Michigan unemployment online system appears to be back up

MILogin  -- the Michigan unemployment system's login sceen.
MILogin -- the Michigan unemployment system's login sceen. (Michigan.gov)

The Michigan unemployment online sytem was down temporarily on Tuesday.

The system appeared to be back up and working by 12:50 p.m.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity tweeted at 11:26 a.m.:

“At this time, the MiWAM online unemployment system is not available. Technical teams are working resolve the issue as quickly as possible."

Users were being met by this error message when trying to log into the system:

A screenshot of the Michigan unemployment site login page at 12:37 p.m. March 31, 2020. (Michigan.gov)

The system appeared to be working again about an hour and 1/2 after the labor department first reported it down.

The number of unemployment applications submitted in Michigan during the week ending on March 21 rose to 129,298, an increase of 2,322.2% from the number of applications submitted the previous week and an increase of 2,545.8% from the number of applications submitted the same week last year. View more data here.

On Monday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expanded unemployment benefits to the self-employed and others amid the coronavirus outbreak.

READ: Michigan expands unemployment to include self-employed, gig workers; increases weekly benefits

The new order grants benefits to workers who don’t already qualify for unemployment aid, including those who are self-employed, independent contractors and low-wage workers who can’t work because of the pandemic.

The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600.

State: Filing online is fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits

If the site is working -- and perhaps even if it is not -- filing for unemployment online is the fastest way to do it. The state has been urging people who can file online to do so, leaving the phone lines open for those who can’t file online.

Applying online in off-peak hours will expedite the process. The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits.

Off-peak hours: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Applicants with questions can also access information on the website Michigan.gov/UIA, including frequently asked questions about the process and current challenges due to COVID-19. Checking the website for answers may help alleviate pressure on the phone line. A downloadable handout on the filing process can be found here.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.