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Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility
General Benefits Eligibility Criteria
The availability of unemployment benefits in Michigan will vary depending on each person's situation. Though the guidelines aren't complex, it can be hard to calculate unemployment benefits all on your own. The best way to know if you qualify for Michigan unemployment benefits is to file with the UIA. They have a simple online filing system that streamlines the process and makes it easier to finish.
A general rule of thumb for unemployment is you will earn roughly about half of your former monthly salary. However, you’re capped at $362 per week, which means you could potentially make less than half should your previous weekly salary. This information will be discussed more in-depth in the Wages Eligibility Criteria section.
Work Eligibility Criteria
The number of hours you need to work to get unemployment in Michigan often varies slightly from year to year. Typically, it requires working for six months with an employer that pays unemployment insurance. Not all employers will pay this insurance. Examples of those who don’t include:
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- Those who use independent contractors
- Churches or religious organizations
- Family-oriented business owners who employ family members
- Substitute-oriented work (such as substitute teachers)
Wages Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for unemployment in Michigan, you must meet the following wages criteria:
- Wages for two quarters of your employment period that exceed $3,298
- Total yearly wages must exceed 1.5 times the highest quarterly wages of that period
- If you don't meet these criteria, you can also qualify by earning total wages that are at least 20 times higher than the state average weekly wage
Example: Michigan's average weekly wage in 2016 is $935. Multiply that by 20 to end up with around $18,000. So those who don't qualify for unemployment based on the “standard” method can still qualify if they meet that method.
Unemployment Availability Limits
If you qualify for unemployment in Michigan, you can receive benefits for 20 weeks, including the week you filed. Your unemployment benefits will end after this period or when you receive full-time employment.
Continuing to receive unemployment requires applying for at least two jobs a week, reporting your job search at least once a month, and calling MARVIN every two weeks. MARVIN is an automated reporting system, which allows you to file your weekly claim receive benefits. This will be discussed more in-depth below.
However, you may still receive some benefits if you accept a part-time job. The decrease in your unemployment benefits is simple to calculate: if your wage is equal to or greater than your benefits, you subtract $0.40 from each dollar you earn at your job.
Example: If your unemployment weekly benefits are $300 and you earn $320, you multiple 320 by 0.40 to come up with 128. Subtract that from your original 320 and you have a new benefit amount of $192. However, if your weekly benefits and your wages exceed 1.6 times your benefits, you are likely to lose unemployment insurance.
In 2012, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which included Extended Benefits (EB), was discontinued. As a result, workers in Michigan can no longer receive extended benefits.