If Your Claim For Unemployment Has Been Denied You Have The Right To Appeal
By Lisa Guerin, J.D.
If your claim for unemployment benefits has been denied in Michigan, you may think that you’re out of luck. But that’s not necessarily true. In Michigan, as in all other states, you have the right to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits. If you file an appeal and win, you will receive all benefits to which you are entitled. This includes retroactive benefits: benefits from the date that your claim should have been accepted.
This article explains common reasons why unemployment claims are denied, how to appeal a denial of unemployment benefits, and how to argue your case. For more information on unemployment benefits in general, see our Collecting Unemployment Benefits page.
How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Michigan Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order extending unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are home caring for sick relatives or taking care of their children during the coronavirus pandemic. Also, anyone losing work as a result of the crisis is advised to apply.
Whitmers executive order extends unemployment benefits to workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including child care responsibilities because of school closures. It also covers workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised but do not have paid medical leave or are laid off, along with first responders who become ill or are quarantined because of the exposure to COVID-19.
Online applications are recommended because of increased call volumes in the past week, but those seeking to file a claim for benefits can also to apply.
Because of the large increase in working families seeking unemployment benefits, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has developed a schedule for workers to file for benefits based on the first letter of their last name:
Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA
To file a claim, you need:
Your application for benefits will be evaluated to determine whether you are eligible for benefits and how much money you may receive.
How To Apply For Michigan Unemployment Online
“How do I file a Michigan Unemployment Claim?” is a common question most recently terminated workers ask. Michigan residents can file an unemployment claim online at . Many claimants who prefer to sign up in person can visit a Michigan unemployment office and use the computers provided and get help if needed.
All applicants should learn how the Michigan unemployment system works as many of the requirements for continuing to receive benefits must be done online. Most applicants prefer to file for Michigan unemployment online as it can be done at their own pace, they can also pause the application in order to find the correct documentation.
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How Do I Get Paid
You can choose two options for your payment: direct deposit or a UIA Bank of America debit card.
But, in order to get paid, you must report that you are still unemployed by answering some questions every two weeks.
To make that report you can go online anytime through your MiWAM account, or call 1-866-500-0017.
The money posts within 2-3 business days from the date you report. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are not considered a business day.
Normally, youd also have to register for work and provide work search, but those are not required at this time.
Unemployment Claims Rise Due To Covid 19 Montgomery
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Will I Get Back Pay For The $600 Unemployment
Eligible individuals will receive retroactive payments of the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits, in addition to their state benefits, based on their determined date of eligibility. Americans still stuck in unemployment backlogs can get these retroactive checks, going back as far as March 29 for the $600 bonus.
File For Unemployment In Michigan
In Michigan, unemployment offices are known as UIA Problem Resolution Offices. They are designed to sort out concerns you may have about unemployment. You can also file for unemployment benefits here and staff will help you through the process. While not complex, it does require following a number of steps to avoid mistakes that may delay or wrongly deny you benefits.
These offices are scattered across the state and are known under the official name of Michigan Works! These offices have a variety of benefits, including:
- Telephone and computers for filing your claim
- Staff members that are willing to help you file properly
- Employment meetings that can educate you on important tips, such as properly filling out resumes
- Meet-and-greet sessions with potential employers
- Access to an online work community that presents a variety of jobs and careers to which you can apply
The hours of these offices vary, but are generally between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on all state and federal holidays, including New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth Of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and others.
Here are the locations of several prominent Michigan Works! offices:
- Alpena – 315 West Chisholm
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How Much Money Will I Receive
Unemployment benefits vary from person to person and are based on your previous wages and the number of weeks you are allowed to receive benefits. While the UIA will contact you by mail to explain how much you will receive and for how long, you can estimate your weekly unemployment benefits by using this formula:
- Wages paid in the highest quarter of your base period multiplied by 4.1%
- Round down to the nearest dollar
- Add $6 for each dependent, up to five people
Your Michigan unemployment amount cannot be higher than $362. The minimum amount you will receive is $81 per week.
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About 442000 Michigan Residents To Lose Federal Covid Jobless Aid Saturday
Roughly 442,000 Michigan residents will lose special federal COVID-19 unemployment aid Saturday as the pandemic era benefits expire.
Those affected by the end of the benefits include individuals receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
PEUC offered an additional 53 weeks of benefits to those who had exhausted a state claim, while PUA provided benefits to people who usually didn’t qualify for unemployment, such as self-employed or gig workers.
PUC added another $300 in federal aid to unemployment payments and MEUC added $100 week for people who earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
The state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has distributed $38.5 billion in jobless benefits to 3.4 million claimants since March 15, 2020, the majority of that in the form of federal pandemic-specific benefits.
The state has paid $21.5 billion in pandemic unemployment compensation, $5.9 billion in pandemic unemployment assistance, less than $100,000 in mixed earners unemployment compensation and $2.8 billion in pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, according to state data.
Job search or training help is available through Michigan Works, the Return to Work Pay Book or the Pure Michigan Talent Connect for those losing benefits Saturday, the agency said.
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How To File An Unemployment Appeal
If you want to appeal the UIA’s denial of your claim for benefits, you must file a protest of the determination within 30 days. You can file the protest electronically, by fax, or by mail, using the UIA’s protest form. You must attach any documents you want the UIA to consider.
The UIA will issue a redetermination of your claim. If you don’t agree with this redetermination, you may appeal within 30 days. You can file your appeal in the same manner as your protest, using the UIA’s appeal form.
When you file your protest or appeal, make sure to briefly explain why you believe you should receive benefits. For example, if the decision letter states that you were denied benefits because you were fired from your last job for misconduct, you might state, “I was laid off along with the rest of my department when the company outsourced our jobs.”
Throughout the appeal process, you should file weekly claims for unemployment benefits, look for work, and keep records of your job search, just as you would if your application for benefits had been granted. This may seem like a waste of time, but it’s not. If you win your appeal, you will be entitled to benefits retroactively from the time your application should have been accepted â but only if you’ve been following the usual rules to receive benefits.
What Happens After I File My Michigan Unemployment Application
The claimant can check on the status of their Michigan unemployment application but should wait at least a week before doing so, as it takes at least a week or two for the office to verify information and to upload it into the database. Once Michigan approves the application for unemployment in, they will notify the beneficiary by email and by regular mail with a case number or PIN. To receive benefit payment, the Michigan unemployment registration process requires approved enrollees to submit a claim biweekly to claim their benefits. Applicants denied unemployment insurance by their employer will also receive a notification indicating the reason and the next steps they should take.
During the time that the claimant is receiving funds from the Michigan unemployment, he or she will be required to adhere to the rules and regulations. Failure to do so could result in a denial of benefits for the duration of the claim weeks.
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What Are The Penalties For Unemployment Insurance Fraud
All states are required to assess a penalty of not less than 15% of the amount of the fraudulent payment. Other penalties under state unemployment insurance laws generally include criminal prosecution with fines and/or incarceration required repayment of fraudulently collected benefits forfeiting future income tax refunds and/or permanent loss of eligibility for unemployment compensation. Commission of unemployment benefit fraud may also be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal courts under 18 U.S.C Â§ 1341 or other appropriate federal statutes.
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Getting Fired For Misconduct
In Michigan, you are not eligible for benefits if you were fired for misconduct. In Michigan, misconduct includes failing a drug test, assaulting someone, theft, or failing to show up for work for several days. Misconduct does not typically include situations where you were simply a poor fit or lacked the skills to do your job sufficiently.
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What Is Identity Theft
The U.S. Department of Justice defines identity theft as “all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.” The most common types of identity theft involve:
When a person becomes a victim of identity theft, a criminal can engage in fraudulent behavior that includes:
- Submitting an application for a loan or credit card in your name without your knowledge
- Withdrawals from your bank account
- Access to online accounts
A Person Who Makes A Mistake Or Has No Intent To Commit A Crime Should Not Have Their Life Ruined With A Criminal Conviction
In January of 2020, the Attorney General announced the creation of a Task Force for investigating and prosecuting allegations of fraud in Michigans unemployment insurance program. The Task Force is comprised of the Attorney Generals Office, the Michigan State Police, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of Inspector General, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the Michigan Department of Management & Budget, and the Michigan Department of Treasury. With all of these agencies combined power, a person accused of unemployment fraud will need an equally powerful defense attorney to help them avoid charges or a conviction, if possible, and get out of a harsh sentence.
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What If My Unemployment Benefits Claim Is Denied
If you find that your benefit application was denied, or there was some issue with your claim, the UIA will contact you about the issue and with information on how to proceed. Michigan unemployment laws will allow you to file an appeal. If you need more information on doing so, you can visit the Michigan unemployment website for further details.
How Long Will I Qualify For Mi Unemployment Benefits
Michigan allows residents to collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 20 weeks per benefit year, regardless of wheter you find a job, stop benefits, and need to reapply later on in the year. This means there must be at least 52 weeks between Michigan unemployment claim filings to receive full benefits. For example:
- If you lose your job in March 2020 and receive unemployment benefits, you qualify for 20 weeks of payments. If you receive 15 weeks of benefits and find a new job, youll have five remaining weeks of benefits to access. If you are laid off again in January of 2021, you can utilize these five weeks, and are not entitled to any further payments because a full calendar year has not passed since you first filed.
- On the other hand, if 52 weeks has passed, you may be eligible to receive the full benefits period of 20 weeks. If you became unemployed in June 2019 and collected all 20 weeks of benefits, you are no longer eligible to receive any further payments for the year. Say you find a new job after that time and are employed. If you face another layoff after June 2020, youll be able to file a new claim and will qualify for the full 20 weeks because one whole calendar year has passed since your first claim.
In most cases, it is not possible to receive a Michigan unemployment extension. Previously, the state has only allowed extensions in times where economic downturn has created high Michigan unemployment rates.
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Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Sees 550% Increase In Claims
Derick Hutchinson, Senior Web Producer
DETROIT If you tried entering an unemployment office Thursday, you found locked doors and information guiding you to online resources.
The demand right now is enormous, according to Erica Quealy, a spokesperson for the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.
We can confirm that the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is currently experiencing an average 550% increase in claims compared to normal anticipated activity this time of year, Quealy said.
Since you cant register in person, you have to do so online or over the phone. The website is slow and the phone lines are backed up because of the number of people trying to file claims.
Through Gov. Whitmers executive action and existing state programs, there are resources for employers affected by COVID-19, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity said. We are also strongly urging job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave, as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.
How Do I File A Claim
To file a claim you have two options: by phone or online.
To call: 1-866-500-0017 and press 1 to inquire about and to file a claim
Online: Michigan.gov/uia using the MiWAM portal
The UIA is asking everyone to please file their claim online if possible for the fastest service. The phone line has been over capacity at times this week, resulting in busy signals for some callers. The website is open 24 hours a day.
Also, if possible, its recommended to use the website during off-hours from 8 p.m. 8 a.m.
The website has been operating slowly during peak hours and may take several minutes for a page to load. The UIA does want you to know that while it may take longer for pages to load, the site is still operational and your patience is appreciated.
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How Unemployment Benefits Extension Work In Michigan
How to get an unemployment extension and more specifically What can I do to extend unemployment? will undoubtedly be questions on the minds of many beneficiaries currently enrolled in the Michigan unemployment insurance benefits program. To assist in answering these questions about an unemployment extension, there are guidelines for a federal unemployment extension and for two types of an unemployment benefits extension.
Detect Fraud Prevent Fraud
UI Fraud is a crime, and it affects everyone. It drives up unemployment taxes for businesses, it affects people with legitimate unemployment benefit claims, and it puts a strain on the states unemployment trust fund. The person committing fraud could be a claimant who is intentionally misrepresenting information being provided to the Unemployment Insurance Agency when filing and/or certifying for unemployment benefits or could be a traditional fraud matter whereby a criminal is impersonating or representing themselves as a claimant for unemployment benefits. In every instance of fraud, individuals may face criminal prosecution, fines, and penalties of up to four times the amount.
UIA is committed to the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of those who commit unemployment insurance fraud.
How Does the UIA Detect and Prevent Fraud?
- UIA Fraud Manager Program utilizes proprietary scoring determined from an examination of fraudulent claims to identify claim inconsistencies. This proprietary scoring program has been the single largest influencer in combatting the rampant number of fraudulent claims filed from 2013 through 2017.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another personâs informationincluding wage, employment, and credit card informationto take on their identity. Identity thieves can also use another persons name, Social Security number, and employment information to illegally file UI claims and collect UI benefit payments.
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