To collect unemployment benefits in Michigan, you must meet the following three eligibility requirements:
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own, as defined by Michigan law.
- You must have earned at least a minimum amount in wages before you were unemployed.
- You must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking employment.
The minimum amount of wages you need to qualify for unemployment benefits depends on the method used to calculate your eligibility. There are two methods: the regular method and the alternate earnings qualifier (AEQ) method¹.
- Regular method: You must have wages in at least two quarters in the base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to when you filed your claim. For benefit years beginning Jan. 1, 2020, one quarter’s wages must be at least $3,744; and total wages for all four quarters must equal at least one and a half times the highest amount of wages paid in any quarter of the base period ($3,667 x 1.5 = $5,616).
- AEQ method: You must have wages in at least two quarters and total wages for all four quarters must equal at least 20 times the state average weekly wage (SAWW). For 2020, the AEQ amount is $20,742 [20 x $1,037.10 (SAWW) = $20,742].
If you do not qualify based on the regular method, the UIA will consider your wages in the alternate base period, which is the four most recently completed calendar quarters¹.
In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, you must also register for work at Pure Michigan Talent Connect and visit a Michigan Works! Agency service center². You must also file your claim on time and certify your eligibility every two weeks.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any other questions, please let me know.