LANSING — The State of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency is asking those who are seeking unemployment benefits to have patience as the system is extremely busy.

Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017, but due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal.

“The UIA is working hard and fast to handle the influx of applications for unemployment benefits as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. While an unprecedented number of calls and clicks have challenged the system, particularly during peak hours, we want to assure Michiganders that the system is providing emergency financial relief,‘ UIA Director Steve Gray said. "Our website may be operating a little slower, and phone queues are full resulting in busy signals for some callers, so the UIA is urging patience and recommending that workers go first to the online system at Michigan.gov/UIA.‘

Applying online during off-peak hours also should expedite the process. The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders who use the website to expect longer loading times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits.

Off-peak hours are 8 p.m.-8 a.m.

“Though it is best to file your claim as efficiently as possible, and we understand residents are eager to receive their checks quickly, the UIA wants to remind Michiganders that the eligibility window to apply has been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage,‘ Gray said. “The UIA is shifting as many resources as possible to handle the increase in applications and is exploring further solutions to help Michiganders get the assistance they need as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.‘

Last week alone, more than 108,000 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Michigan compared to the normal weekly average of roughly 5,000. 

Cadillac News