In order to determine whether or not you can receive Michigan unemployment benefits, you must meet the eligibility requirements. The most important requirement is that you are unemployed and able, willing, and actively seeking full time work. If you do not meet this standard then you will automatically be disqualified for receiving benefits. In certain cases, applicants working part time may also be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If you are working part time you must notify the unemployment agency of your number of hours worked as well as you wages each week.
In order to assure that you are actively seeking work, the UIA requires you to register for work by submitting your resume with the Michigan Talent Bank and visiting your local Michigan Works service center. These agencies list thousands of open positions in Michigan which should be very helpful for those who are actively seeking employment.
There are also financial requirements you must meet for Michigan unemployment benefits. The UIA will look at your wages during you base period (the first 4 of the last 5 calendar quarters from when you file your claim). You must have wages in at least 2 quarters of your base period, and earn at least $2,871 in at least one of those quarters. The total wages for all four quarters must be 1.5x your highest earning quarter from your base period.
If you are filing for unemployment for the first time, you must have worked for at least one but no more than 19 employers during the previous 18 months. You also cannot have filed for unemployment with another state within the past year (12 months). Lastly, you cannot have worked under more than 1 social security number in the past 18 months.
If you are confused by the requirements or are unsure if you qualify, you may call the UIA toll free at 1-866-500-0017. Their hours of operation are 8AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday.
Applying for Benefits
You may file for Michigan unemployment insurance online or by phone. Many people prefer to apply online due to the convenience.
Before beginning your application there is some information that you will need. You will need:
- Your social security number
- Drivers license or state ID number
- If you have filed before, you will need your PIN number
- Information for all employers in the past 18 months (name, address, phone number, wages)
To file over the phone call 1-866-500-0017.
If you do not have your employer’s information from the past 18 months you must file by phone. Also, your weekly benefits amount will not be determined by the wages you claim in your application. The UIA will not determine your benefits amount until they have documentation of your wages.
During your application, you will be asked how you would like to receive your payments. You can either receive
payments into a prepaid debit card or through direct deposit into your bank account. If you would like direct deposit you can enter in your bank’s information when you apply. For more information on payment method, you can visit http://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/Michigan_UI_051208_v6_no_Chaselogo_236446_7.pdf .
The amount that you receive for your benefits will be based off of your past wages. The unemployment office will multiply the highest amount that you earned in your base period by 4.1%. The UIA will also add $6 for each dependent you claim (maximum of 5). The maximum amount of weekly benefits you can receive is $362.
The duration of your benefits will be calculated by multiplying your total base period wages by 43% then dividing by your weekly benefit amount. However, the claim cannot be less than 14 weeks or exceed 20 weeks.
In the event that you work a part time job while receiving benefits your weekly payments will be reduced according to how much you earn at your part time position.
Michigan uses an automated touch tone service to handle the large volume of calls they receive on a daily basis. This system is known as Marvin (Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network). The system allows you to perform services such as certifying your weekly benefits or obtain information like your weekly benefits amount. The UIA actually requires you to use MARVIN to certify biweekly. You can call in at 1-866-638-3993.The hours of operation are 8AM-7PM Monday through Friday. Or you may also access MARVIN online 24/7 at https://cwam.unemployment.state.mi.us/UserSignIn/Login.aspx .
When claiming your benefits on the phone, you will be assigned an appointment time in which you are to call into Marvin. You can find your appointment time here http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,4680,7-118-26831-78497–,00.html. If you miss that schedules time you can call during the business hours above. Even if your scheduled time happens to be on a holiday, MARVIN will still be available.
If your claim for benefits was denied, you have an opportunity to appeal the decision. Your letter of denial will state the reason why you were denied. If you feel the reasoning was unfair or incorrect here are the steps you need to take.
You can request a redetermination within 30 days of receiving your original determination. If after the redetermination you are unsatisfied you can file an appeal with the UIA. You can use this form for your appeal: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia_1733-M_86461_7.pdf. You may mail your appeals form to:
P.O. Box 124
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
You may also fax your appeal to 1-616-356-0739.
If the UIA determines your appeal has merit, they will schedule you for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. The hearing is your opportunity to submit evidence and testimony to support your case. If you feel you need help at your hearing, Advocate Representatives are available to assist you for free. You can call 1-800-638-3994 for more information.