Unemployed residents of Michigan who are claiming unemployment benefits through the state are now facing a couple of additional hurdles.  The state is now following updated work requirement certification requirements. But it’s also setting up a new phone call-in option for those who have difficulties with online access to the state’s reporting system. Liza Estlund Olson is the new acting Director of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. She says in a department web post, "Although certifying and reporting your work search activity online is quicker and more efficient, this call-in schedule will make it easier for those who may not have online access

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The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity manages the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency. It is implementing a telephone schedule based on social security numbers for unemployed residents to be able to use to report their status and update their benefits claim.   That includes information about searching for work.  The resumption of proving you’ve been actively seeking employment was just put back in as a benefits requirement last week. The new phone reporting option kicked in yesterday (Monday, June 7, 2021).

The general work search requirement in Michigan forces the unemployed to verify they’ve made at least one employment contact that can be proven each week in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.

The agency is posting on its web page that there are some options for people who feel they should be exempt from the requirements and offers guidance on how to approach the issue - “For faster processing, UIA recommends that claimants certify and report their work search online using the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM). MiWAM is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Claimants may sign up for a MiWAM account at Michigan.gov/uia.”

A waiver of the work search requirement may be granted due to certain COVID-19 related reasons. Claimants must apply and be approved for the waiver before they certify for benefits for the bi-weekly certification period. Claimants will be notified at the time of the request whether a waiver of the requirement is granted.

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