Unemployment and your business

Julia Dale headshot

By Julia Dale, Director of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency

As the Director of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, I regularly interact with business owners who have questions about my agency. The most frequently asked question is: “Why is that the amount I need to pay in unemployment taxes?”

Your and every other company’s history of employee benefits and retention has an impact on the amount of taxes paid, with the cost directly tied to the number of claims made and the amount remaining in an employer’s account.

For an employee to qualify for benefits, they must meet wage requirements based on full- or part-time earnings from all of their employers over the previous 18 months. This means you could be charged for all or part of the benefits being paid out.

Here are five other topics I’m asked about by employers, who are important customers for us, just like anyone who applies for jobless benefits.

Benefits for seasonal workers: Seasonal employers must let their workers know they are not entitled to unemployment benefits during the off season. Workers can, however, receive benefits if they are laid off during seasonal work.

Check your MiWAM account often:

  • Respond to fact finding requests within 10 days.
  • View determinations or decisions, and verify benefit charges and credits.
  • Protest a decision of benefits eligibility within 10 calendar days of receiving notice if an employee was terminated or within 30 calendar days if they quit.
  • Provide information about why your account should not be charged no later than 30 days after receiving a letter from the agency.

For Employers: Register for Employer Seminars, covering a range of topics at UIA-EmployerAdvisor@Michigan.gov. Also available, a free monthly Employer Advisor newsletter. Sign up at Michigan.gov/UIA. Coming soon, the Employer Help Center, a centralized hub to manage the most common tax and claim issues.

For Employees: The UIA Claimant Roadmap at https://www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/uia/tools/claimant-roadmap is an easy-to-follow guide to filing for benefits. Workers can sign up for first-time filer online coaching sessions with UIA staff. Visit Michigan.gov/UIA.

Save this number: For information about UIA’s programs for employers, call the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 855.484.2636.