To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must be unemployed and able to, available for, and actively seeking suitable full-time work. Unless instructed otherwise by UIA staff, you must also register for work within two to three business days of applying for benefits by filing your resume with the Michigan Talent Bank and by reporting to your local Michigan Works! Agency service center.
The UIA will look at your standard base period to determine if your earnings 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 check your earnings in the alternate base period, which is the four most recently completed calendar quarters.
There are two ways in which your earnings may qualify you for unemployment benefits:
- Regular qualifying method: (a) For benefit years beginning 1/6/2008 through 1/3/2009, you must have wages in at least two quarters in your base period. In one quarter, your wages must be at least $2,774; and (b) total wages for all four quarters must equal at least one and a half times the highest amount of wages paid in any quarter of the base period. ($2,774 x 1.5 = $4,161)
- Alternate Earnings Qualifier (AEQ): (a) You must have wages in at least two quarters; and (b) total wages for all four quarters must equal at least 20 times the state average weekly wage (SAWW). For example in 2008, the AEQ amount is $16,400.80. [20 x $820.04 (SAWW) = $16,400.80]
How do I file for unemployment benefits?
File by phone
Once you become unemployed, you can file a new claim or reopen an existing claim for benefits by calling the special toll-free telephone number at 1-866-500-0017. You can call and file by using a touch-tone telephone from anywhere in the USA or Canada. For TTY callers, use 1-866-366-0004.
The scheduled time for filing by phone is based on the last two digits of your Social Security number. For example, if your Social Security number ends in 50, you would phone in your application on Tuesday afternoon. Workers who are unable to call on their appointed day and time can dial the toll-free number anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday or Friday of the same week.
To file a claim, you will need the following information
- Your Social Security Number, your Driver's License Number or State Identification or your MARVIN PIN (if you have one);
- The names and addresses of employers you have worked for in the past 18 months with your quarterly gross earnings and the last date of employment with each employer;
- If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, you will need your Alien Registration Number and the expiration date of your work authorization.
You Can File a New Claim if:
- You have worked in the past 18 months,
- You worked only in the State of Michigan during the past 18 months,
- You did not work under more than one Social Security Number in the past 18 months,
- You have not filed a claim for unemployment benefits against another state in the past 12 months.
Information You Must Have Available To File A Claim For Unemployment Benefits:
- Your Social Security Number,
- Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) from a previous claim used to call MARVIN, your driver's license or state ID number,
- Your United States financial institution's Routing Transit Number and your Account Number if selecting Direct Deposit for your benefit payments,
- If you are not a citizen or national of the United States, you will need your Alien Registration Number and the expiration date of your work authorization,
- The names, addresses, dates of employment, and wages paid by the employers you worked for during the past 18 months.