Note: The implementation of COVID-19 relief programs is a fluid situation with new details released daily. We strive to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and will highlight important changes you should be aware of.
Changes to Unemployment In Michigan since COVID-19
Executive Order 2020-57 (replacing 2020-24) expands unemployment benefits in Michigan. Changes include:
- Claimants have 28 days to apply
- Benefit period expanded to 26 weeks for state benefits
- Work-share program expanded employer eligibility
- Employer’s UIA reserve account is not affected if employees are collecting unemployment
- Unemployed workers do not have to seek employment elsewhere
- Expanded eligibility for workers who are not able to work because they have symptoms of COVID-19, have to care for someone with COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or is self-isolated/quarantined due to being immuno-compromised
The Federal CARES Act further expanded unemployment. Changes include:
- Unemployment expanded to cover sole-proprietors, low-wage workers,self-employed, and 1099 workers.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides an additional $600/week for everyone receiving unemployment
- The CARES Act provides an additional 13 weeks of state unemployment benefits for a total of 39 weeks
How to Apply
Please visit Michigan.gov/UIA for the most up to date information.
Applications will start at https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-78421_97241—,00.html
Sole-proprietors, self-employed, and self-contractors:
- File as employees
- Follow instructions on the screen
- Certification: Income is gross income, not net (do not subtract expenses)
- See below for further notes on the application process
- If you have many unemployed workers, you may apply for a Filed Claims Submission. This will replace the need for each individual employee to file for unemployment
- You also use the above link to file for a work-share program approval
How Much Money Will I Get?
Unemployment benefits come from two sources:
State of Michigan
- The minimum weekly benefit amount is $160 and the maximum is $362.
- This amount is based on proof of your previous income
- For those on workshare, you will receive an amount based on how much your weekly hours are reduced
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the Federal Government
- Flat amount of $600/week
- Benefit is automatically applied to everyone receiving any state unemployment benefits, including those on a work-share program
- Applies through July 31st 2020
This means that for those on unemployment (not work-share) the minimum weekly benefit is $760 and the maximum weekly benefit is $962.
Interaction With Other Funding Programs
Payroll Protection Program
Receiving wages in any form, including from PPP funds, may disqualify employees or self-employed from receiving unemployment for that period.
- Everyone receiving benefits must certify every two weeks. Certification includes claiming any income received during the previous two weeks
- You may be able to use PPP to pay work-share wages while those employees receive supplemental unemployment benefits
- In certain circumstances, the CARES Act provides an Employee Retention payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees, up to $10,000 per employee. However, you cannot claim the tax credits and use PPP funds.
- You cannot claim tax credits for wages paid for Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA while using PPP funds to pay your employee(s).
If you are self-employed, this means you should compare the amount of income you would pay yourself from PPP loan to the amount of money you would receive from unemployment.
EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
You can receive both unemployment and the EIDL loan and or/grant. Funds from a PPP loan and an EIDL loan cannot be used for the same purpose. The same rules above apply: paying yourself income may disqualify you from unemployment for that period.
Payroll Tax Credit
For employers: If you have employees who are not on unemployment, you may be eligible for payroll tax credits under Families First Coronavirus Response Act (DOL) and Employee Retention Credit (IRS).
Can I Still Make Money and Claim Unemployment?
Yes, If you work less than full-time during a calendar week, you can collect partial unemployment benefits for that week as long as your gross earnings are not more than 1.5 times your weekly unemployment rate.
You will need to report any income to the UIA on a biweekly basis and your benefits will be reduced proportionally.
See the LEO article for more information on this. https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-78421_97241_93360_1535-78914–,00.html
Notes On The PUA Application Process
- At completion, you’ll get a confirmation number. This means you have submitted your PUA application for processing.
- You can ignore the alert for adding income verification if you have already submitted it.
- There is no cost to apply for Unemployment.
- There is no penalty if you do not receive Unemployment.
- If you apply for Unemployment and don’t get your money for a few weeks you will receive retroactive payments.
- There is no timeline on how fast you will get your benefits.
Checking In On your Benefits
You’re not going to get a check overnight as money is slow in coming. To check in on your benefits, log into your MiWAM account and check the notifications section. Don’t be surprised if the computer servers are overwhelmed and you can’t log in or the system is moving slow.
While you can call 866-500-0017 to speak to the team at LEO directly long hold times are reported as well as miss information. It’s not uncommon for the phone system to be so overwhelmed you will not even be able to wait on hold.
These are the opinions and understandings of some of the consultants at the Michigan SBDC. Please review the Michigan.gov website for updated information.
Notes And Research Information
This Playlist of Videos Will Help you Apply for Benefits