How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance in Michigan

To determine how to apply for unemployment online in Michigan or to apply over the phone, you do not need to utilize too many resources. Assuming you are eligible, your unemployment registration should be an easy and intuitive process. If you are wondering, “How can I sign up for unemployment?” as a Michigan resident, then you will need to know more about the state-funded services that make unemployment insurance possible. This article will help to teach you how to apply for unemployment benefits in Michigan as a resident, including where to apply and what resources you will need to prepare for your application.

Who will process my Michigan unemployment registration?

Michigan unemployment registration service is called the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), which is run out of the Michigan Department of Talent & Economic Development. They allow residents to file for an unemployment claim, and they also serve to regulate unemployment insurance as a whole throughout the state. While they are similar in many ways to other states’ unemployment application programs, such as California’s EDD service, UIA has a few unique advantages. For example, while the MI unemployment EDD application involves consenting to provide weekly proof that you are looking for a job, a UIA application sometimes only requires biweekly confirmation.

How to Prepare Your MI Application for Unemployment Insurance

It is often wise to prepare documents for your unemployment registration once you have determined that you are eligible for benefits. Before you apply for unemployment benefits, be sure to prepare the following:

  • Your Social Security Number (or ARN for non-citizens) & your driver’s license/state ID card number
  • Your mailing address (including the Michigan county that you live in)
  • Your telephone number (or a number for someone who can contact you)
  • How you would like to receive your unemployment registration benefits (i.e. direct deposit, state-issued debit card, etc.)
  • Identifying and contact information for any and all employers that you have worked for over the past 18 months (and your associated W-2 forms, if possible)

This information will not only help to identify applicants who wish to file for an unemployment claim, but it will also give the Michigan UIA a chance to reach out to your former employers to corroborate your information. Compiling these documents will make your unemployment benefits application go faster, and much more smoothly. Download our guide to learn more about the required documents to apply for unemployment.

Where to Sign Up for Unemployment in Michigan

If you are wondering where to apply for unemployment in Michigan, there are a couple of different options available. When you need to file for unemployment in a hurry due to suddenly being without a job, it is important to consider the method that is most readily available to you. While it is possible to apply for unemployment over the phone, the easiest and most widely preferred method is to apply online.

Completing your MI online application for unemployment insurance can be easy, if you have everything ready to file. Michigan unemployment applicants can use the UIA’s online portal, the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) in order to conveniently submit their information. MiWAM allows you to file for an unemployment claim by creating an online account, and uploading your documentation with the click of a button. If you wish to file for unemployment, the benefits of using MiWAM are many – it allows you to check the status of your claim once you have filed, change your personal information easily, appeal your eligibility, change your preferred insurance reception method and make any needed payments to the UIA. Most importantly for unemployment applicants, MiWAM gives you the freedom to file your claim any day from Monday through Saturday, and at any time of day (as opposed to filing for unemployment over the phone). Submitting your online application for unemployment through MiWAM is extremely efficient, because it allows Michigan residents to access their previous claims to reuse informational details, submit their biweekly unemployment reviews to maintain their eligibility and much more. MiWAM can be accessed for unemployment registration on the Michigan state government’s UIA website.

Otherwise, the Michigan UIA’s phone unemployment application service is also an option for interested applicants. Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN) is the UIA’s service to file for unemployment insurance over the phone by using digitized human speech recognition technology. Although the ability to file for an unemployment claim using MARVIN is slightly more limiting than by using MiWAM, there are still plenty of unique advantages. MARVIN allows for thousands of Michigan unemployment applicants to file at the same time, which allows for the UIA’s staff to spend their time helping Michigan residents in other ways. MARVIN can be used for your unemployment registration with touch-tone or tone/pulse telephones, and requires you to input your Social Security number and your Michigan UIA PIN number to operate. Each MI unemployment applicant has a different day and time of the week that he or she is permitted to call MARVIN, which is based on the last two digits of their Social Security Number. Generally, the end of the week is also designated as an “open call-in” period for anyone to call. When you call MARVIN to file for unemployment for the first time, you will need all of the documents and identifying information that was listed above – and to continue submitting your biweekly unemployment eligibility reviews, you will simply need to provide that information upon calling MARVIN each time. Michigan residents can register for unemployment insurance through MARVIN.

Additional MI Unemployment Registration Factors

When you file for unemployment insurance in Michigan, there are some additional factors to consider. As an unemployment applicant, you may be asked to physically show up to a UIA-sanctioned location in order to personally vouch for your continued eligibility. If you fail to do so, you may lose your unemployment registration eligibility and need to apply again to continue receiving benefits. You also must register for work each time you file for unemployment – this requires working with the Michigan Department of Talent & Economic Development in order to ensure that you are able and willing to accept a full-time position if it is to be offered during the time in which you receive unemployment insurance. You may not be able to file for an unemployment claim in Michigan again if you are not registered for work in Michigan. Download our helpful guide to unemployment insurance and get the information you need to apply.