How to: Applying for unemployment in Michigan

Unemployment benefits expanded due to coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits.

The executive order is in effect March 16 through April 12.

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“While we work together to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, we must do everything we can to help working families,” said Whitmer. “This executive order will provide immediate relief to those who can’t go to work, and who rely on their paycheck to put food on the table for themselves and their families."

Under this executive order, unemployment benefits would be extended to:

  • 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.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19.

Access to unemployment benefits will also be extended:

  • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks.
  • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days
  • The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.

If you need to apply for unemployment in Michigan, you can visit the state government’s website to file a claim by clicking here.

Once a claim has been filed, applicants must register for work at a Michigan Works! agency. Typically, this process takes place in person; however, due to the potential spread of COVID-19, the agency is limiting in person interactions as much as possible. For more information call 800 285 9675 or visit their website here.

To receive benefits after completing the first two steps, you are required to report bi-weekly to the state’s automated phone system, MARVIN, and can do so by calling 866-638-3993.

For more information on the application process click here for a fact sheet on applying for unemployment benefits in Michigan.

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.