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Michigan Unemployment Benefits

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Local workers may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Michigan if they recently lost their jobs in the state. Unemployment insurance (UI) offers temporary financial assistance to in-state applicants who lost their jobs due to circumstances that were out of their control. UI, which is also referred to as unemployment compensation (UC), is managed by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

Candidates who meet the state’s eligibility for unemployment requirements may qualify for the UC program, which his funded by employers’ tax dollars. As a result, eligible claimants may use UI funds to support themselves and their families while they are in between jobs. The sections to follow will outline how to apply for unemployment online, as well as other ways petitioners may submit their materials. In addition, subsequent paragraphs will instruct applicants on how to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview and how they may recertify their UI benefits each week.

What is unemployment in Michigan?

Michigan unemployment benefits are a short-term public benefits program that provides financial support to in-state workers. At its maximum, enrollees may receive UC benefits for 20 weeks during a calendar year. Similarly, candidates may receive a maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $362 for each enrollment week. Furthermore, claimants may receive additional funds for each child they have, so long as the total does not exceed the state’s WBA maximum. Petitioners who file an unemployment claim may receive an additional $6 for each child for a maximum of five dependents. Unemployment recipients must also remember their WBA will fluctuate depending on whether or not they earn additional income during their enrollment. When determining how much enrollees may earn with an unemployment insurance benefits claim, candidates must remember these three rules:

  • When claimants earn wages that are less than or equal to their WBAs, 50 cents for every dollar they earn will be deducted from their WBAs for that week.
  • Enrollees who earn wages that are greater than their WBAs but are less than 1.5 percent their WBAs will have their total wages subtracted from 1.5 times their WBAs.
  • If candidates were to receive wages that, when combined with their WBAs, would exceed 1.5 times their WBAs, they are ineligible to receive benefits.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Michigan?

The Michigan unemployment insurance eligibility requirements require the UIA to holistically evaluate the petitioners’ applications. As a result, the state’s eligibility for unemployment guidelines requires applicants to meet financial and personal criteria. For example, the UIA takes into account:

  • Petitioners’ availability – Petitioners must be physically able to accept full-time work offers extended to them. Furthermore, applicants may not have scheduling conflicts that would prohibit them from accepting employment opportunities. Examples of scenarios that would exclude candidates from the UI program include not having adequate transportation or child care services. Similarly, applicants who are unable to work due to school commitments may not enroll in UC.
  • Work registration – Claimants must sign up on a state-managed online platform that allows them to search for job opportunities. Likewise, applicants are required to visit a Michigan Works! Agency (MWA) service center. Petitioners must utilize both of these sources to find jobs while enrolled in UI.
  • Job loss – Candidates must be able to prove that they lost their jobs through conditions that were outside of their control. This means that program participants may not have quit their jobs due to personal reasons. Furthermore, they may not have been fired due to misconduct.

In addition to these qualifications for unemployment, applicants must also meet UC financial stipulations. In order to assess who qualifies for unemployment regarding monetary eligibility, the UIA examines how much money petitioners made throughout their base periods. A base period refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. In order to meet these eligibility for UI requirements, applicants must have earned wages:

  • During at least two quarters throughout the base period.
  • Equal to at least $3,589 during one quarter.
  • Equal to at least 1.5 times the wages applicants earned in their highest quarters.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Michigan?

Petitioners have two methods to apply for unemployment benefits in Michigan. Claimants may either submit an online application for unemployment, or they may call the UIA’s toll-free number and apply over the phone. Regardless of whether candidates are researching how to apply for unemployment online or by calling the UIA, there are specific details they must provide. In order to file for an unemployment claim, applicants must include:

  • Identification – All petitioners are required to submit their Social Security Numbers. Applicants who have driver’s licenses or state identification cards must also submit their corresponding numbers. Likewise, candidates who have Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN) PIN numbers must include these identifiers.
  • Employment records – Applicants must report their employment history for the past 18 months. Claimants must include the last days they worked for their supervisors. In addition, candidates are required to report their employers’ names and addresses. Candidates must also include their most recent employers’ UIA account numbers or Federal ID numbers.
  • Quarterly earnings – When completing UC applications, claimants must submit their gross quarterly earnings. This means that petitioners must report how much money they earned before deductions with each employer they had in the past 18 months.
  • Work authorization – Candidates who are not United States citizens are required to submit their Alien Registration Numbers when applying for UC. Likewise, non-citizen applicants must also disclose the expiration dates for their work authorizations.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Michigan?

The UIA may require applicants to participate in an unemployment phone interview should their applications raise any concerns. However, petitioners must not assume that participating in a UI phone interview means that their claims will be denied. These conversations are generally necessary in situations when the petitioners lost their jobs for reasons besides layoffs. Regardless, claimants must take the time to prepare for the unemployment insurance interview because these conversations are an important step in the UC application process.

Any questions asked during unemployment interview in Michigan will be case-specific. This means that the UIA will only ask relevant questions that help clarifying any possible areas that could disqualify the applicants from receiving benefits. In most cases, the unemployment interview with claimant will focus around the reason why the petitioners are no longer employed. In some instances, an unemployment interview with employer may also be necessary. Together, the UIA uses these conversations to determine whether or not the claimants are unemployed due to conditions that were out of their control. Claimants may prepare for the UC interview by:

Being on time. It is critical that claimants are on time for their UI interviews. If applicants miss their interviews, the UIA may terminate the candidates’ petitions.

  • Answering the UIA representative’s questions. Applicants must respond to the agents’ questions with as much detail as possible. Any ambiguity may cause the UIA to request additional interviews.
  • Preparing relevant documentation. Candidates should have a copy of their employee handbooks and any additional documents related to actions that prove they made reasonable attempts to keep their jobs.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Michigan?

Once the UIA accepts petitioners’ unemployment benefits claim in Michigan, the applicants’ process to receive UI funds does not end. In order to claim unemployment benefits, candidates must complete weekly tasks. These activities are as follows:

  • Filing a weekly claim – Petitioners must recertify their benefits each week they receive UI funds. Beneficiaries may complete this task either online or over the phone. In this step, claimants must disclose any income they earned during the weeks they are claiming.
  • Being able to work – Whenever enrollees submit their weekly claims, they are required to report whether or not they are still able to work full-time. Beneficiaries who do not meet this requirement are ineligible to receive UC funds, even if they were previously accepted into the program.
  • Searching for work – Claimants must be sure to maintain proactive, intentional work search efforts while receiving UI. Specifically, recipients must contact at least two employers every week they collect benefits. Once a month, enrollees are required to submit a search log to the UIA. In these logs, beneficiaries must report who they contacted, how they applied, where the companies are located and when they made contact.

In order to continue claiming benefits for unemployment, enrollees must be sure to complete these tasks. Furthermore, beneficiaries must ensure they fulfill these obligations on time each week. Failing to do so may prohibit claimants from accessing funds from their UI benefits claim during that week.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Michigan?

Claimants who are denied unemployment in MI have 30 days to file appeals. Petitioners direct their requests to the UIA, and administrative law judges (ALJs) from the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (MAHS) conduct the hearings. These trials are either held over the phone or at local hearing locations. Candidates who are denied unemployment benefits can appeal, as well as their employers. After the UIA receives these appeals, it will mail Notices of Hearing to the employers and the claimants. Regardless, both parties will receive their Notices at least 10 days before the hearings are scheduled.

During the unemployment denial appeal hearing, claimants and their employers have the right to have legal representation and witnesses. Similarly, either party may submit additional evidence for the ALJs to consider. Within 60 days from the denied UI hearings, the ALJs will issue their decisions. These documents are mailed to the employers and the petitioners. Similar to the first round of appeals, either group has the right to appeal. However, in this scenario, appeals are directed to the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Michigan?

A federal unemployment extension is authorized on a case-by-case basis. Congress is responsible for authorizing the unemployment benefits extension program around the country. Furthermore, this extended benefits (EB) program may be offered nationally or to individual states. Like the rest of the country, the unemployment extension in Michigan is only available during times of significantly high unemployment rates. When offered, the UI compensation extension allows claimants who have already exhausted the state’s 26 weeks of benefits to reenroll for an additional 13 weeks.

How do I contact the Michigan unemployment office?

Claimants and employers may contact the Michigan unemployment office in person or over the phone. The UI office maintains a customer service number. However, the offices are closed during federal holidays. In addition, individuals may visit their local unemployment office in person. The Lansing UI Agency Problem Resolution Office is located at:

501 S Cedar Street

Lansing, Michigan 48910


How much will I get paid if I’m approved for unemployment insurance in Michigan?

Like in all states, your unemployment benefits depend on how much money you earned in your past, as well as the number of dependents you have. However, the minimum amount of weekly benefits is $81 and the maximum weekly amount is $362.

What is MARVIN?

MARVIN stands for Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network. This is a phone system that people who are collecting unemployment can use to get certain information regarding their unemployment claim. The MARVIN telephone number is 1-866-638-3993.

How long does it take to receive my payments after calling MARVIN?

Typically, it will take about 2 working days after you make your call to MARVIN in order to have your benefits deposited into your account.

When should I apply for unemployment in Michigan?

You should try to apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you are fired from your job. Remember, the state of Michigan does not recognize the moment you are fired while processing your claim. If you are approved to receive unemployment benefits, they will begin at the time your application was filed.

Michigan Unemployment Office Locations


Unemployment Insurance Agency 3024 W Grand Blvd Detroit, MI 48202 (313) 876-5000 View Website Unemployement Claim File

Find Unemployment Office Locations

There are 91 Michigan Unemployment Office Locations