Michigan unemployment help and resources -- updated list

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Here’s a running list of Michigan unemployment help and resources for people filing during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • How to: Applying for unemployment in Michigan -- here’s a quick overview of what you need to know as you apply for unemployment in Michigan.
  • Michigan Works! is working with the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to assist Michigan residents with questions about filing for unemployment. For more information call 800-285-9675 or visit their website here. If you are a first-time filer, Michigan Works! can help get you organized and ready before you file.
  • State: Filing online is fastest way -- Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) said due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal. The UIA is urging people to apply 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.
  • Online filing schedule at -- Customers are encouraged to use off-peak times 8 p.m. – 8 a.m.
    • Last names beginning with letters A-L: file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
    • Last names beginning with letters M-Z: file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
    • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
  • Customers who have access to a computer or mobile device are encouraged to only use the phone line for issues they are unable to complete online.
  • Call center filing schedule (866-500-0017)
    • Last names beginning with letters A-L: call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Last names beginning with letters M-Z: call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Fridays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays between 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. are open for anyone
  • In late March, Michigan announced an even bigger expansion of unemployment for workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The federal CARES Act grants benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic.
    • Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.
    • Also under the CARES Act, weekly benefits for all unemployed workers will be increased by a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken.
  • April 10, 2020 update from state unemployment agency on technical problems with online accounts and logging in: To better serve Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) claimants experiencing MILogin and Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) technical difficulties when applying for benefits, the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has implemented new online tools to help users report and resolve technical issues. MILogin is the state’s single-sign-on portal to access state services, while MiWAM acts as the UIA’s system for filing your unemployment insurance claim and managing UIA accounts online.
    • Claimants who previously experienced technical problems that are not yet resolved are encouraged to go back into the system to report the issues to the technical team so that the issue will be expedited for resolution.
    • Claimants experiencing MILogin and MiWAM issues will be able to submit their online technical support request to a member of the technical team, comprised of Department of Technology, Management and Budget and UIA staff. Within a week, it’s expected that the equivalent of around 100 full-time employees will be dedicated to this effort.
  • All eligible workers will receive benefits
    • The UIA assures that every eligible worker in Michigan who applies for unemployment benefits will receive them. The UIA will be accepting claims and benefit applications back-dated to reflect the date on which the claimant was laid-off due to COVID-19, beyond the previously established 28-day period ($600 federal payment is only retroactive back to March 28).

Michigan unemployment: Self-employed, 1099-contractors, gig workers can apply Monday, April 13

Michigan will open applications for unemployment benefits for self-employed, contractors and gig workers on Monday, April 13.

Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beginning Monday at 8 a.m.

Under the federal CARES Act, workers on state unemployment have already begun receiving the set $600 federal weekly payment in addition to their state benefit amount. Michigan is one of the first states to begin sending the $600 payment.