Given the current state of the economy in the United States, and Michigan in particular, the ranks of Michigan’s unemployed grow by the day. This means that more and more people in Michigan are collecting unemployment benefits.
As with any government-run program, collecting unemployment can seem quite daunting. Luckily for you, however, here in the early 21st century we have technology on our side, and Michigan is one state that has actually embraced and utilized it for its unemployment system.
First off, just filing for unemployment benefits can now be accomplished online on the state website at http://www.michigan.gov/uia. The instructions are actually very simple and to-the-point. This is far easier than showing up in person at one of the Michigan Works! offices, which always have lines going out the door and jammed parking lots.
Okay, so you’ve filed and been approved for unemployment benefits. Now you might get acquainted with MARVIN (Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network), which is the call-in service for Michigan’s unemployment system. Every two weeks, you have to call the MARVIN number at 1-866-638-3993 and answer “his” questions by hitting a “1” for “yes” and a “9” for “no”. MARVIN warns you that you must wait until he says “goodbye” before hanging up, or your benefit payment may not be processed.
It sounds relatively simple to call MARVIN every two weeks; however, it has its disadvantages. Upon being approved for unemployment benefits, you will be assigned a call-in time for MARVIN based on the last two digits of your social security number. This one-hour timeframe will fall on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. You literally only have the one-hour window to make and complete your certification call to MARVIN. If you forget to call during your allotted time, you must wait until Thursday or Friday to call, which delays your payment until Saturday or Monday.
Sometimes, you might remember to call MARVIN during your appointed time, but be unable to actually get through! You will receive an error message that all circuits are busy. As it happens, Michigan is unprepared for the massive number of people on the unemployment rolls. In other words, you may simply be unable to call during your appointed time due to all the other people trying to get through.
Frustrating, right? It certainly is, but luckily Michigan came up with a solution to lighten MARVIN’s load. By registering for online access via http://www.michigan.gov/uia, you can now log in to MARVIN Online on your appointed day and complete the biweekly certification in just a few clicks of the mouse! Far preferable and way less frustrating than the old-fangled phone route.
Finally, rather than waiting for the mail carrier every two weeks to drop off your unemployment check, you can now have the funds direct-deposited into your bank account, or Michigan will provide you with a “rechargeable” debit card it will place the funds on/in every two weeks. Fast and easy!
So, using the tools available to you, collecting unemployment benefits in Michigan doesn’t have to be a hair-pulling experience any longer.