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Self-employed workers can file for unemployment starting Monday

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Posted at 7:58 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 17:06:14-04

LANSING, Mich. — Good news for some workers who have been waiting to file for unemployment. Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beginning Monday, April 13 at 8AM.

Those people will start receiving their state benefit amount (paid with federal funds) and the $600 federal payment as early as April 20.

If you applied for unemployment benefits and have been denied, you need to login to your MiWAM account to complete the next steps for PUA federal benefits. These steps will also be emailed to you. You should not file a new claim, as that may delay the time it takes to get your benefits.

Eligible workers will need to provide proof of income to receive the maximum amount they are entitled. This could include W-2s, 1099 tax forms, and pay stubs. You'll start receiving federal benefits as early as April 20 after their bi-weekly certification. Individuals on paid sick leave or other paid leave – and those who have the ability to telework with pay – are not eligible for PUA.

Workers already getting unemployment benefits have begun receiving the $600 federal set amount in addition to up to $362 they were previously eligible for. These payments are disbursed at the same time as their state benefits through direct deposit or debit card after their bi-weekly certification.

Under the federal CARES Act, workers on state unemployment have already begun receiving the set $600 federal weekly payment in addition to their state benefit amount. Michigan is one of the first states to begin sending the $600 payment.

“Ensuring Michiganders have access to state and federal benefits during this pandemic is a critical part in protecting everyone’s health and safety,” Governor Whitmer said. “We will do everything we can to continue providing emergency financial assistance as quickly as possible to the Michigan working families who have lost income as a result of COVID-19.”

The UIA assures every eligible worker in Michigan who applies for unemployment benefits that they will receive them. The UIA will be accepting claims and benefit applications back-dated to reflect the date on which the claimant was laid-off due to COVID-19, beyond the previously established 28-day period ($600 federal payment is only retroactive back to March 28).

Since March 15, more than 800,000 Michigan workers filed for unemployment, a more than 5,000% over a three-week period. Michigan has seen a record number of claims for three consecutive weeks.

To read the governor's full release click here.