November 17, 2020
Contact: Lynda Robinson, 313-348-8220
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today provided guidance to workers and employers who may be affected COVID-19.
Reopening Unemployment Claims
Michiganders who were on unemployment, went back to work, and are now temporarily unemployed again due to COVID-19 can reopen their claim online.
Tips to reopening an existing claim:
More information on filing or reopening an unemployment claim, including FAQs, tutorial videos and other resources are available at Michigan.gov/UIA.
“The UIA has increased capacity, improved workflow, and other internal systems, and reduced red tape to meet the unprecedented level of claims that have been filed since the pandemic began,” said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson. “These efforts have positioned the agency to better deal with large fluctuations of demand if necessary.”
Working in conjunction with DTMB, server capacity has been increased to ensure any demand spikes related to MiWAM account access can be accommodated. In addition, customer facing staff has more than tripled. Before the pandemic, the UIA had around 650 staff. Currently, over 2,000 UIA team members are helping claimants - this includes answering phones through the call center, making proactive calls, answering questions online, solving technical issues and adjudicating claims.
Employer Filed Claims
Michigan employers are encouraged to file an Employer Filed Claims (EFC) online on behalf of their full-time workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off. This fast, secure way of transferring claims information allows employers to better manage the accuracy of the information provided to the UIA. An EFC replaces the need for an individual worker to reopen their claim. For more information on EFC, visit here.
Employers looking to avoid layoffs or bring employees back from unemployment are encouraged to use the state’s Work Share program. The federally funded program has provided $475 million in benefits and helped nearly 2,700 Michigan employers since March 15. The flexible program allows job providers to retain their skilled workforce and avoid layoffs by reducing employee hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for the lost wages.
With almost 97,000 employees participating at the peak of enrollment, Michigan’s program has led the nation and far outpaced even the combined totals of larger states like NY, OH and TX. For more information, visit: Michgan.gov/Workshare.
Paying Unemployment Claims
Since March 15, over 2.3M certifying, potentially eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with over $26B in benefits paid to over 2.2M workers, or roughly 96% of potentially eligible, certifying claimants. There are currently around 71,000 claimants needing ID verification and around 9,000 in the adjudication process which requires a one-on-one review of their claim.
UIA Data, March 15 – November 17, 2020