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How To Apply For Unemployment In Michigan

Michigan has been heavily struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state, like many others, is forcing residents to stay at home to help curb its spread.

However, this creates a problem for the thousands of Michigan people who are currently unemployed and anxious about their financial security as well as their health.

If you’ve lost your job, been placed on furlough, or had your hours cut or lowered to zero due to no fault of your own, you can file for unemployment in Michigan.

In this article, I’ll be showing you how to apply for unemployment in Michigan. Carefully read through.

About Unemployment Benefits

Every state has its own unemployment insurance system, which will be in charge of overseeing both state and federal benefits. 

Employers pay for unemployment indirectly. Unemployment taxes are paid to the state by employers. The amount of taxes levied is determined in part by the number of jobless claims filed against the employer. The collected taxes are deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The trust fund is used to pay unemployment compensation.

A claim is valid for 52 weeks from the date it is filed. This is the year of your benefits. In a benefit year, you can only get 20 weeks of unemployment benefits. The maximum weekly wage for unemployed people is $362.

Benefit weeks are the weeks when you receive benefits. The number of benefit weeks you receive is determined by your total base period salary and the amount of your weekly benefit.

SEE ALSO: How To File For Unemployment Benefits In NC

Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits in Michigan

If all of the following apply to you, you are eligible for unemployment benefits:

  • If you do not have a job or only work part-time
  • You worked and earned money in the previous 18 months
  • It is not your fault that you do not have a job
  • If your employer cut your working hours
  • If you are self-employed and have suffered a loss of income
  • You’re eligible for unemployment benefits if you’ve been quarantined and are unable to work
  • If you are unable to work due to the risk of coronavirus exposure
  • If you are unable to work because you are caring for a family member who has coronavirus
  • You are readily available for employment
  • Lastly, you are actively seeking employment

If you quit your job or were fired because of workplace wrongdoing, you may still be eligible for benefits.

You must continue to meet the qualifying standards in order to receive unemployment benefits. You may lose eligibility if any of the aforementioned circumstances change. Also, those without pay records (such as those who labor for cash under the table), those who have been fired for cause, or those who have been on paid leave will be out of luck.

READ ALSO: How To Apply For Unemployment In California

Benefit of Unemployment Benefits in Michigan

Here are a few benefits to be accused from obtaining unemployment benefits in Michigan:

  • Unemployment benefits protect unemployed workers from emptying their assets in order to continue consumption by restoring some of their lost income.
  • Unemployment benefits in Michigan assist keep low-income families out of poverty by supplementing their income.
  • This schemes encourage workers to accept positions that are crucial to the economy despite the possibility of being laid off.
  • Unemployment benefits allow workers to continue to consume while spending more time looking for a job that matches their talents.
  • Unemployment benefits supplement workers’ income during recessions while having few negative consequences.

How To File For Unemployment Benefits in Michigan

All Michigan people seeking unemployment benefits must normally be unemployed through no fault of their own, actively seeking work, and have historical earnings that meet specific limits.

On the webpage of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, you can request unemployment benefits. Keep the following information handy:

  • Your Social Security number or the number assigned to you by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
  • Number on your state-issued driver’s license or ID card
  • Employer name, residence, dates of employment, and quarterly cumulative earnings over the previous 18 months
  • If feasible, provide your most recent employers’ (FEIN) Federal Employer ID Number and employer bank account (Your employer’s FEIN can be found on your W-2 form).
  • For direct deposit, you’ll need to know your bank account information.
  • You must login in every now and again to request payment after you’ve set up your account. You can also contact the Michigan Department of Labor and Employment.
  • If you are not a US citizen or national, you will need to bring your Alien Registration card as well as the expiration date of your work authorization.

However, due to public health concerns, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has postponed the work search requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the previous earnings criteria remain in effect.

READ ALSO: How to get funding for a business | Sure ways

How Does Michigan Access Applicants?

Michigan, like many other states, uses a base period to assess if you are eligible for benefits based on your previous income. This is normally the first four of the previous five completed quarters prior to your application. So, if you apply in March, your base period will be from October 2020 to September 2020, however, if you apply in April, your earnings from January 2020 to December 2020 would be considered. If you are not qualified for benefits based on this base period, you may be able to utilize an alternate base period that considers your income over the four most recently completed quarters.

You must have generated earnings in at least two of your base period’s four quarters, and you must have probably earned $3,589 in one of those quarters. You must also have earned at least 1.5 times your highest-earning quarter amount over the course of your entire base period.

Those who do not meet the wage tests in either the standard or alternate base periods may still be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the following criteria:

  • In your base period, you have earned pay in at least two quarters.
  • Your earnings were at minimum 20 times the state average weekly wage (now $1,037.10) in your highest-earning quarter.

What Happens If My Unemployment Claim Is Rejected?

On the Monetary Determination form, you’ll receive after applying, you can appeal an unemployment claim refusal within 30 days after the postal date. The form will include instructions for filing a protest and starting the Redetermination process.

READ ALSO: What is Unemployment Insurance? | How to file in NJ

How Much Can I Possibly Earn Weekly As Unemployment Benefits In Michigan?

According to Michigan law, your earnings over the last 18 months are included when computing the weekly benefit amount. The maximum entitlement is $362 per week in weekly benefits.

Will I Pay Tax On Unemployment Benefits?

Yes. A 1099-G will be issued to you. You can choose not to pay your taxes for a period of time.

For How Long Am I Eligible To Receive Unemployment Benefits In Michigan?

Unemployment benefits are normally available for up to 20 weeks. However, this has been extended for claims received between March 3 and April 18, 2020. Unless they find new work, everyone is eligible for a minimum of 14 weeks of unemployment. Keep in mind that the CARES Act increases your benefit term by 13 weeks.


The Counsel and Advocacy Law Line may be able to assist you if you have a question regarding whether you are qualified for unemployment benefits or if you believe you have been wrongfully refused benefits. This is a toll-free helpline for legal assistance. Apply online or call 1-888-783-8190 to see if they can assist you. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


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Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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