terms of small businesses it would appear that both expand upon the CARES’ Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The HEROES act would expand eligibility for PPP, eliminate the 75-percent payroll requirement, and the application period to Dec. 31. The HEALS act would add an additional $190 billion to PPP, allow for businesses to request a second loan, and eliminate the 75-percent payroll requirement.
One thing the HEALS act addresses that the HEROES act does not is liability protection for businesses and organizations. It would essentially protect schools, businesses, hospitals and more for up to five-years from being sued over COVID-19 related issues.