If you're filing for unemployment for the first time, it can be stressful and confusing. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has received an unprecedented amount of filers in the last several weeks do to the Covid-19 crisis, but offers some helpful information to help you get started. To learn who is eligible to file, check here.

How do I File a Claim?

You have two options to file a claim - by phone or online. To file by phone call 1-866-500-0017 and choose Option 1 ("to inquire about and file a claim" ). The phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The agency also has a call-back feature if you are on hold so that you don't have to remain on the line.

To file online go to www.michigan.gov/uia and use the MiWAM (Michigan Web Account Manager) portal. Filing online should result in faster service, but although the website is open 24 hours a day, it is recommended to use it during off hours (8 p.m. to 8 a.m.) as the site has been operating slowly during peak hours.

What do I Need to File?

  • Social Security number
  • Your address, phone number, and date of birth
  • Employment information for the past 18 months (including your employer's name and address; your first and last day worked; and your gross earnings)
  • Driver's license or State ID 
  • If applicable, your Alien Registration Card and the expiration date of your work authorization 

How do I Get Paid?

You have two options for payment: direct deposit or debit card, but you must certify your eligibility every two weeks. To make that report you can:

  • Go online (the preferred method) to access your MiWAM account which is accessible  seven days a week, 24 hours a day. 
  • Call MARVIN (Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network) at 1-866-638-3993 Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More questions?

You can find more tools and resources at www.michigan/gov/uia, including video tutorials, a fact sheet, and a MiWAM toolkit with step-by-step instructions for creating an account. Additional information can also be found in the links provided here:

Job Search Toolkit


Whether you are looking for a new job or considering changing careers, the library can help! In addition to the great internet resources listed here, the library provides: 

If you are also dealing with unemployment, please visit our How to File for Unemployment page for instructions and answers to common questions. Please see CPL's list of Assistance Programs and Resources if you need help finding further assistance.

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