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UPDATE-COVID-19 and Unemployment

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is adding staff and hours to better serve an unprecedented increase in customers filing unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19. The best way to file a claim is online at  The UIA site is experiencing very heavy volumes. Everyone is encouraged to access the site during off peak times, between 8:00pm – 8:00am.

We know newly eligible workers impacted by COVID-19 are eager to get benefits. To help everyone get through, here is a step by step guide that will hopefully be of assistance.   And click here to see a video with step by step instructions on how to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). And if you've applied for PUA funds and choose direct deposit on the initial claim, however payment information from the initial claim is not being sent to the PUA claim, here is a work-around that could help. Click here for a step by step guide that may help!

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had previously announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19. Under the federal CARES Act, she signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increased weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. 


To mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak, the Unemployment Insurance Agency and Michigan Works! agencies are urging claimants to utilize user-friendly online resources for unemployment assistance. 

Due to increased call volumes at this time of year, for faster service, file your claim for unemployment benefits online through MiWAM. Filing online is fast and convenient and is available 24 hours a day. View the MiWAM Toolkit for Claimants for step by step instructions on how create your account. To see how to create a MiWAM! account click here.  To see all videos go to the UIA's You Tube page at


Governor Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Michigan Workers