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Michigan Workers Provided $5.62 Billion in Unemployment Benefits

May 13, 2020

The Unemployment Insurance Agency provided an update on unemployment claims related to COVID-19 in Michigan. Since March 15 at the onset of the crisis, 1,717,555 claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with $5.62 billion in benefits paid to 1,374,751 of workers. Roughly 92% of eligible claimants have received benefits or have been approved to receive benefits. 

Michigan has been a leader among states in processing claims and removing barriers to providing benefits. This includes Governor Whitmer’s recent executive order sweeping more than 100,000 non-monetary issues off of accounts, accelerating payments to individuals.  

“While we appear to be outpacing most other states in paying benefits and processing claims, our focus remains on helping those who still need one on one assistance to receive benefits,” said Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “No one will lose a dollar of benefit they are eligible for and we will not rest until everyone gets the benefits they deserve.” 

Michigan’s unique claims total includes those to be reported by U.S. Dept. of Labor (USDOL) this week, and those who have applied for federal benefits, but are not yet being reported by USDOL. Those newly eligible under the federal CARES Act are counted in the USDOL statistics only if they applied for state benefits and were initially denied due to ineligibility at the time.

UIA Data March 15 - May 13, 2020


Benefits paid       




Total unique claims (State and Federal)


Claimants determined ineligible for benefits


Total unique eligible claims (State and Federal)




Claimants Receiving Benefits        


Claimants eligible for certification (now or shortly)


Total claimants paid or eligible for payment


Percent paid or eligible




Claimants with non-monetary hold (due to federal rules)


Claimants with prior UIA claim issues


Total claimants requiring adjudication


Percent of total


Michigan Compared to Other States

  • Among the first states to:
    • Begin sending the additional $600 federal payments in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (April 8) Open PUA unemployment applications to self-employed workers and independent contractors through PUA (April 13).
      • Many states, including those in the Great lakes, have still not made the application available.
  • “Michigan has been uniquely responsive to the crisis and stood out in terms of the ways it rapidly changed and mobilized resources to try to help people”  - The National Employment Law Project, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth said (Detroit Free Press)
  • 2nd behind NY in percent of claimants processed from 3/21 – 4/11 (Roll Call)
  • 3rd behind VT and WV in percent of the workforce receiving benefits from 3/25 – 4/25 (NY Times).

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and