Unemployment Benefits for Michigan Self Employed and Independent Contractors

Date: April 13, 2020

Michigan Unemployment Agency now taking applications for benefits

April 13, 2020 – Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will begin accepting unemployment benefit applications for the self-employed and independent contractors today.

This is under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to those otherwise ineligible for state UI benefits as part of the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act. The program also applies to freelancers, workers seeking part-time work, and workers whose work history isn’t long enough to qualify for state UI benefits. 

The benefit is $600 each week through July 31, 2020. The UIA will be accepting claims and benefit applications back-dated to when 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). If an individual also qualifies for state UI benefits, the $600 will be added to the state benefit amount.

NFIB objected to this provision in the CARES Act and supported an amendment that would have ensured supplemental unemployment insurance compensation would not exceed actual employee compensation prior to being laid off. This amendment did not pass.

To file online (recommended method) go HERE.

The schedule for filing online is:

  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for anyone with a last name starting with letters A to L.
  • Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for anyone with a last name starting with letters M to Z.
  • Saturdays for anyone who could not file on one of their allotted days.

If you can, apply online during non-peak hours, 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. The 24-hour website operates faster when fewer people are on the site.

The schedule to file by phone (1-866-500-0017) is:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for last name starting with letters A to L.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for last name starting with letters M to Z.
  • Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone who could not file on one of their allotted days.

You will need to provide a proof of income, which can include W-2s, 1099 tax forms and pay stubs. More information on filing can be found HERE.

Important notes about the CARES Act and Self Employed or Independent Contractors who have already filed a claim:

You do not need to reapply to receive the additional benefits provided by the CARES Act. 

If your file has been denied in the past three weeks, there is no need to reapply at this time. The Agency will review these claims for eligibility.


Information presented here is not to be relied upon as legal advice. If you need a legal opinion on your decisions or actions, we recommend that you seek advice from an attorney or other legal professional.


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