MICHIGAN (MI) Unemployment Benefits News Including Updates on Extended Benefit (LWA, PUA, PEUC) Programs – UIA News and Updates


Due to the massive volume of unemployment claims filed as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Michigan has struggled to process claims on a timely basis.  Technical challenges, lack of personnel to handle incoming phone calls, and new federal programs taxed their existing system and caused significant delays for people seeking unemployment benefits. Michigan has since quadrupled the number of personnel to process claims and handle phone calls, improving its ability to approve claims and pay out benefits.  On July 6, the agency reported that they intend to clear out its backlog and decide on all unpaid claims filed before June 1 by July 20. This backlog represents 30,000 claims or approximately 1% of the total claims submitted.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (DOLEO) oversees a variety of employment, housing, and economic development initiatives for the state. The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is tasked with carrying out the unemployment insurance program, including processing claims and paying benefits. See below for details on the newly enhanced benefits available and how to file a claim.

Extra $300 Unemployment under Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program

FEMA has approved UIA’s application for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) funding which will provide an additional $300 per week to Michiganders who are unemployed due to COVID-19.  Claimants whose current weekly benefit amount (WBA) is at least $100 will receive the additional $300 per week retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020. If you are already receiving unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything additional to qualify for this payment at this time. Continue to certify bi-weekly as you normally would. Please do not contact Customer Service regarding your LWA payment. Check your MiWAM account for information on the status of your claim.

The new Lost Wages program however does cut the federal benefit ($600 FPUC) in half for Michiganders since the state cannot afford to boost the benefit by the additional $100 state contribution requested by Trump.

COVID 19 Enhanced Benefits in Michigan

Under the CARES act, there are three types of federal unemployment assistance available:

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): expands eligibility for individuals who are typically ineligible for Unemployment benefits, including independent contractors, self-employed, and “gig” workers.  Recipients may receive up to 39 weeks of benefits under this program.

• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): adds $600 per week in addition to the regular benefits that recipients of Unemployment Insurance are entitled to receive; the benefit is retroactive to the week ending April 4, 2020, and the program expired on July 25, 2020. This program has now expired; however, the UIA includes the following on their website;

“While the President has enacted a series of executive orders regarding unemployment benefits, this program has not yet been implemented. All states are currently awaiting guidance from the US Department of Labor regarding implementation. There is no further information at this time. Stay tuned for updates.” a series of executive orders regarding unemployment benefits, this program has not yet

• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): provides an additional 13 weeks of Unemployment benefits to recipients of regular unemployment insurance.

The continued rise in the state’s unemployment rate caused Michigan to trigger 13 weeks of extended state benefits to those who have exhausted all other state and federal unemployment aid without returning to work permanently.  The Extended Benefit (EB) program was triggered on April 26, 2020. The EB program runs through December 26 and applies to unemployed individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment and PEUC benefits, whichever is later.

Web and/or phone issues with accessing the Michigan Unemployment system

Lack of personnel, technical difficulties, and the high volume of claims filed due to the coronavirus have strained Michigan’s unemployment system. Due to the unprecedented number of claims, the UIA encourages filing online. To speed up the online process, it is recommended that claims be filed online during the non-peak hours between 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM. The UIA acknowledges that load times may be slow on the website. They suggest giving pages time to load instead of clicking on links multiple times.

Existing Claimants: Claimants receiving unemployment benefits due to the coronavirus emergency must continue to certify every two weeks to receive the additional FPUC $600/week benefit. The extra $600/week compensation is retroactive to the week ending April 4 and ends on July 25. FPUC payments are automatically added to the weekly benefit payment. The UIA began issuing FPUC payments on April 10. Upon exhausting regular and PEUC benefits, eligible claimants must apply for the EB program. Existing claimants should track their current balance online to determine when to apply for EB.

Filing a Claim

You must create a new account through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) here if you are filing a claim for the first time. Once you have created a username and password, log on to access online benefit services to complete your application.

Existing claimants can log in here to file their weekly claims. The days that you may file a claim online or over the phone are based on the first letter of your last name. You can then check the status of your claim here.

To receive unemployment benefits, you must certify for benefits every two weeks.  Certifications can be done online or over the phone. The certification schedule is based on the first letter of your last name. If you fail to certify during the reporting week, you need to tell the UIA as to why you are late as they determine if you are eligible to receive benefits for those two weeks. If you do not have good cause for filing late, your benefits may be denied for that period.

If there is a problem with your claim that must be resolved before benefits can be paid, or if you have been denied benefits and are appealing the determination, you must still certify for and claim your benefits on time. If it is determined that you are eligible or if you win your appeal, you will be paid these benefits retroactively. However, if you have not claimed benefits and you win your appeal, you will not be paid for these weeks.

If you need help filing your claim or with online services, call toll-free (866) 500-0017 (Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Saturday 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM)

To apply online for Unemployment Insurance benefits (recommended), you must have:

  • Worked in Michigan in the last 18 months
  • Worked for a covered employer that paid in UI

You can also apply by phone.

If applying online, you will need the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license or state identification card
  • Current address, phone number, and date of birth
  • Employment history for the past 18 months including;
    • Employers’ business names and addresses
    • First and last date that you worked for each employer
    • Reason you are no longer working for each employer
  • Your most recent employer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) account number or Federal ID number (which is found on your W-2 form)
  • Alien Registration number and the date your work authorization expires if you are not a US citizen

I filed my unemployment claim several weeks ago. Will I receive back pay once my claim is approved?

The UIA continues to work through unemployment claims filed under the programs enacted by the Cares Act.  Although the UIA has improved the turnaround time for its claim processing, there are still many outstanding claims that have not been processed. The FPUC $600 per week additional benefit expired during the week of July 25. If you have filed an unemployment claim before that date and are still awaiting a response regarding your eligibility for unemployment, you will receive retroactive payments for the back weeks of FPUC even if the decision is not made until after the July 25 expiration date.  If you are not eligible for regular unemployment, you may be able to collect benefits under the PUA program.  To determine if you are eligible to participate, you must complete a PUA application. Once your eligibility is determined, instructions will be sent to your MiWAM account as to how to file weekly claims.  If you were eligible for PUA benefits for weeks that have already passed, you would be able to file weekly claims and recover back pay due to you.

Can I collect unemployment benefits if my employer reduced my hours to part-time?

According to the UIA, individuals who are partially unemployed due to a reduction of hours may be able to collect unemployment benefits.  Recipients that work less than a combined 32 hours per week for all employers and earn less than $500 may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Why did I receive a stop payment indicator notice on my account?

The UIA has taken additional steps to prevent identity theft and fraud attempts on the state’s unemployment program. To protect claimants, additional information may be requested to verify identity and eligibility. Claimants who receive this notice on their account will be emailed instructions advising them how to submit the requested information to receive your benefits. If you have not received this notice, there is no need to act at this time.

“Stop Payment Indicator” Notice. If you received a “Stop Payment Indicator” notice on your account, detailed instructions have been emailed and mailed to you on how to submit additional identifying information in order to receive your benefits. There is no reason to take further action until you receive the instructions.

See additional FAQ from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity about employment benefits

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23 thoughts on “MICHIGAN (MI) Unemployment Benefits News Including Updates on Extended Benefit (LWA, PUA, PEUC) Programs – UIA News and Updates

  1. Still waiting for the LWA and having household expenses like everyone else to take care of I also have a son in college so having some type of info as to when we’d receive these funds would be greatly appreciated instead of being ignored. Being able to give expected dates as to when you can pay rent, or a car payment etc etc Is allot better then telling them nothing at all.

    1. It’s been so weird that there hasn’t been any news about this from the Michigan papers. It’s hard to wait for the money but, at least for me, it’s WAY more anxiety-inducing when I feel like I don’t know if I’ll ever be paid. At least this link gives me hope. I see the system has been having problems. They are doing scheduled maintenance all day tomorrow so the system will be down. I hope it will help but maybe the maintenance is just the routine updates of the operating system or other technical routines that won’t have a bearing on this.

      I will try to call next week if necessary. I sent a message through the system but I don’t know if those get read. I try to avoid calling because they are already swamped but it sounds like I could miss out all together if some cases are falling through the cracks. I never saw a link in my account to self-certify.

      At least we know we will get 6 weeks’ worth ($1800) when we do get paid. I’ve read earlier that we would get only 5. One less thing to worry about.

  2. I am still waiting on first round. Thier was a glitch on my miwam. Doesnt look like I’m getting it till next week at least. Michigan unemployment sucks this is twice they screwed up my account

    1. Actually I’m grateful to get the money. It’s unfortunate when glitches happen but I remain thankful.

      P.S. In my comment just before this one: The URL can be copied ending at “remain”. It’s a good source of new info.

      1. Oh no, my original comment that had the URL in it hasn’t been approved. It was chock full of new and good info. I hope they approve it. It didn’t have an “active” link in it but a typed one that could be copied and pasted. It was a source of new information about why some of us may be having issues getting the extra $300/wk / total $1800. I wish I had copied it because I spent some time composing it and I think it’s helpful.

        1. I would love to see that. Man this lack of info is ridiculous

        2. Try this link but add https colon slash And www to front
          “. .savingtoinvest.com/michigan-mi-unemployment-benefits-news-including-updates-on-extended-benefit-pua-peuc-programs/ “
          I’m hoping this will make it through the filter.

        3. Trying for the fifth time. This is hard. I’m only trying to help and it won’t approve because I have a URL. Earlier tonight I posted the wrong one because I’ve labored over this so much. Arrrghhh. Just paste this fragment into google and you should be able to find the link:


    2. Actually I’m grateful to get the money. It’s unfortunate when glitches happen but I remain thankful.

      P.S. In my comment just before this one: The URL can be copied ending at “remain”. It’s a good source of new info.

  3. I wish Michigan had more information for us. I have been very happy with how smoothly my claim has worked for me since April bu they’ve been opaque with information on LWA payments. The Ohio page of this site has so much useful info including commenters and Andy’s chart entry specifying that PUA filers will receive theirs before “traditional” filers.
    I was calm until Wednesday when my payout was the regular amount. None of my local papers have any stories about it so I assumed (incorrectly I hope) that no one was having any issues getting the LWA pay. Michigan UIA website not enlightening. In two days their expected payout end date will have passed.

    1. Same here, I haven’t received the $300 yet either my boyfriend has but he gets the pua unemployment I got my regular payment Wednesday, doesn’t say anything when you go on the website either, very frustrating

  4. What us going on with LWA in Michigan? They ard giving zero information about our money. I dont know anyone who has received anything from LWA. Therd have been no updates in MIWAM . The governor needs to put a fire under unemployment butts. This is ridiculous..

    1. Michigan need to do better on communication And we are the only STATE .. That said DONT contact customer service. Who says that!!? But if They OVER PAY U … THEY JUMP ON TOP STUFF THEN

    2. i received $900 Tuesday. I’m just wondering if they will pay the second round in another $900 lump payment or separate $300 payments. The LWA is payed separately from your regular WBA deposit.

      1. It will be another $900 lump sum. They’re starting to send it out next week with the same “up to ten days” timeframe.

  5. I just certified on Sunday Sept. 13 and miwam says I get my regular pay for the 2 weeks I certified for. And one of those weeks what the week ending Sept. 5th. When will we be getting ours. The table says Sept. 10th. Anyone in michigan start getting their 300 yet

  6. I haven’t seen the additional $300 yet and have unemployment right now. Was wondering when I will getting it????

  7. Wil there be another extension of benefits if you use up your 13 week extension? [Michigan]

    1. That’s a good question. I just read that Ohio approved 20 extra weeks after the 13 week extension. They did that months ago. I’m worried Michigan won’t be able to afford it but I think Ohio had to borrow from the Federal government to do it.

      I haven’t received the LWA yet. Some states are paying it to those on PUA (non-traditional unemployment for gig worker, self-employed, etc.) first because of the way the computer systems are set up. Then the regular unemployment receivers will get it next. I don’t have a clue if that’s the case in Michigan. I have been so satisfied with Michigan UIA so far. I still am but I wish we could get more info. I am pretty worried about the requirement that our original reason for layoff was DIRECTLY related to covid-19. Mine wasn’t but I lost a job opportunity I was supposed to get right after the layoff due to covid-19. I’m nervous.

      1. must be nice. My claim has glitches two separate times now. And because of it I am still waiting on my lwa. I have zero .one and now it says I gotta wait till next week. This is such b.s.

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