Unemployed individuals are more likely to qualify for increased weekly benefits and extended collection periods because of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 National Emergency. Also, individuals who would not normally qualify - due to being self-employed, an independent contractor, or for other reasons - may now qualify for benefits.

As of March 30, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), entered into an agreement with the Department of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs, providing the following to Michigan residents:

  • Benefits to low-wage workers, gig-workers, workers with a limited work history, individuals who are self-employed, and independent contractors who, due to the pandemic, can no longer work
  • An increase in weekly benefits to unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months
  • An extension of benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks

Importantly, the eligibility window to apply has been extended from 14 to 28 days from the individual’s last day of work.

Please click here to begin your application for Unemployment Benefits.

Please keep in mind that, in order to file, you will need the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Employment information, including but not limited to the following:
    o Names and addresses of employers over an 18-month period
    o First date and last date of employment
    o Gross earnings

Individuals can choose between filing online or by phone at 1-866-500-0017. However, please note that individuals are being asked to file according to their last name as follows:

Online

  • Last Name – A-L: Monday, Wednesday or Friday
  • Last Name – M-Z: Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday

 (Saturday is available if an individual misses their days.)

Phone

  • Last Name – A-L: Monday or Wednesday
  • Last Name – M-Z: Tuesday or Thursday

(Friday is available if an individual misses their days.)

It is important to keep in mind that, due to the number of individuals filing claims for unemployment, the wait time might be longer than usual.

Please feel free to consult any of the following resources as you begin this process:

Unemployment Benefits and Frequently Asked Questions

Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Insurance Agency Fact Sheet