There have been many changes in the massage therapy and cosmetology industries and communities in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). In Michigan, perhaps the most impact was felt across businesses mandated to close. ABMP, ASCP, AHP, and ANP have summarized below Executive Orders regarding COVID-19 in the state of Michigan, and we encourage you to pay special attention to the CARES Act outlined at the bottom of this email, which addresses financial aid and unemployment benefits.
Prohibition of Practice
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42 (https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/04/09/file_attach...) on April 9, 2020, announcing the extension of Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through April 30, 2020. The order requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home. Previously outlined in Executive Order 2020-20 (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522576--,00.ht...), Governor Whitmer closed nonessential personal care services, including hair, nail, massage, traditional spa, and similar services that require individuals to be within six feet of each other.
ABMP, ASCP, AHP, and ANP update members daily regarding COVID-19 and how it impacts businesses and legislative and regulatory changes. Check in with us to stay in the know about Michigan updates here (https://www.abmp.com/comment/324#comment-324) for massage therapists and here (https://www.ascpskincare.com/updates/blog-posts/local-and-state-shutdown...) for cosmetologists. In addition, the most current information regarding Michigan can be found on the Governor’s website (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499---,00.html).
Many states are coming online at this point to discuss how to handle license renewals. Some states allow for some, if not all, continuing education requirements to be completed online, and others are allowing licensees to renew three months later or by the end of the year. We have not yet received guidance from Michigan. If you hear of anything, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor this.
The CARES Act
On March 27, 2020, it was announced that Congress approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a $2 trillion deal to provide economic relief to those most affected by COVID-19. The CARES act expands unemployment to part-time employees and self-employed massage therapists and cosmetologists—workers who have not historically been eligible for unemployment compensation.
Michigan allows for unemployment benefits up to a maximum of $362 per week; however, not everyone will qualify for this amount. In addition, the federal government will be issuing $600 per week through the CARES Act. To help provide extra relief during this crisis, benefits have been expanded in Michigan to 39 weeks. We have heard, however, that there are glitches in almost every state, so if you apply, be patient and work with the state to prove your claim. Approved claims will be backdated to the date that you were laid off or let go from your job due to COVID-19.
The Unemployment Insurance Agency strongly encourages Michiganders to use the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) (https://miwam.unemployment.state.mi.us/ClmMiWAM/_/) to file for unemployment, as filing online continues to be the quickest way to apply for benefits. Those impacted by COVID-19 can file for unemployment starting Monday, April 13, 2020, or Tuesday, April 14, 2020, depending on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A–L, file claims on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. If your last name starts with M–Z, file claims on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday. The MiWAM Toolkit for Claimants (https://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/MiWAM_toolkit_for_Claimants_July_...) is a helpful resource available to you that offers step-by-step instructions on how create an account. Another great resource is the unemployment FAQs page on the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s website. (https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-78421_97241_98585---,00.html)
In addition to unemployment benefits, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has two financial relief options you may also consider: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/pa...) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19). Refer to ABMP’s Financial Benefits blog post (https://www.abmp.com/updates/news/financial-benefits-update) that outlines the info on these programs to help you make an informed decision on which one is best for you and your situation. Note that the blog post is a work in progress and is modified when new information is obtained.
Please let us know if you hear of any updates to the closure orders or if you have information about the unemployment application process by emailing us at email@example.com. We appreciate your membership. Stay safe and well.