(WXYZ) — Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency has added staff and expanded hours at call centers to help those people filing for unemployment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The UIA has extended call center hours by an hour every day 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and it remains open from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. Customers in the call center and online chat queues before closing time will have their calls or chats resolved that day.
Normal staffing levels are around 130 employees, but they were upped to 300 by March 30 and expect to be at around 500 employees by the end of the week.
“Thank you to Michigan’s working families for their patience as the UIA continues to provide emergency financial assistance during this unprecedent increase in unemployment claims,” said Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “We continue to ramp up our services to make sure every eligible Michigander receives their benefits as quickly as possible and we’re asking workers to please reserve the phone lines for those who cannot go online or are having trouble with their account."
The best way to file a claim is online at www.Michigan.gov/UIA [lnks.gd], where the process takes on average 20-25 minutes.
All Eligible Workers Will Receive Benefits
The UIA assures every eligible worker in Michigan who applies for unemployment benefits will receive them. Workers have 28 days from their last day of work to apply for benefits. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date on which the claimant was laid-off. If there are continued technical issues with a workers’ account, the UIA will allow additional time to ensure benefits are paid.
Online Filing Schedule at Michigan.gov/UIA: Customers are encouraged to use off-peak times 8 p.m. – 8 a.m.
- Last names beginning with letters A-L: file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z: file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule for 866-500-0017:
- Last names beginning with letters A-L: call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Last names beginning with letters M-Z: call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Fridays between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays between 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. are open for anyone who could not file during their allotted days.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.