Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Denial Period is for people who work in the educational field. Workers in the educational field are subject to a “Denial Period” and are usually not eligible for unemployment benefits in the following situations:
For non-COVID-19 information about Denial Periods, see Fact Sheet #150, What is a Denial Period?
Workers who became unemployed during the school year and received unemployment benefits as a result are likely eligible for unemployment benefits during the period between academic terms. This means that if a worker was laid off during the Spring 2020 academic semester and the worker qualified for unemployment benefits as a result, the worker may continue unemployment benefits during the summer vacation break. This is true even if the school worker received reasonable assurances from the employer of returning to work at the start of the next school year or term.
Workers in this situation should continue to certify for unemployment benefits during the summer vacation break through their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) accounts at www.michigan.gov/uia.
Under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, education workers may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if they meet all of the following criteria:
Under the CARES Act, non-professional workers who qualify for PUA cannot use wages earned from an education employer to establish the worker’s PUA weekly benefit amount. Workers can apply for PUA benefits on MiWAM at www.michigan.gov/uia.
Although “reasonable assurance” is not a guarantee of a job, it is an employer’s “reasonable assurance” that a job will be available at the beginning of the next season or academic term, based upon the facts and circumstances known to the employer at the time the assurance is given. Typically, school employers indicate their assurance in a letter to employees near the end of the academic term. “Reasonable assurances” must first meet three criteria:
If an employer does not give “reasonable assurances” to a worker that the worker will return to work at the start of the next season or academic term, the worker may qualify for unemployment benefits. For more non-COVID-19 information on “reasonable assurances,” see Fact Sheet #151, Understanding Reasonable Assurance.
When an employer provides “reasonable assurances” that a job will be available at the beginning of the next season or academic term, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) must conduct a fact specific inquiry into whether the employer’s assurances are reasonable or not.
UIA must consider multiple factors to determine if an employer’s assurances are reasonable, which include but are not limited to:
In addition to the factors above, UIA may also consider the following COVID-19 specific factors:
Reasonable Assurances May Change Over a Period of Time
An employer’s “reasonable assurances” may be revisited during the period between academic terms. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic on how schools deliver education services and potential budget shortfalls, both employers and UIA will likely revisit the employers’ reasonable assurances throughout the Summer 2020 vacation break. Therefore, both employers and workers should notify UIA if facts or circumstances change that could affect an employer’s reasonable assurance.
Non-professional workers are eligible for retroactive unemployment benefits if reasonable assurances are later found to be invalid, but only retroactive to the date the workers applied for unemployment benefits. Therefore, workers should immediately apply for unemployment benefits if the situations described in this Fact Sheet apply to them.
Non-professional education workers include workers employed by education institutions or contracted by education institutions, and who do not perform instructional, research, or principal administrative functions. Professional education workers include teachers, substitute teachers, and school administration officials. Non-professional education workers include:
Both employers and workers can protest or appeal a determination or redetermination within 30 days of the mail date on the re(determination). UIA will conduct a fact specific inquiry into whether a worker is eligible to receive or continue to receive unemployment benefits. Employers and workers can file a protest or appeal through MiWAM at www.michigan.gov/uia.