April 11, 2020
Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19
Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to
four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.
UPDATE: Self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers can apply for federal benefits beginning Monday, April 13 at 8AM online
Benefits Increased for All Unemployed Workers
Under the CARES Act, weekly benefits for all unemployed workers will be increased by a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken.
March 31, 2020
The federal CARES Act establishes a temporary federal unemployment assistance program through December 31, 2020 to extend the timeframe individuals may receive unemployment payments from 26 weeks to 39 weeks and supplements standard payments by $600.00 per week. It also provides payments to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed individuals, who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
Specifically, CARES provides that a “covered individual” includes anyone who is able and available to work but is unemployed or partially unemployed. It includes individuals who:
- Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
- Have a member of the individual’s household diagnosed with COVID-19;
- Are providing care for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- Are the primary caregiver for a child or other person in the household who is unable to attend school or another facility as a direct result of COVID-19;
- Are unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19;
- Are unable to work because a health care provider has advised them to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
- Were scheduled to commence employment and do not have a job or are unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
- Have become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
- Have had to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19; or
- Have seen their place of employment close as a direct result of COVID-19.
Applications can be filed either online or by phone. Beginning Sunday, March 29, 2020, the following application process is encouraged:
Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule – 866-500-0017:
- Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Fridays (8 a.m. and 5 p.m.) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
UPDATE: 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 UIA has extended call center hours by an hour every day 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and it remains open from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday
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.
For more information visit Michigan.gov/UIA
COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits FAQ’s Click Here