Learn How To Apply For Unemployment Claims With Our Guide

Learn How To Apply For Unemployment Claims With Our Guide

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Submitting an unemployment benefits claim in Michigan is an option for all workers in the state, but only those who were separated from their last jobs through no fault of their own, are actively seeking new employment, and meet the other requirements can receive weekly payments.

We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in Michigan on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in Michigan by reading below, checking out our Michigan FAQs, and reading our free guide.

Learn About Unemployment Benefits in Michigan

To determine if the applicant has enough wages to qualify for benefits, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) looks at the applicant’s “base period,” which is a period of four calendar quarters. For the applicant’s MI unemployment benefits claim, UIA specifically looks at the wages paid in the first four of the last five completed quarters.

For the UI petitioner to have a claim:

  • He or she must have wages in at least two calendar quarters of the base period.
  • The wages in the highest quarter of the base period must be at least $3,744.
  • His or her total wages for all four quarters must equal at least one and a half times the wages in the highest-paid of the base period.

If the former worker does not qualify using the standard base period, the UIA looks at wages that were paid in the four most recently completed quarters (which means the UIA includes the quarter that ended immediately before the quarter the applicant filed his or her new claim). This is known as the alternate base period.

Under the alternative base period, the applicant must have wages in at least two calendar quarters of the base period and his or her total wages for all four quarters must equal at least 20 times the state average weekly wage, which may change each year.

The MI federal unemployment benefits claim weekly benefit amount (WBA) is determined by multiplying the claimant’s highest quarterly total of wages by 4.1 percent, adding $6 per dependent (for up to 5 dependents) and rounding down to the nearest dollar. The maximum WBA is capped at $362.

In claiming benefits for unemployment, dependents are defined as any family member who received more than half the cost of his or her support from the individual claimant for at least 90 consecutive days immediately the first week of the benefit year—or in the case of a dependent spouse or child, for the duration of the marital or parental relationship, if the relationship existed less than 90 days before the beginning of the benefit year.

Learn About Filing a Claim in Michigan

After an applicant files an unemployment benefits claim in MI, he or she receives a “Monetary Determination,” which explains whether he or she earned enough wages to receive unemployment benefits. A claim is established for a period of 52 weeks from the week it is filed. This one-year period is called a “benefit year.”

The federal unemployment benefits Monetary Determination for the applicant, in addition to informing the applicant whether or not they meet the qualifications for unemployment benefits, also lists the number of benefit weeks he or she is entitled to and the calculations to arrive at the weekly benefit amount granted.

To continue to claim unemployment benefits in Michigan, the UI petitioner can use either Michigan’s Automated Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN) or the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM). For MARVIN, but not for MiWAM, the claimant will need a four-digit PIN.

For both MARVIN and MiWAM, the applicant must be able to work each week they claim, be available for full-time work, and be actively seeking full-time work for the weeks they claim. The appointment day for MARVIN is found by matching the applicant’s last two digits of their Social Security Number with a one-hour window between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

To claim unemployment benefits using MiWAM, the claimant can access MiWAM from 12 a.m. Monday until 11:59 p.m. Saturday of the appointment week.

MI federal unemployment benefits can be paid to the applicant by two options; direct deposit or debit card. The former employee can change his or her option at any time, but the change must be made at least three business days before he or she contacts MARVIN or MiWAM for the next payment. This change can be made online or by phone.

How Long You May Receive Benefits in Michigan

The maximum number of weeks of unemployment benefits in Michigan is 26 weeks. If the claimant receives all of his or her weeks of benefits before the one-year period ends, he or she must wait until the end of the benefit year before a new claim can be filed.

Applicants may collect some weeks of MI unemployment benefits and then return to work. If a petitioner becomes unemployed again before his or her benefit year ends and has weeks of benefits remaining (a balance), he or she can re-open the claim or file an additional claim. If the former worker has not collected the balance by the time the benefit year ends, the balance is no longer available to them.

Learn About Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Federal Income Taxes

Unemployment payments are considered income and are subject to state and federal taxes. Beneficiaries may request that Michigan deducts their tax responsibility automatically, or they can accept the full amount knowing they will need to declare the income when they file for taxes.

Last Updated: February 28, 2023