Michigan Unemployment Appeal
When you file for unemployment benefits, your Michigan unemployment application can be denied for any number of reasons. If it is determined that you are not eligible for benefits and you disagree with the decision, the Michigan Employment Security Act gives you the right to file an appeal.
The appeal process will not hurt any future Michigan unemployment claims. Therefore, you have nothing to lose in filing a protest (appeal) if your original claim is denied. However, you have a limited time to request your application be reviewed again.
Protest a Decision
The unemployment insurance appeals process varies for each state. The first Michigan unemployment appeal is referred to as a “protest.” Filing a protest indicates to the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) that you would like someone to reexamine your Michigan unemployment eligibility. If you decide to file a protest, you must do so within 30 days from the mail date on the original determination.
All protests must be submitted in writing and indicate why you disagree with the denial of your unemployment benefits. In addition to a statement, you may include additional documentation or evidence to support your reasons.
Submit your protest by logging in to your MiWAM account:
- Select your claim to view the details.
- Select “Determination Status,” and then click on File a protest or File appeal.
- Fill out the required fields
- Select “add feature” to upload any documents you want to include with your protest
Your protest must be received within the 30-day window and can be submitted online through your MiWAM account, fax, or mail using the provided contact information in your determination letter. If it is sent later than this, you should include an additional explanation of why the Protest is late.
Once a protest is submitted, your unemployment claim will be reviewed, including any additional information provided. After the information is reviewed, you will receive a Redetermination.
Appeal a Redetermination
If the protest decision is not in your favor, don’t give up. You can protest again, and this time it’s called an appeal. The process of appealing a redetermination is similar to filing a protest. Once you file an appeal, you will receive a Notice of Hearing by mail.
While the Michigan UIA handles protests, appeals are dealt with by the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR). This is a separate office from the UIA, and all documentation must be submitted to MOAHR using the contact information provided on the Notice of Hearing.
Upon receiving the Notice of Hearing, you will be scheduled for a hearing with an administrative law judge. Any other parties involved in your case (such as UIA representatives and former employers) will also receive a notice. Your hearing may be in person or via phone. All details are provided in your Notice of Hearing.
Once an appeal is filed with MOAHR, you may be able to get assistance from an advocate at the hearing. The Advocacy Program is free of cost to unemployed individuals who need help with the initial hearings with MOAHR.
Advocacy is available to both unemployed workers and employers. This service is provided by qualified independent consultants who can advise on the merit and preparation of a case and provide representation at the hearing itself. Note that these advocates are not employees of the UIA and do not have any control over the decisions or actions of the Agency. Unemployed individuals can select an advocate from a statewide network of qualified consultants.
If the administrative law judge determines that you have committed unemployment fraud, you will be held responsible for the cost of the advocate’s services.
Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission
Following your appeal hearing, you will receive the administrative law judge’s decision by mail. If your Michigan unemployment insurance appeal is denied again, you have the right to file another appeal, this time to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission (UIAC). Again, this appeal must be received within 30 days of the mail date on the MOAHR hearing decision.
The UIAC will review the facts and legal conclusions regarding your case. It is up to the Commission to determine whether or not they will accept additional arguments or evidence on your case. Most cases submitted to the Commission are determined without a hearing. If the Commission denies your claim, you have the right to appeal to a circuit court.
The circuit court hears appeals of the decision of the Commission. If you wish to appeal the Commission’s decision, you must appeal to the Michigan court in the county where you reside or the county where your place of employment was located.
Filing an appeal with the circuit court requires a fee paid by the person filing the appeal. Like other stages of the appeals process, you have 30 days from the mail date on the UIAC decision to file an appeal with the circuit court.
While your appeal is in progress
Even though your initial claim may be declined, if you file an appeal, you should continue to file your weekly claim through your MiWAM account or on MARVIN. If your appeal is decided in your favor, you will only receive benefit payments for the weeks you certified your time. Therefore, it is important to keep certifying your time while your appeal is in progress to get your full unemployment compensation.