COMPANIES IN WEST MICHIGAN ARE HIRING!
Companies like SpartanNash, Meijer and many others are hiring at high volumes to keep up with current demand. Numerous positions are still available. Browse available jobs using the linked portals belows.
HELLO WEST MICHIGAN
The Hello West Michigan Featured Job Portal contains temporary, full and part-time positions from many of its 80 member companies. View the job portal using the link below.
APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Benefits are available to workers who have been temporarily laid off or lost their job through no fault of their own, and who have earned wages in Michigan over the past 18 months, and/or who passed the earnings test.
The earnings test is someone who with at least $3,589 in wages during one of the four quarters of 2019, had earnings in at least two quarters, and their total wages for the year were at least 1.5 times the wages of the highest-earning quarter.In response to the coronavirus crisis, Whitmer has expanded the unemployment insurance program to include:
Sick workers: Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
Workers caring for children out of school or ill family members: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off
First responders: Individuals working in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
During the coronavirus crisis, workers have 28 days to file a claim from the time they stopped working. That’s an extension from the normal 14-day deadline As a result of the coronavirus crisis, Whitmer has expanded the number of weeks that people can receive unemployment from 20 weeks to 26 weeks.
Your weekly unemployment benefit is calculated based on your earnings. Currently, the maximum benefit is $362 per week.
For more information and how to apply: View the comprehensive fact sheet from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) on claiming unemployment benefits in Michigan during the COVID-19 health crisis.
*Note: The UIA is working hard to handle the influx of applications for unemployment benefits.Under the CARES Act, unemployment benefits have been expanded to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment insurance. This includes workers who are self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig economy workers, and low-wage workers who can no longer work due to the outbreak.
**If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits prior to the CARE Act passage, they do not need to re-apply at this time. Additional guidance from UIA regarding eligibility and application details will be released in the coming days.
Online Filing Schedule:
Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8 PM-8 AM
Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule - 866-500-0017:
Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Fridays (8:00am – 5:00pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT
The bill includes several elements aimed at helping keep people engaged in the economy. That means direct cash for many, plus expanded unemployment benefits and new rules for things like filing your taxes and making retirement contributions.
Cash payments: Estimated to total $300 billion. Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Married couples would each receive a check and families would get $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150,000 can expect $3,400.
The checks start to phase down after that and disappear completely for people making more than $99,000 and couples making more than $198,000.
The cash payments are based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax filings. People who receive Social Security benefits but don't file tax return are still eligible, too. They don't need to file taxes; their checks will be based on information provided by the Social Security Administration.
Extra unemployment payments: This bill adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months (for example, if an out-of-work person is receiving the national average of about $340 per week, under the new federal program their take-home pay will be $940).
The legislation also adds 13 weeks of unemployment insurance. People nearing the maximum number of weeks allowed by their state would get an extension. New filers would also be allowed to collect the benefits for the longer period.
Gig workers and freelancers: This bill creates a new, temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through the end of this year to help people who lose work as a direct result of the public health emergency.
Tax Returns: Some people have not filed their 2019 tax returns, but that's OK. The filing deadline has been extended to July 15. The IRS also says that people who have filed or plan to can still expect to receive a refund if they are owed one.
Student Loans: Employers can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free student loan repayment benefits. That means an employer could contribute to loan payments and workers wouldn't have to include that money as income.
Temporary student loan relief: All loan and interest payments would be deferred through Sept. 30 without penalty to the borrower for all federally owned student loans.
Insurance coverage: The bill requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and makes all coronavirus tests free.
Receiving Your 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Check
Questions about receiving your 2020 coronavirus stimulus payment? Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, in partnership with Civilla, has put together an online resource that answers common questions and concerns and explains how to ensure you receive your check under varying circumstances.
WEST MICHIGAN WORKS! COVID-19 EMPLOYER RESOURCE CENTER
West Michigan Works! has created a resource center for employers & employees related to unemployment and COVID-19. View a toolkit from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), fact sheets, general guidance resources, handbooks and more on the West Michigan Works! site using the link below.
HEART OF WEST MICHIGAN UNITED WAY
United Way's 2-1-1 connects people to thousands of services in 14 counties: Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Ionia, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Leelanau, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, and Osceola. Services include food, shelter, utility assistance, disaster recovery, childcare, transportation, and more. Whoever you are, whatever your needs, 2-1-1 makes it easy to find help for yourself, a neighbor, or a loved one. In 2017, we answered more than 60,000 calls for help. (Please note that 2-1-1 is an information and referral service and does not provide direct services or financial assistance.)
LOOKING TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES DURING THIS TIME?
Local First has developed multiple resources to help community members identify and support local businesses that are offering online sales/adapted services during the COVID-19 crisis. Explore what local businesses have to offer using the links below.
Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. has also launched a new website, lovelocalgr.com, to help inform residents about which local restaurants are still open and offering take-out options, which local retailers are selling merchandise online, and which service providers are offering virtual options/digital gift card sales. Explore the site using the link below.
PINE REST MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TELETHERAPY SESSIONS
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has shifted its outpatient clinics to exclusively provide Telehealth services. Highly trained professionals can provide therapy sessions anywhere in Michigan and Iowa that you have high-speed Internet access. The sessions use an online video much like Skype or Facetime. Online therapy has proven to be just as effective as in-person therapy.
RESOURCES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Disability Advocates of Kent County (DAKC) connects area businesses, persons with disabilities and the public to resources that address the needs of the disability community. They are available during the COVID-19 crisis to assist individuals experiencing any disability related issues, including locating and securing needed supports such as employment, housing, transportation, healthcare, financial assistance and others.
For employers, DAKC can help solve accommodation issues for employees with disabilities and connect you with other business supports related to disability issues.
STATE OF MICHIGAN ONLINE MAP OF FREE WI-FI HOTSPOTS
The State of Michigan, in partnership with the Connected Nation Michigan, released a statewide Wi-Fi hotspot map today to assist residents who currently lack internet access at home. To date, more than 300 Wi-Fi hotspot locations are available from the parking lots of public schools, libraries and other locations across the state. In addition to the location, the map also contains details on how to access the Wi-Fi hotspots’ networks.