Michigan Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is handled by The Department of Talent and Economic Development in the state of Michigan. The department offers monetary benefits to those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.
The department also offers various other services to make the claimants of the UI benefits more competent and help them get jobs easily. The following information will help you understand the criteria for eligibility, how to apply, how much benefits you may approximately receive and other information that you will need to know throughout the times you receive unemployment benefits.
Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Michigan
To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Michigan, you are expected to meet monetary, work separation and job search requirements to gain and maintain eligibility for unemployment benefits.
To gain monetary eligibility for unemployment benefits in Michigan, you must make sure that you have enough wages in your base period. The state of Michigan evaluates your monetary eligibility using one of the two types of base period calculations – Standard Base Period and Alternative Base Period.
The Department of Talent and Economic Development first looks into the wages you have earned in your Standard Base Period. This period consists of four calendar quarters, and the wages earned in the first four of the last five calendar quarters will be considered for eligibility.
The following criteria must be fulfilled to be considered eligible:
- You must have received wages in at least two calendar quarters in the Standard Base Period
- In your quarter you earned your highest wages in the base period, you earned at least $3,598
- The total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times more than the wages earned in the highest earning quarter
If you fail to meet the criteria through the standard base period calculations, the department will automatically look into the Alternative Base Period. As per the Alternative Base Period, wages earned in the last four calendar quarters will be considered for determining eligibility.
The state of Michigan offers a third option to those who do not have the wages to qualify in the Standard Base Period or in the Alternative Period, called the Alternative Earnings Qualifier. As per this:
- You must have wages in at least two calendar quarters in the base period
- The wages earned in the highest earning quarter must be at least 20 times the State Average Weekly Wage
The Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA), or the amount you may receive if you qualify for the unemployment benefits, is determined by the quarterly wages. The maximum WBA that an applicant can earn in Michigan is $362.
The benefit period or the number of weeks you would receive the monetary benefits is also based on the wages earned in the base period. To determine the benefit period, your total base period wages are multiplied by 43 percent and are divided by your WBA. The maximum number of weeks one may be eligible for is 20 weeks and the minimum is for 14 weeks.
The reason for your separation from your previous organization is crucial to determine your eligibility for unemployment benefits. There are certain preconditions that you must satisfy to gain eligibility for unemployment benefits in Michigan. They include:
- You must have lost the job due to no fault of your own
- You were asked to leave from your organization or your working hours were shortened in your place of work due to lack of work
- The reason for your separation should not be your involvement in any criminal activities
- You were not fired due to reasons such as misconduct or drug abuse
The Department of Talent and Economic Development will conduct a background check on this by consulting your previous employer. If the reason for the separation given by your employer does not match with your reason, you may not gain eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Find out if your job separation reason is valid and if you’re eligible for benefits using the eligibility calculator below.
The responsibility of maintaining eligibility does not end with claiming for benefits. You must maintain eligibility throughout the benefit period. If at any point, you become ineligible during the benefits weeks, the Department will not issue your benefit amount.
To make sure that you maintain eligibility through the benefit period, you must follow the below mentioned points:
- You must be able to work throughout the benefit period
- You must be available to work throughout the benefit period
- You must be actively pursuing jobs
- You must report at least two search contacts made every week
- After collecting 50 percent of the entitled benefits, you must apply for and accept any work that is suitable
You must be reporting for benefits as directed by the agency
How to Apply For UI Benefits in Michigan?
In order to file a claim for benefits, you must submit the following documents:
There are a number of options to file for unemployment benefits in Michigan, such as:
You can log in to Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) to apply for benefits online. The online portal is accessible 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can register as a new user if you are filing for the first time, or can log in using your ID and password if you’re returning to apply for weekly benefits.
Call Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Customer Line to file unemployed benefits by dialing 1-866-500-0017. If you suffer from hearing impairment, dial the TYY line 1-866-366-0004 to receive Unemployment Insurance services.
You can reach the customer line from Monday to Friday, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. You can also get help in Spanish by selecting Spanish as your preferred language.
The state of Michigan also allows you to file claims through the Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN). Dial 1-866-638-3993 to claim for weekly benefits.
How to File Weekly Claims
Connect with The Department of Talent and Economic Development through either MARVIN or MiWAM to collect your weekly benefit amount.
You must use the Michigan Identification Number (MIN) for security and privacy reasons every time you try to obtain Unemployment Insurance services. The MIN number can be found on most letters mailed or e-mailed to you by the department, and this will be linked to all your UI documents.
UI Benefits Amount
The calculation of weekly benefit amount takes in various components into consideration. You can now find out what your weekly benefit amount is using the benefits calculator.
Find out the approximate weekly benefit amount you may receive using the calculator below:
Things to Know After Filing An Application
You must be aware of various responsibilities, opportunities, and prohibitions that are applicable even after filing the application for weekly benefits. This will help you to make full use of all the services provided by the state of Michigan, without breaking any rules.
Overpayments and Frauds
An overpayment occurs when you are paid an excessive benefit amount, more than what you are is entitled to. It occurs due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- You made a mistake while certifying for benefits
- You were not able or available for work during one of the benefits weeks, or throughout the period, or you have willfully given false information, withheld important information, or misrepresented important information while filing for benefits
- You received benefits while an appeal was in motion, and later, the issued judgment decided that the total benefit amount paid was in excess
If it’s found that you have received an overpayment, the concerned department will send you a letter notifying about the overpayment and process of repayment. You must immediately call the concerned authorities on 1-800-638-6372 if you are currently employed but were overpaid.
The state of Michigan takes cases of Fraud seriously. Detecting and prosecuting cases of fraud is seen as a priority by the state’s UI program. A regular audit is conducted to ensure that the benefits are given out ap the state and federal law.
Some of the instances, which could be considered as fraud, that you should avoid are:
- Finding a part-time job and beginning work while still collecting benefits without reporting about your earnings to the UI department
- You were either not able to work or were not available for work but collected the UI benefits
- You gave wrong information about the weekly work search efforts
- You forged documents to mislead the department that you were eligible for UI benefits
- You allowed someone other than yourself to complete your bi-weekly certifications
- You let somebody else other than yourself to report on MiWAM or MARVIN for UI benefits
If it’s found that you were involved in fraud, you may be subjected to the following:
- You will have to pay back 1.5 times the excessive benefit amount received
- You may not receive the benefit amount for the remainder of your benefit period
- You could face criminal prosecution
- In the event you are prosecuted, you will have to pay the court fees and fines, face jail time or perform community service, or any combination of these
There are no state or federal government funded benefit extension programs active in Michigan. No alternative exists to collect benefits after the end of the stipulated benefit period.
Job Training Assistance
The state of Michigan runs a program called ‘No Worker Left Behind’ (NWLB), which aims to help workers acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the present global scenario. The state defines the vision of the program as the following:
- Accelerate worker transitions through learning
- Support the employers and economic development of the state of Michigan
- Make use of existing training resources
The NWLB offers some important services to help you in finding new avenues for your careers, such as:
- Under this program, you can claim free tuition at any Michigan community college, university, or any other approved training programs
- Skill assessment given by the Michigan Works! Agencies (MWA)
- The MWAs will assist the applicants who pass out of the colleges to find placements
- The MWAs will help the participants identify high demand occupation in the region