Economy
6:02 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Michigan officials unsure how federal changes to unemployment benefits will affect state residents

State officials are looking into how Congress’s changes Friday to jobless benefits will affect unemployed people in Michigan. 

The maximum length of federal unemployment benefits in Michigan will gradually fall from 99 weeks  to 77 weeks by September.

Chawn Greene-Farmer is with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

“The agency, along with our federal partners, are in the process of determining what the impact of those changes will be to Michigan’s unemployment insurance benefit system," Greene-Farmer says. "We’re committed at this point to keeping our claimants informed of all developments that may impact them.

The state unemployment agency will be open at seven locations Satuday, Feb. 18, from  8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer questions and take phone calls.

The special Saturday hours will be held in Detroit, Mount Clemens, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Gaylord, Marquette and Saginaw.

Greene-Farmer also says the agency is getting many calls about the 1099-G form. That's the IRS form used to report the amount of unemployment benefits a person has received.

The customer service phone number is 1-866-500-0017.