Michigan Unemployment Calculator
Michigan residents seeking unemployment compensation can use the Michigan unemployment benefits calculator to estimate their payments.
Calculate your estimated Michigan unemployment benefit by entering your gross wages below. Please note that this tool provides an estimation and does not guarantee eligibility.
Michigan Unemployment Benefits Calculator
In order to see your weekly unemployment benefit amount, start by inputting the number of dependents you have, since Michigan awards extra unemployment insurance benefits or dependents. Then, input your gross income (before taxes and withholdings are taken out) for each calendar quarter. Based on the information you input, you will know what to expect to receive from the Michigan DOL (Department of Labor) during your benefit period.
How are Michigan unemployment benefits calculated?
When you apply for unemployment benefits in Michigan, if you are approved you will receive a weekly benefit amount (WBA). The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity will calculate your weekly benefit amount by looking at your gross income during your base period. Your weekly benefit amount will be determined by multiplying your highest earning base period quarter by 4.1%. The minimum amount of benefits you will be awarded is at least $81 per week, and the maximum is $362.
Suppose, for example, that in your highest earning calendar quarter you earned $4,500 in wages. Applying 0.041 to this number, your weekly benefit amount would come out to be $185, rounded up to the nearest dollar amount.
How many weeks do I get benefits?
To determine how many weeks you will get to collect unemployment insurance, your total base period wages will be multiplied by 43%, then divided by your WBA, and then rounded down to the nearest half week. You will get to collect at least 14 weeks of benefits, but no more than 20 weeks.
This formula is a little different than the one used in other places around the United States, where the taxable wages of the highest quarter would be considered.
For example, continuing the above example with a $185 WBA, suppose your total wages in the base period were $18,000. Multiplying that number by 43% would yield $7,740. Dividing that number by 185 would in turn yield 41.83. But because you can collect no more than 20 weeks, that would be the maximum amount of time you can get benefits anyway.
As you can see, in many cases claimants are going to be able to collect 20 weeks of unemployment benefits, as long as they keep up with their biweekly certification and meet the requirements for conducting an honest faith job search.
What is a base period?
In Michigan, your base period is the first four calendar quarters out of the last complete five calendar quarters before the quarter in which you filed for unemployment. For example, if you file a UI benefits claim in May, your base period would be the entire previous calendar year – the four complete calendar quarters before the calendar quarter of January, February, and March.
Michigan has additional eligibility requirements involving your base period: You must have earned wages in at least two of these calendar quarters, and one of those quarters must have seen you earning a net income of $3,744. Also, your total base period wages must be at least 1.5 times the total wages of your highest earning quarter.
Remember that unemployment insurance is there to help claimants bridge the gap between one employer and the next. If you are wondering why these requirements are so formulaic, it is basically to make sure that you have been working consistently.
If claimants do not meet these requirements, the unemployment department will allow them to use something called an alternate base period, which is simply the last four complete calendar quarters before the claimant filed their initial claim.
How dependents affect your weekly benefit amount
The Unemployment Insurance Agency of Michigan will allow you to collect extra benefits for dependents. Dependents can include any family member (children, spouse, parent) who received more than half of their financial support from you within the 90 days prior to your layoff or termination. You can receive an additional $6 per dependent per week, for up to 5 dependents, so remember that when you file your Michigan unemployment application.
Taking our previous example of a $185 weekly benefit amount, if you are unemployed and can claim a spouse, two children, and a 70 year old in-law living at home with you and receiving financial support, you could be awarded an additional $20 per week, bringing your total up to $205. Although $20 may not seem like such a difference, over the course of 20 weeks it will be an additional $400, which for many Michigan residents could be 2-3 months of utility bills.
To get a little more specific about what qualifies for a dependent, it can be a natural child, adopted child, stepchild, or even grandchild under 18, or if over 18, one whose physical or mental condition prevents gainful employment. Dependents under the age of 22 who are full time students can also be claimed.
Parents must be a legal father or mother over 65 years of age, or one whose physical or mental condition prevents retaining gainful employment.
Siblings under 18 can be claimed if they are orphaned, or if the parents are dependents. If they are over 18, they can be claimed as a dependent if they are under 22 and a full time student. Alternatively, if they are over 18 they can be claimed as a dependent if their physical or mental condition prevents them from working.
As you can see, there are some very nuanced requirements around this particular aspect of Michigan unemployment eligibility. This is one area that can easily lead to a miscalculated benefit amount on your Monetary Determination. You can file an appeal if you disagree with the amount, just be sure to keep filing benefits while you wait for the appeal to be resolved. This is one good reason for using the Michigan unemployment calculator before you file your application since it factors in dependents and lets you know how much unemployment insurance you are entitled to collect.
Calculating UI benefits for part-time workers
If an unemployed worker ends up working part time while collecting unemployment benefits, the benefit amount will be reduced. The amount of this reduction will depend on how much you earn during these weeks, as reported each time you file your biweekly claim—and you must report all wages and tips. You do not need to report earnings from government programs like SNAP benefits.
If these earnings are equal to or more than 1.5 your WBA, you will not get benefits for that week. For instance, if your WBA is $205 (continuing our example) you cannot earn more than $308 and collect benefits – in fact, you won’t get benefits at all for that week.
If your earnings are equal to less than 1.5 times your WBA, but more than your WBA, your total earnings will be subtracted from 1.5 times your WBA to get your benefit amount. For example, say you earned $300 doing some gig work one week, and your WBA is $205. As that’s less than 1.5 times your WBA but more than your WBA, $300 would be subtracted from $308 and you would only be able to collect $8 that week.
If your earnings are equal to or less than your WBA, 50% of these earnings will be subtracted from your WBA. For instance, if you earn $100 and your WBA is $205, you will collect $155 that week. Keep in mind for all the formulas outlined above that back owed vacation pay, holiday pay, bonus pay, severance pay, and pension payments must all be reported.
How To Get Paid
Whether you file online or over the phone, there are two ways to collect your MI unemployment. You can have a direct deposit sent to your checking account at your bank or credit union. Or, you can have the Michigan unemployment office deposit the money to a prepaid debit card. This card is not managed by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, but U.S. Bancorp. You can change your preferred payment method by logging in to your MiWAM account or by calling 866-500-0017.
Michigan Unemployment Taxes
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.
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%.
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.