Over 1M Michigan workers now receiving unemployment during COVID-19 crisis


Lansing, MI (WLNS) – The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has provided benefits to 1,018,315 Michigan workers who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19.

In a news release, the UIA says it has also disbursed more than $1.66 billion in payments since March 15.

The most recent U.S. Dept. of Labor report showed 1,178,021 Michiganders filed unemployment claims between March 15 – April 18.

Most workers who have not yet received unemployment benefits will be eligible in the coming weeks once they complete the federal requirement to certify their claim.

“While Michigan’s unemployment system appears to be outpacing the rest of the country in paying benefits, much work remains for those who still need help completing their claim. We will not rest until everyone receives the benefits they are entitled to,” said Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio.

The UIA has extended its call center hours and added hundreds of customer-facing staff. The agency has also built-in new tools to its online system connecting more than 100 staff to resolve technical issues like locked accounts. 

In the weeks preceding the pandemic, the UIA received around 5,000 new weekly unemployment claims. During the Great Recession, the weekly high was around 77,000 in 2009.

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