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Frequently Asked Questions on the New Changes To Michigan’s Unemployment Benefit Program

On December 19, 2011, Governor Rick Snyder passed legislation that substantially changed Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance program. This has caused many of our readers to ask questions about how these changes will affect them. This post will list some of the most frequently asked questions by our readers.

How will these changes to unemployment insurance policy be paid for?

The additional cost of these changes and the existing balance pending with the federal government for previous shared unemployment programs was repaid through the sale of bonds by the Michigan Finance Authority. On December 28, 2011, State Treasurer Andy Dillon announced the payment of $3.2 billion to the Unemployment Trust Fund. The repayment was financed by the sale of variable rate bonds.

After the recent changes, if I make a new unemployment benefits claim, how many weeks will I be eligible for?

Any new claims filed after January 15, 2012 will be entitled to a maximum of 20 weeks of state unemployment benefits. This, of course, does not include any federal benefits you may be entitled to once your state benefits expire.

How can I contact the unemployment insurance agency?

Although you may be used to contacting the Michigan unemployment office by visiting one of their offices or over the phone, the agency is now recommending insurance claimants open their an online account at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency and contact the agency online. However, those who prefer to speak face to face with an officer and don’t mind waiting in line or travelling can still visit one of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency’s many Problem Resolution Centers; or you may also call the agency’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017.

I am having trouble certifying my unemployment benefits with MARVIN, what do you recommend?

This is a problem many of our readers complained about. The high volume of unemployment insurance claimants in Michigan has made it difficult for many workers to get through to MARVIN, Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network. In this case we recommend you file your bi-weekly unemployment benefits claim using MARVIN’s online form. Unlike the telephone service, MARVIN’s online is practically always available. Click here to visit MARVIN’s online website. You will need to provide your username and password. If you do not have an online account with MARVIN open a new account by clicking on the “Register as a new user” link on the left of the ‘UIA Claim Portal Login’.

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