COVID-19 & Michigan Updates

By April 1, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

Michigan’s governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of COVID-19. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. If any of your associates have already applied for benefits, they do not need to reapply at this time. The UIA will provide additional guidance regarding eligibility and application details in the next few days as it implements these new programs.

New Filing Schedule:

The new system uses alphabetical order to manage web visits and calls. It is being implemented as UIA has moved nearly all its staff members to customer service positions in order to faster assist those filing for benefits. The state is also working to expand capacity and infrastructure of their online systems. Potential benefit recipients can help alleviate the system overload by following a few simple steps:

  • Use the website, not the phone system, to apply for benefits at
  • Log onto the website during off-hours for better system navigation.
  • Be patient – if the page is loading slowly, do not refresh the web browser.
  • View the state’s online tool kit and frequently asked questions before filing for benefit.
  • Use the alphabetical system outlined below beginning this Sunday to help ease the burden if a call must be placed to the state.

Online Filing Schedule:

  • Last names beginning with letters A-L should file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z should file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Saturdays will be available to anyone who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

  • To reach the call center, please call 866-500-0017.
  • Last names beginning with the letters A-L should call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8am – 5pm.
  • Last names beginning with the letters M-Z should to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8am – 5pm.
  • Fridays, from 8am – 5pm, will be available for anyone who could not file during their allotted window.



When an associate files will not affect whether they are approved for benefits or the amount of payment. Associates will be compensated from the date they were laid-off or released from their employment. Associates will have 28 days from their last day of work to apply for benefits.  The state advised that filing the aforementioned guidelines is the fastest way to secure benefits and that their team is working as quickly as possible to process applications.

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any these updates. You can also review these updates on our website at too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.


Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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