Applying to Unemployment in Michigan Due to COVID-19

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If you're facing unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, you're far from alone. Record numbers of Americans are now navigating the systems for receiving unemployment insurance benefits. That process can be overwhelming and frustrating at the best of times. Here are some quick links and resources to make finding your way to the money you're eligible for easier.

If you are an employee, check out the State of Michigan's FAQ for checklists, filing tutorials, and other helpful links.

If you are an employer, visit the State of Michigan's FAQ for more information on how employees claiming unemployment affect your business.

How to claim unemployment

In Michigan, you can claim unemployment benefits within 28 days from the first week you're laid off. Because of the pandemic, this includes W-2 workers and the self-employed, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors, and low-wage workers. In addition to unemployment payments from the state, the federal government will distribute $600 with each disbursal. Benefits will last for 39 weeks, if recertified every two weeks during that period.

Apply online or sign in to the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM): michigan.gov/uia

  • If your last name begins with the letters A through L, file claims on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • If your name begins with the letters M through Z, file claims on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday
  • If you miss your days, file on Saturday

Call: (866) 500-0017

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday
  • If your last name begins with the letters A through L, call on Monday and Wednesday
  • If your name begins with the letters M through Z, call on Tuesday and Thursday
  • If you miss your days, file on Friday and Saturday

Who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Those who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits can still get PUA if they are diagnosed with, experiencing symptoms of, or affected directly by COVID-19, including:

  • A member of the individual's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a COVID-19 quarantine or because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19
  • The individual has quit his/her job or was laid off as a direct result of COVID-19
  • The individual's place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19

For a full list of qualifications, visit the Michigan Department of Labor and Opportunity's PUA FAQ. If you're able to telework, or if you're receiving paid leave or any other paid leave benefits, you're not eligible for PUA, even if you fit one of the state's eligibility standards.