How To File For Michigan Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Michigan. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Michigan Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Michigan unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Michigan unemployment benefits qualification

With wage record, a person must receive at least one and a half times the high quarter wages in four quarters to qualify. The Alternate Earnings Qualifier (total base period wages of at least $17,868.00, when an individual's total base period wages do not equal or exceed 1 ½ times the high quarter wages) continues as an alternate means of qualifying, but wages must have been paid in at least two quarters. If you file a new claim for benefits and your last benefit year expired within the last six calendar quarters, you must additionally satisfy the following earnings requirement:

  • Worked after your prior benefit year began and
  • Been paid, by a liable employer, at least five times the last weekly benefit amount that was in effect on your prior benefit year

If you meet the requirements to establish a claim, for each week you claim benefits you must also be:

  • Able to work
  • Available for work
  • Seeking full-time employment

Duration of collecting unemployment

To calculate the number of weeks of entitlement:

  • Multiply your total base period wages by 40% (0.4)
  • Divide the result in step 1 by your Weekly Benefit Amount
  • Round down to the nearest half-week. The result is the number of weeks you may receive benefits. The maximum is 20 weeks and the minimum is 14 weeks, except for benefits based on family employment, in which case benefits are limited to 7 weeks

Calculating weekly benefits amount

To calculate your Weekly Benefit Amount:

  • Multiply the wages you were paid in the high quarter of your base period by 4.1% (0.041). Round down to the nearest dollar
  • Add $6 for each dependent, up to 5 dependents
  • The sum of steps 1 and 2 is you Weekly Benefit Amount. It cannot be more than $362. The minimum Weekly Benefit Amount is $81

Information needed when applying for unemployment benefits

Your Social Security number, Driver License Number or State Identification Number. The names and addresses of employers you have worked for in the past 18 months along with your quarterly gross earnings and the last date of employment with each employer. If you are not a citizen or national of the United States, you will need your Alien Registration Number and expiration date of your work authorization.

Base Period

The base period is the four completed calendar quarters in which wages paid to you are considered for determining your Weekly Benefit Amount and the number of weeks of entitlement. In most cases the base period will be the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the week you file your new claim for benefits.

The UIA will look at your standard base period to determine if your wages qualify you for unemployment benefits. The standard base period includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to when you filed your claim. The four calendar quarters in a year are: January - March, April - June, July - September and October - December. If you cannot qualify based on your standard base period, the UIA will consider your wages in the alternate base period, which is the four most recently completed calendar quarters.

Benefit Year

A benefit year is the 52 week period following the date you file your claim.

Where can I get help if I still have questions?

If you have a question or problem with your claim, call our telephone filed claims number using a touch-tone telephone and inquire about your claim at 866-500-0017. The inquiry option is available weekdays between 7am and 4:30pm Eastern Time.

File Michigan unemployment claim online

The Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) allows you to file for unemployment benefits via the Internet. You will be asked for input to support your claim. The process could take up to 45 minutes depending on your connection speed and the accuracy of your current information in our system. To access the system to file online, click here.

File Michigan unemployment claim by phone

You can file for unemployment benefits by phone from anywhere in Michigan or North America. The state's unemployment insurance program has a special toll-free telephone number for filing a new claim or reopening an established claim: 866-500-0017 (TTY: 866-366-0004).

Check current unemployment claim status

If you have filed a claim, you can check the status or resolve problems by touch tone phone. The contact information and hours of operations is listed below.

Weekdays: 7am to 4:30pm
Telephone: 866-500-0017 (TTY: 866-366-0004)

File an appeal

If you are found to be disqualify or ineligible, and you disagree with the decision, you have the right to protest a determination or appeal a re-determination. A Determination is the first level of Ul decision making. If the Determination is not in your favor, you have the right to protest. A protest must be received within 30 days from the mail date on the Determination. When protesting late, you should include an explanation of why the protest is late. The correct address and fax number for your protest will be included on the Determination.

A Redetermination is issued after a protest is received by Ul. If the Redetermination is not in your favor, you have the right to appeal. The correct address and fax number for your appeal will be included on the Redetermination. When appealing late, you should include an explanation of why the request for appeal is late.

Appeals are handled by the Michigan Administrative Hearings System (MAHS). You will receive a Notice of Hearing by mail. MAHS is not a part of Ul, so all documentation needs to be submitted to the office listed on your Notice of Hearing. After receiving the notice, you will be scheduled for a hearing with an administrative law judge (AU). Other interested parties, representatives from UI and your employer will also receive a notice. Hearings may occur by phone or in person.