This post was written by Sarah Gudenau.
On March 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed an agreement that increases unemployment benefits for Michigan workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak (read more about it here). Here’s what you need to know:
Who is eligible to file for unemployment?
- Those who have worked in Michigan for the past 12-18+ months
- Those who can’t work because of family responsibilities (those taking over childcare after the closure of schools and those taking care of sick loved ones)
- Those in quarantine without paid leave
- First responders who are sick due to COVID-19 exposure
- Workers who are temporarily laid off
- Self-employed workers
- Low-wage workers
- Independent contractors
- People with limited work history
When can I file?
- Up to 28 days after the last day of work
What do I need to file?
- Social Security number
- Your address, phone number, and date of birth
- Driver’s license or state ID
- Names and addresses of employers from the past 18 months
- Start and end dates of employment
- Gross earnings (total income before tax deductions)
- For non-citizens: Alien registration card and expiration date of work authorization card
How can I claim unemployment benefits?
- File online at www.michigan.gov
- For people with last names beginning with letters A-L: file on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- For people with last names beginning with letters M-Z: file on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
- Saturdays are available if you miss your specific days.
- Call 1-866-500-0017. TTY service is available for the hearing-impaired at 1-866-366-0004.
- For people with last names beginning with letters A-L: call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- For people with last names beginning with letters M-Z: call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. are available if you miss your specific days.
*Please note: The day of the week or time of day that you apply does NOT impact whether or not you will receive benefits or the amount that you will receive.*
How much will I be paid?
- Benefits are based off of income over the past 18 months
- The new agreement increases benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months.
- Workers already in the unemployment system qualify; they do not need to reapply.
How will I be paid?
- Direct deposit to your bank or credit union account
- Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) debit card
- You don’t need a bank account to use the UIA debit card.
- You can use the debit card until the money is gone.
How long can I receive benefit payments?
- Up to 39 weeks
Additional facts and tips:
- Work search (looking for work and applying to a minimum number of jobs each week while you collect benefits) is not required at this time.
- Applying online for unemployment is the quickest and easiest method.
- The website may be slow, so apply when fewer people are on it from around 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
- Check out this Fact Sheet for more information!