• check eligibility
  • benefits calculator
  • apply for benefits
State: Michigan (MI)
Phone Number:1-866-500-0017. You can call and file by using a touch-tone telephone from anywhere in the USA or Canada. For TTY callers, use 1-866-366-0004. The scheduled time for filing by phone is based on the last two digits of your Social Security number. For example, if your Social Security number ends in 50, you would phone in your application on Tuesday afternoon. Workers who are unable to call on their appointed day and time can dial the toll-free number anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday or Friday of the same week.
Major Towns:Detroit, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Marquette, Pontiac, Saginaw, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor and Flint
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Michigan

Michigan Unemployment Questions

As the owner of a corporation, am I liable under the Michigan Employment Security (MES) Act?
Yes. You are an employee of the corporation and assuming all other requirements are met, the corporation is liable.

What is the tax rate and tax base for new employers in Michigan?
The tax rate for all new employers except certain construction companies involved in large projects is 2.7%. That rate is paid on the first $9,000 of wages during the calendar year for each employee.

If I have a positive balance in my reserve account, can that money be refunded to me?
No. The unemployment taxes paid are like automobile insurance premiums. They are used to protect your employees against them becoming unemployed through no fault of their own. Likewise, if an employer terminates his/her business with a negative balance in the reserve account, he/she is not billed for the balance.

How is an employer's tax rate determined?
There are three separate components that determine a fully experienced employer's tax rate. (A fully experienced employer is an employer who is in his/her fifth year or more of business.)
  • The Chargeable Benefit Component (CBC) is made up of the total unemployment charges against the employer for the most recent 5 years.
  • The Account Building Component (ABC) is a reserve account for possible payment of future benefits. The amount required in this component is based on the payroll for the most recent year.
  • The Non-Chargeable Benefits Component (NBC) is used to pay benefits that cannot be charged to a specific employer's account.
All of these components are taken into consideration when determining an employer's tax rate. The maximum computed tax rate for 2003 for a fully experienced employer is 10.3%. The lowest computed tax rate is .06%. This does not include any penalties for missing reports which could add up to another 3%.

Why can a fired worker still collect unemployment benefits?

A worker is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if he or she is fired for misconduct in connection with the work. If a worker is fired for incompetence or inability, rather than for willful misconduct, the worker will not be denied unemployment benefits.

Even if a worker is fired for misconduct and disqualified from drawing unemployment benefits, he or she may requalify for benefits by going back to work and earning a certain required amount. The worker will then be able to collect benefits, but the UIA account of the employer involved in the firing will not be charged for the benefits.

How do special payments (such as holiday and vacation pay) affect a worker's entitlement to UI benefits and are the payments taxable to the employer for UI tax purposes?

If vacation pay and holiday pay vest within 14 days of the vacation or holiday, and if such pay is allocated by the employer to a specific week or weeks, it will be used for credit week and average weekly wage purposes for that week or those weeks, and will be taxable to the employer. It will also be used to reduce the worker's unemployment benefits for that week or those weeks. However, the employer cannot assign the payments to particular weeks if the employment contract prevents the employer from doing so.

Severance pay and wage continuation pay are taxable to the employer but will not be used as base period wages to establish a claim. Severance pay will reduce a worker's entitlement to unemployment benefits during the week(s) designated by the employer or during the week(s) paid if not allocated to a specific period by the employer.

Sick pay paid due to actual illness, and paid under an employer plan, will not be taxable to the employer, and will not be counted as part of a worker's average weekly wage nor used to establish a credit week.

Can a temporary or probationary employee receive unemployment benefits?
Wages paid to a temporary or probationary employee can be used to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. To set up a claim for unemployment benefits, a worker generally needs to be paid sufficient wages in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. The first four of the last five completed calendar quarters is called the Standard Base Period. During the base period, the person must have been paid wages in more than one quarter. In addition, the person needs to have high quarter wages of at least:
  • $1,998 for benefit years beginning prior to 4/1/2007
  • $2,697 for benefit years beginning 4/1/2007 through 1/5/2008
  • $2,774 bor benefit years beginning 1/6/2008 through 1/3/2009
  • $2,871 for benefit years beginning on or after 1/4/2009

The applicant's total base period wages must equal at least 1.5 times the high quarter wages. If the employee was not paid enough wages in the Standard Base period, wages can be used from the Alternate Base Period, which is the last four completed calendar quarters.

If a business employs a temporary or probationary employee during the base period and the worker is paid sufficient wages by one or more other employers, the worker could set up a claim for unemployment benefits and the employer who provided the temporary or probationary work could be one of the chargeable employers on that claim.

Do I need a UIA tax clearance when purchasing an existing business?
If you purchase or acquire an existing business that is liable for unemployment taxes, the purchaser can be liable for tax debts incurred by the previous owner. The seller should request the tax clearance prior to the sale. The seller should contact Collections to obtain this.

Registering for Work: After the claim is filed, you must register for work by filing a resume application at the Michigan Works! Agency (MWA) service center. To locate the nearest MWA center, go to You can also file your resume online, but you must still report in person to an MWA center to have your registration for work verified. MWA then notifies UIA that you have registered for work.

Questions & Answers

  1. I have 14 weeks left of benefits and was set to start a new temp position last week when my parents were in a bad auto accident. My mom was in a coma. I called to delay my start date and the temp agency just cancelled the assignment. They were also my parting employer when I applied for benefits. I just certified and it says my benefit amount is zero. Do you think the staffing place reported me as having refused work? I’ve had no notifications. Thanks.

  2. I will be transitioning from the Military and there will be a few month long gap before I am able to begin working again at a Federal Job. Can I draw unemployment during the in between time?

  3. I recently filed for unemployment on week January 13th online and didn’t realize I had to go to Michigan works until following week by then due to Michigan weather office nearest me was shut down for two days and our county put on Emergency severe weather. My truck wouldn’t start cause it was so cold so Friday February 1st I drove to the next open agency which was 2 days late for registration will this did qualify me I got paper that says it does what should I do please help TIA

    1. Christie,

      I don’t think this should disqualify you from filing a claim. Please let the authorities know about your situation and they should oblige.

  4. I made a claim over two weeks ago and it says I need to register at michigan works which I did a few days ago. Was wondering how long its going to take for my claim to verify that I have registered at michigan works.

    1. Brad,

      Please wait for 7-10 business days at least. If you don’t hear within this timeline, make sure to chase regularly until you have a concrete update.

  5. I have been carrying 3 jobs for years, 1 full time job, which carries my benefits, and 2 part time jobs that do not offer benefits.. I was recently terminated from the FT job that carried my benefits. Can I claim unemployment even though I still have the other jobs?

  6. i worked full time in Michigan for 37 straight years was laid off dec of 2017 how long am i able to collect unemployment benefits the person i talked at unemployment office said 20 weeks i understood it to be 52 one full year?

    1. Gregg,

      A claimant can collect up to 26 weeks of regular benefits. the length of benefits is determined during the processing phase.

  7. I worked for a factory from October 2014 to November 2016. I quit because they were scheduling me to work for 7 days a week for 7 to 8 months straight out of a year. In August of 2016, I returned to college to get my bachelor’s degree full time. I am also still enrolled in college full time. I have been out of work since November 2016 despite my attempts to find at least a part time job to help me while I’m in school, but I’ve been turned down at all the places I have applied to. Am I eligible to receive unemployment because I am in college to finish my computer science degree and my efforts to find a job have been unsuccessful for over a year?

  8. My employer has decided to move my current office-based job to Arkansas and they are closing the office in one week. My employer has said my job will now require me to drive each day to various locations in SouthEastern Michigan. I will not be able to maintain this position. I’m very upset – I’ve worked hard for the company and now I don’t know what to do.
    Can I reject the new role they have offered me and still receive unemployment benefits?
    Or do I have to take this job and try to make it work, until they end up firing me for failing to perform well?
    I was only given 3 days notice on this change – and I’m frantic.

    1. Linda,

      Generally, if you quit under such circumstances, it can be considered voluntary. However, there are exceptions. Before resigning, please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire about your eligibility.

  9. The employee quit work for another job. And got fired from new job within a month. Now has filed employment through our company. Can he be eligible through our company?

    1. Purina,

      As far as I am aware, he may not be eligible from your company. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for clarification.

  10. hi can you get benefits for bring a teacher aid. no payment during the summer months. not sure if job is there come the new school year. last pay ck is the last day of school.

  11. I worked in upstate Michigan from February, 2015 through August, 2016. My company placed me in California from then through January, 2017. I was placed on leave without pay on February 3, 2017. I have not been laid off. Work will probably not start until late fall 2017. Am I eligible for Michigan Unemployment?

    1. If you’re under a contract or seasonal employment, you may not qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  12. My unemployment benefits from a previous job expired in May(required to use an older employer and not the most recent one.) The benefit year renews in July would I be able to reapply for unemployment using the most recent job?

    1. If you have benefit weeks left in your account, you should be able to claim the rest.

      Please call the Claims Center to find out more.

  13. I recently quit my job and have text proof that if I stayed longer than I wanted to, they would not contest my unemployment. I left the company due to a hostile work environment. Owners were sleeping with employees, one was combative toward me, hard drugs were being used while in the office with prostitutes and much more!The company was splitting up and I was told I would be fired once I was used to train the new owner the front office anyway. I applied for unemployment & they contested anyway. I sent them multiple screen shots of text messages showing the admission of drug use and also the agreement that was made. One boss, is not “insinuating” that I should feel lucky as he is not pressing charges for me forging his name on checks. However, I ONLY did so with instruction from him himself & EVERY TIME I told him I was not comfortable doing so, but in fear of losing my only source of income to pay the mortgage, I did as he asked. Does he have grounds to stand on? & What are my chances of receiving unemployment benefits now that they were contested? I was told that I will receive an answer from UIA as to whether I have been approved, denied or if they are sending the “Documented info to upper management for further investigation.”

    1. I am sorry to hear about the ordeal. From what you’ve written, you should be eligible. If they deny initially, make a stronger case and file and appeal. Make sure to produce all possible documentary evidence including a timeline of events to support your stance.

  14. I just filed for my first two weeks of unemployment earlier this week and have not received my payment – how do I check on that?

    1. You can either check online, on the department’s website by logging in or by calling the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided.

  15. Last month my employer called me. Stated someone with my previous name and social security number has submitted a claim for unemplyment benefits. I called and left a LONG message at the fraud hotline. The hotline states that they don’t have to acknowledge anything. So who knows if they are doing anything with my fraud claim. I also called the main number. They new instantly something was incorrect. The address I gave them was wrong. That stopped any talking to me. You would think that this would send warning flags to the system. I also field a police report. My employer called and spoke to a person that took information and requested that I also call the fraud hotline. My employer also returned the paperwork stating that this was fraud and that I was employed. A month has now passed. My employer (yes I still working) received another claim from the same person using my name and SS#. Employer called again. Stated again this was fraud. The state has no recollection of any phone calls or paperwork. They have been paying this person!! What else can a person do to stop this??

  16. I suffered an on the job injury in Dec. of 2014 and was collecting Comp until I returned in March of 2015. Effective 4/1/16 my position as a Shipping Auditor was combined into a full shipping associate. The company did not “due away with the duties” of the Auditor position, however, it was no longer considered a separate job listing rather instead was merged into the full shipping position meaning anyone and everyone in that department would be required to cross train and work all areas. Because of my injury, I can not lift the additional weight or twist turn and bend at the rate the new position would require. (a doctor confirmed this diagnosis) As a result I was sent home where I collected 18 weeks of short term disability. At the end of the 18 weeks, I was “let go”. It’s my understanding it is listed as a termination on their records and they have stated they will fight any unemployment claims just as they have fought all requests for additional comp claims. I did secure a temporary contract in an office job within the first week of being let go, but that contract is set to expire in the next 2 weeks. I have no issues in my file, the only justification they have for ending my employment is that they did away with my position (even though they claim it’s still there). Based on the estimation calculator even though I have worked the last 5 months in the Temp position, it will be the factory I was let go from that unemployment will look at. Do you think this is going to create an issue with my unemployment claim?

  17. I lost my job because I was incarcerated. I worked the job as a temporary worker till I got hired in a permanent position. I filed for unemployment now that I’ve done that their saying adjudication pending I’ve been waiting since August 15 I’ve already got determination letter in the mail for my benefits so how long do I have to wait for adjudication process and does this mean I get approved or denied?

  18. I’m Trumon smith I’m trying to apply for unemployment I got fried from my job Yes it was my fault but I was the best worker there and I felt like I’m owed

    1. I can understand your situation.

      Unfortunately, you will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  19. I was placed on administrative leave from my position for 3 months, and not paid, for mental health issues. I have returned to work, with extensive financial impact. Can I claim unemployment benefits for that time off work?

  20. Nicole Kitancevski

    I recently had a miscarriage at work, was forced to wait there for hours until someone came to relieve me to go to the hospital. The medication my doctor has me on has affected my performance slightly as my body adjusts to it. As a result, my boss has suspended me. I am not sure how long I am suspended for, but I am a salary worker, and my recent paycheck is not for my salary. She claims I am still employed with the company, but she took my keys to the store (that I am the store manager of) told me to stop taking my medication and “get it together” Am I eligible for any help?

    1. You can be eligible to draw Unemployment Benefits if you quit due to hostile working conditions.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision in this regard.

  21. I moved back to Michigan from AZ I received unemployment from AZ and it is my last week I worked in MI for over 30 years can I collect unemployment for MI the last day I worked in MI was October 1 of 2007 1

    1. To be eligible, you’re required to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please use the Benefits Calculator available on this site to check.

See More Answered Questions