Workers Returning to Unemployment: Reopen Previous Claim

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LANSING, Mich. – The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today provided guidance to workers and employers who may be affected COVID-19.

Reopening Unemployment Claims
Michiganders who were on unemployment, went back to work, and are now temporarily unemployed again due to COVID-19 can reopen their claim online.

Tips to reopening an existing claim:

  • Do not create a new account. Use the same MiLogin and MiWAM username and password used previously.
  • Reopen a claim on the first day of unemployment or reduced work hours and wages.
  • Have the Employer Account Number (EAN) or Federal Identification Number (FEIN) available. It may be provided by your employer or found on an employee’s W-2.
  • Payments will be made using the same payment method previously selected.
  • Claimants should read and respond to all requests for information to avoid payment delays.
  • When certifying for benefits, be sure to report your gross earnings (amount before taxes and other deductions) in the week in which they were earned, not when you were paid.
  • After you have completed your claim, a confirmation page will display the date of your next certification, please take note.

More information on filing or reopening an unemployment claim, including FAQs, tutorial videos, and other resources are available at Michigan.gov/UIA.

Increased Capacity
“The UIA has increased capacity, improved workflow, and other internal systems, and reduced red tape to meet the unprecedented level of claims that have been filed since the pandemic began,” said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson. “These efforts have positioned the agency to better deal with large fluctuations of demand if necessary.”

Working in conjunction with DTMB, server capacity has been increased to ensure any demand spikes related to MiWAM account access can be accommodated. In addition, customer-facing staff has more than tripled. Before the pandemic, the UIA had around 650 staff. Currently, over 2,000 UIA team members are helping claimants – this includes answering phones through the call center, making proactive calls, answering questions online, solving technical issues, and adjudicating claims.

Employer Filed Claims
Michigan employers are encouraged to file an Employer Filed Claims (EFC) online on behalf of their full-time workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off. This fast, secure way of transferring claims information allows employers to better manage the accuracy of the information provided to the UIA. An EFC replaces the need for an individual worker to reopen their claim. For more information on EFC, visit here.

Work Share
Employers looking to avoid layoffs or bring employees back from unemployment are encouraged to use the state’s Work Share program. The federally funded program has provided $475 million in benefits and helped nearly 2,700 Michigan employers since March 15. The flexible program allows job providers to retain their skilled workforce and avoid layoffs by reducing employee hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for the lost wages.

With almost 97,000 employees participating at the peak of enrollment, Michigan’s program has led the nation and far outpaced even the combined totals of larger states like New York, Ohio, and Texas. For more information, visit: Michgan.gov/Workshare.

Paying Unemployment Claims
Since March 15, over 2.3M certifying, potentially eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with over $26B in benefits paid to over 2.2M workers, or roughly 96% of potentially eligible, certifying claimants. There are currently around 71,000 claimants needing ID verification and around 9,000 in the adjudication process which requires a one-on-one review of their claim.

UIA Data, March 15 – Nov. 17, 2020

  • $26.1B: Benefits paid.
  • 2,972K: Total unique claimants (State and Federal).
  • 290K: Claimants determined currently ineligible for benefits.
  • 366K: Claimants who have not certified.
  • 2,316K: Total unique potentially eligible claims with certification.
  • 2,236K: Claimants paid at least once.
  • 96.5%: Percent paid at least once.
  • 71K: Claimants unpaid due to ID verification.
  • 9K: Claimants unpaid due to other non-monetary issues.

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