Over 42,000 claims were filed on Monday of this week and another 42,000 were filed on Tuesday, reportedly exceeding any single day of claims filings during Michigan’s Great Recession. The volume of claims is causing significant strain on the system and the state’s ability to process claims and answer questions. Michigan currently is on track to outpace the 108,710 claims filed last week, most of which were due to COVID-19.
While the UIA has approximately 600 employees processing unemployment insurance (UI) claims and Work Share applications, they’re asking for patience from employers and laid-off workers alike. They’re also advising people to use the website between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., when it is least busy, and to look at online information vs. calling the agency to get their questions answered. Other tips can be found here.
Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017 (which can sometimes result in a busy signal, an issue they are trying to resolve). A one-pager explaining how to apply for UI benefits can be found here.
Employers can contact the Office of the Employer Ombudsman at 855-484-2636 or use their MiWAM account. at. Employers interested in pursuing an alternative to lay-offs should investigate the state’s Work Share program. A fact sheet on Work Share can be found here.