LANSING, Mich. – Michigan workers who returned to work after being on unemployment and are now temporarily unemployed again should reopen their claims online, officials said.
The Unemployment Insurance Agency released this information as the state’s COVID-19 restrictions are set to be tightened Wednesday (Nov. 17) through Dec. 8.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is shutting down indoor dining at restaurants, in-person learning at high schools and colleges, and more.
“Michiganders who were on unemployment, went back to work, and are now temporarily unemployed again due to COVID-19 can reopen their claim online,” the UIA said in a release.
Here are some tips for reopening existing claims:
- Do not create a new account. Use the same MiLogin and MiWAM username and password used previously.
- Reopen a claim on the first day of unemployment or reduced work hours and wages.
- Have the Employer Account Number (EAN) or Federal Identification Number (FEIN) available. It may be provided by your employer or found on an employee’s W-2.
- Payments will be made using the same payment method previously selected.
- Claimants should read and respond to all requests for information to avoid payment delays.
- When certifying for benefits, be sure to report your gross earnings (amount before taxes and other deductions) in the week in which they were earned, not when you were paid.
- After you have completed your claim, a confirmation page will display the date of your next certification, please take note.
“The UIA has increased capacity, improved workflow and other internal systems, and reduced red tape to meet the unprecedented level of claims that have been filed since the pandemic began,” acting UIA Director Liza Estlund Olson said. “These efforts have positioned the agency to better deal with large fluctuations of demand if necessary.”
Officials said server capacity has been increased to ensure demand spikes related to MiWAM account access can be accommodated.
Customer facing staff has more than tripled, according to UIA. Before the pandemic, the UIA had around 650 staff members. Now more than 2,000 UIA workers are helping claimants, including answering phones through the call center, making proactive calls, answering questions online, solving technical issues and adjudicating claims, officials said.
UIA encouraged Michigan employers to file employer filed Claims online on behalf of their full-time workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off. It allows employers to better manage the accuracy of the information provided to the UIA. An EFC replaces the need for an individual worker to reopen their claim. For more information on EFC, click here.
UIA also encouraged employers looking to avoid layoffs or bring employees back from unemployment to use the state’s Work Share program, which has provided $475 million in benefits and helped nearly 2,700 Michigan employers since March 15. The program allows job providers to retain their skilled workforce and avoid layoffs by reducing employee hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for the lost wages.
“Since March 15, over 2.3 million certifying, potentially eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with over $26 billion in benefits paid to over 2.2 million workers, or roughly 96% of potentially eligible, certifying claimants,” UIA said in a release. “There are currently around 71,000 claimants needing ID verification and around 9,000 in the adjudication process which requires a one-on-one review of their claim.”