Released on March 30, 2020
Unemployment Benefits Increased and Expanded
Governor Whitmer today has announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, you DO NOT need to reapply at this time.
The UIA will provide additional guidance regarding eligibility and application details in the coming days as it implements these new programs.
New Filing Schedule
The new system uses alphabetical order to manage web visits and calls. It is being implemented as UIA has moved nearly all of its staff members to customer service positions in order to faster assist Michiganders in filing for benefits. At the same time, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget is working to expand capacity and infrastructure of the State’s online systems. Potential benefit recipients can help alleviate the system overload by following a few simple steps:
- If you have a computer and the internet, please use the website, not the phone system, to apply for benefits: Michigan.gov/UIA.
- Log onto the website during off-hours for better access – late at night or very early in the morning.
- Please be patient. If the page is loading slowly, DO NOT refresh. Give it a few minutes to load.
- View the online tool kit and frequently asked questions before you apply to ensure that you have the appropriate information and documents you will need on hand.
- If you must use the Call Center, please observe the alphabetical system outlined below beginning this Sunday to help ease the burden.
Online Filing Schedule - Michigan.gov/UIA
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule - 866-500-0017:
- Last names beginning with the letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Last names beginning with the letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Fridays (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.
When you file will NOT affect whether you are approved for benefits or the amount of payment. You will be compensated from the date you were laid-off or released from your employment. You have 28 days from your last day of work to apply for benefits. UIA understands the urgency that benefit recipients are experiencing, but the fastest way to secure benefits is to follow the UIA guidelines.
The current situation is unprecedented, and UIA is doing everything in its power to ensure that those who are eligible for benefits receive them. Our team is working as quickly as possible to process applications and approve benefits. Your assistance is essential to maximizing our efficiency as we work to help all Michiganders get the financial support they have earned.
For additional resources visit Michigan.gov/UIA.