• 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 had 2 emergency spine surgeries Dec. 2015 I work for Home Depot FT been there 13 yrs. same position I DO NOT have any Disability benefits due to them denying me 3 yrs. ago due to me just having a hysterectomy. I filed application with State of Michigan Unemployment for some help (Reduced # of hours) one of my customers told me that I would be eligible. I have provided all the information they have asked of me and they say I am ineligible due to “Lack of evidence showing I am able to work FT” I don’t get it, I wouldn’t need help if I could work FT but because of my medical condition (comfort level) standing, sitting, no lifting, limited mobility, etc… My job entails a lot of lifting, standing on concrete, can not really sit to do any job there for more then 5 minutes. I am very sore and hurting a lot after 2-3 hrs of work and it takes me 1 day just to recover from that. UIA online system is horrible I have sent them numerous messages trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with my claim and I don’t even get a direct answer back NO HELP! Resolution center is 2 1/2 hrs drive and in my condition an hour in the car is all I can handle. Help me please.

    1. Well, the rule is quite simple. UI benefits are only available to those who are able and available to work.

      If you’re present health conditions are related to the job, you can consider applying for benefits under the Workers Comp scheme.

  2. I was denied benefits based on not making enough money. I had a job which I put my 2 week notice in and was fired that day. I was able to get unemployment for a 2 week time span up until my 2 week notice would have kicked in. I started my new job which I was then fired from. Because I didn’t make enough money for s certain time span I was denied. To have I have a case to fight the denied?

  3. Can a phone conference request be made for a phone hearing with a person that was incarcerated after a judgment was overturned? I was told by the jail that the order must be received by the jail in order for the inmate to partake in the hearing. The inmate has all the paperwork that was sent to him. It could be money owed to him from BEFORE he was incarcerated, or could end up being money that this person might have to pay back if he doesn’t participate in the conference.

  4. I’m a military spouse. I was laid off post maternity leave in 2006 due to company downsizing. When I was a able to return to work, the military relocated our family to an overseas area where there were no employment options for me, as a result of my husband’s rank. We’ve recently returned to the states and I still am unable to find work. We have two children, and one is not school age yet. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    1. Please check with the labor authorities in your state. Each state formulates its own rules regarding Military men and their families.

  5. im at the age of 55,i have been working for over 5yrs,i want to retire,if i resizine,would i be able to get unemployment benifits, i don’t have a pension,but i don’t need to work.

  6. Another employee lied and said that I had broken a company policy by smoking inside the door entrance but I was not inside the building I was outside the door. Although I was in view of a camera, the company refused to review the camera, and they believe the other employee over me. Is this considered being my fault for termination?

  7. I quit my job because the owner was constantly rude, calling the employees stupid, even stupider than the concrete we are standing on. After 10 month of that I was waking up sick to my stomach just thinking about going to work….Do I qualify for UI

    1. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Either ways, please check further with the labor authorities in your state by calling the customer service.

    1. If you’ve lost your job,please educate self about various aspects of unemployment insurance and consider applying for it until you find a new job.

  8. I was let go because of no fault of my own and now that I try to collect unemployment they have told me that I was a no call no show and that is a lie what do I do or how can I show they lied to not give benifits

    1. I worked 40 hrs work week salaried postion as a nurse case-manager on a health reform project which goes to 2015. I was told that my postion would dropped to 2 day per week. I told them I needed for that 2 days aweek for financial and insurance reasons. I was told that they plan to replace me with a social worker. I worked for the almost 3 years. Can i get unemplyment is I can’t find work right away?

      1. You should be eligible if you were on employment fulfilling all basic criteria prescribed in your state.

        Please consider applying for benefits if you’re laid off.

    1. This is not the unemployment office. Perhaps you can find that information on the website for unemployment in the State of Michigan.

  9. Chrystal d. George

    I need to have my unemployment claim verified, but I don’t know where to go. I have looked and don’t know if I’m not finding it, or if I have a long drive to get there, don’t know. Can you help me? Thanks

    1. Usually not, though you can call the unemployment office to confirm. If somehow you have paid into unemployment on your behalf, you may have left something out of your question that would indicate you are eligible.

  10. i am taking an elec. online college course with my own money and can finish at my own time line, do I have to report this to the unemployment office before I can get my money from them?

  11. Benjamin Normandie

    I just graduated from Michigan Career and Technical Institute and am currently looking for employment. I had work before and during my training, but now I have no job. Can I collect unemployment in this circumstance?

  12. My call in day was July 10th and I miss the appointment and make-up day. I’ve been calling and not able to get throught with high call volumes. What should I do?

  13. if im working part time and draw part ssi can i still draw unployment..they went out of business.. and i can not do heavy lifting or stand to long at one time .

    1. Hi Carol,

      If you were laid off, and have sufficient earnings in the base period, you are most likely to be eligible for UC. Please note that there are other requirements to be eligible and also weekly requirements. There is a possibility where a person can work part time and receive SS, and still manage to receive unemployment benefits. You need to mention about all your earnings during the weekly claims without fail, else it would be considered fraud.

  14. Debra Pratt (Millard)

    I was sent a letter stating I was NO longer eligible for UI. However, on July 5, 2013 unemployment deposited $291.54 into my checking acc’t and I should NOT have it. How do I return the payment to the state?
    I also had faxed my name change through the Ottowa Co. Unemployment Agency and have emailed ALL of my weekly work records and I am still getting mail and checks in my married name (Millard) and it should be Pratt. What do I do? Thank you. Deb Pratt

  15. my daughter was on unemployment and was then sentenced to serve jail-time for a DUI/probation violation. will she be able to resume unemployment benefits when she is released from jail?

    1. Hi Julia,

      If she is able and available to work, she can seek unemployment benefits provided she meets all the requirements set up by the state.

  16. Im new in usa married.I have a child.6months still working a company. But next month 2weeks laid off gross almost 7000 $.can I get unemployment.

  17. I became physically unable to do my job (3 months now). My Employer decided I was too much a risk and removed my keys. So, I have not worked for the last 3 months. I am still trying to get back on my feet but have been with no income for the last three months. I am able to work just not able to do the job I was doing. Can/should I apply for unemployment?

    1. Hi Marvin,
      Since you are unable to get back to a suitable job, you may not receive unemployment benefits. You can check if you can collect short term disability benefits.

  18. I have to move, my wife got a job 35 miles from my work so I have to quit and find a job closer to our new home. Will I be able to collect unemployment until I find a job??

  19. I was involuntarily put on leave by employer for 3 weeks pending with no pay, due to injury. Do I qualify for underemployment wages, because the company, nor I have short term disability policy?

    1. Hi Tanisha,

      Here are your possibilities to receive benefits –

      Was this a work related injury? If yes, then you may be entitled to receive benefits.
      If not, your chances are slim as unemployment compensation requires the workers to be available and able to work in order to receive benefits.

  20. Steve Dombrowski

    in a small incorporated family owned business, with employees who are also minor share holders, does the corporations unemployment tax apply to all employees who are also minority share holders; and can employees who are also minor shareholders qualify for unemployment benefits

    1. Hi Steve,

      If the corporation is filing employment taxes to the state government, then its employees are entitled to receive unemployment benefits when laid off. Usually if the employee is holding shares of 25% or more of the corporation then, he/she might be exempted from receiving unemployment benefits. You might want to check with Michigan unemployment office for a more accurate take on this. Please let us know if you gather more information on the same. Thank you.

  21. Is there a difference between severance pay and termination pay. Our jobs are being terminated in July and we were told that if if is severance we cannot collect unemployment. Yet it is not it is termination. So it has caused a lot of confusion with the wording. Please clarify if we are being terminated can we still collect unemployment,and does the company have to code it as termination for us to collect it. Thank you…I hope this makes sense

    1. Hi P Jones,

      In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must have lost job through no fault of your own. Termination and severance pay appear to be the same, but, I’m sorry I am unable to help you with that. You can go ahead and apply for benefits and during your weekly claims, you will have an opportunity to provide information about the severance or termination pay what you received. Look up for other eligibility requirements to receive unemployment benefits.

    1. Hi Crystal,

      You can apply but I hope you know that there are other eligibility requirements which need you to have earned a certain amount last year or in your base period. You need to have worked previously under covered employment where your employer has paid employment taxes. These taxes fund unemployed workers and is state regulated.

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Few states provide assistance to workers who do not have sufficient earnings in the base period. This means, the unemployment office provides some benefits to workers who have worked only a couple of months under covered employment. Contact the unemployment office and check if Michigan is one of those states.

  22. i have been trying to reach the 866 500 0017 phone number for hours daily but have not been able to get through i need help with my claim i havent received any payment for my claim for last week of march and first week of april my next reporting date is april 24th please help me thank you

    1. Hi Phillip,

      Are you calling from a touch tone phone? If you have the eligibility to receive unemployment benefits, you can go ahead and start filing your weekly claims. If you do not file weekly, you will not receive any amount. Please check these links to know how you can go about filing your weekly claims. You will have to serve a waiting week during which you will not receive any payment.

      Phones are usually busy due to high call volumes. Trying calling at the end of the week and second slot of the day. Unemployment offices suffer heavy call volumes on mondays and tuesdays.

  23. I was let go from my job on tuesday after 13 years. They have offer me a severance package, if I sign this agreement I will receive 12 weeks of pay as a reg paycheck with benefits. I would like to know if I should sign up for unemployment now of after the severance pay is done and will I receive unemployment benefits if I don’t have a job.

  24. I am wondering why I am only getting a partial payment this time. Whenever I call the number given they say they are to busy to answer

  25. I called an attorney about unpaid commissions the company I worked for owes me. They have found out and are making very difficult because they will have to pay. If I quit my job am I eligible for unemployment because of the stress they are putting on me.
    Thank You

    1. If you move out of state, you can still collect unemployment. You must complete a change of address form on line and continue to file your weekly claims. You will have to search for work in your new state.

  26. I recently had a baby and had my tubes done, my work is only allowing me 8 Weeks then they are terminating me because my doctor said 12-14 due to the csection,tubes and a heart condition also I was taken off 1week early due to preclamisia will I qualify for unemployment,I’ve been with the company for 5years.

  27. I am on short term disability that will end next week. I can not collect long term disability because I did not finish a year of work. I work for walmart and can not go back to work because of my knees. No heavy lifting. Walmart will not let me go back to work because of restrictions. Can I apply for unemployment?

  28. I am possibly quitting my job for a number of reasons. I was promised a position within 5 months of being hired then I never got that position. Due to that I am never provided with a schedule so it’s hard for me to make arrangements for my 4 kids. While I was out on maternity leave my boss sent me text messages asking for my letter of resignation. The list of reasons can go on and on but does it sound like I have “just cause” to quit?

    1. I worked on a dairy Farm for the past 5 years but the last year has been bad because they are trying to go bigger and don’t have the help so it all is falling on my shoulders so last Friday I got yealled at again and I just couldn’t deal with the Owner anymore so I quiet.Can I get unemployment benefits for this? Thanks

  29. If under the WARN ACT do I still file for unemployment benefits and if the la not permanent yet does my benefit still count for week not claimed?

  30. A respiratory Therapist who is on consignment, hours get cut to 1 dayfrom 3 days min a week from a Hospital….Can he/she file for unemployment?

  31. My husband has to go to texas for work we have sold our house to go. can i get unemployment even though i had to quit my job in order to
    go with my husband

  32. My husband will be off work for 12 weeks due to surgery. We have no disability at his work is there any help for us. Can he get unemployment?

    1. Whether your husband can get unemployment benefits depends on his state’s eligibility requirements. Though requirements can vary widely from state to state, one of the universal requirements is that he be physically able to perform work.

      If your husband is unable to work permanently, unemployment benefits will be denied. If he is unable to work temporarily due to surgery, he can’t collect benefits for the time he is unable to work. He must report his availability to work to the state accurately or he could face stiff penalties.

  33. I work part time for an attorney that is running for Circuit Court Judge, and we are all confident she will win in November. That means she will have to close her sole practioner office. Would I be able to collect unemployment benefits in this case scenario?

  34. I became physically unable to do my job (2 months now). My employer said he would hold my job for me until I am better. At first he let me answer phones and then decided I was too much a risk at work. So, I have not worked for the last 2 months, been in the hospital twice and admitted once. I am still trying to get back on my feet but have been with no income for the last couple of months. I am able to work just not able to do the job I was doing. Can/should I apply for unemployment?

  35. I filed for unemployment and i didnt have a printer. how can i go back on to print the paper i need for michigan works?

  36. Pingback: Michigan unemployment jumps again in March | File Unemployment

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