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Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency offers tips for workers seeking benefits again

The agency has tripled staff and increased server space ahead of the influx expected this week
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency(WJRT)
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 6:00 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Many Michigan workers are bracing for layoffs or job cuts when the state’s three-week pause to prevent COVID-19 spread takes effect on Wednesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced several coronavirus restrictions on Sunday evening. They take effect Wednesday and will remain in place for three weeks until Dec. 9.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association expects 250,000 layoffs from bars and restaurants with the three-week forced closure of indoor dining. Bowling alleys, rinks and indoor entertainment venues have to close entirely again.

Some of their workers may seek unemployment benefits for the second time this year. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency offered a number of tips to help their claims reach approval quickly.

Workers returning to the unemployment system should not create a new account for their second claim. They should use their existing Michigan Web Account Manager username and password from past unemployment benefit claims.

Workers should reopen their past claims beginning with the first day they are off work or receiving reduced hours and quickly respond to any requests for information. Payments will resume using the method that workers previously selected.

Wages should be reported for the time they were earned and not when they were paid.

Employers in Michigan still can take advantage of the federal work-share program again, which allows their employees to work a reduced schedule and get unemployment pay for the balance of their normal work hours. More than 2,700 Michigan businesses have used the program to claim $425 million in benefits this year.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has increased computer server space to speed up its online filing system and tripled the number of staff available to help. The agency had 650 employees last year and currently has more than 2,000 staff members able to help with benefit claims.

Since March 15, more than 2.3 million Michigan workers have claimed more than $26.1 billion in unemployment benefits.

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