Michigan Unemployment Work Search Requirements

Are you a Michigan resident and you are wondering what could be the basic requirements that you have to provide before you can be eligible to benefit from unemployment insurance benefits?

If you are, then do well to relax and keep reading. We are going to unravel every process as well as the requirement that you will need for this exercise.

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What Are The Michigan Unemployment Work Search Requirements?

It is important to note that these unemployment benefits are meant to be a temporary benefit until you find a new job.

Having said so, below are the unemployment work search requirements:

1. You must be actively looking for a job.

2. You must make at least 2 job contacts per week. This includes filling out job applications and sending resumes.

3. You must ensure that you keep a comprehensive record of all of your job search activities, including records of all the job contacts.

4. You mustn’t be disabled. 

In a situation where you are disabled, there are different programs available.

You can seek counsel from your unemployment counselor or local unemployment office who will direct you to those resources.

One of these resources includes Social Security Disability).

5. Claimants must also be able to accept new work when it is offered.

There is a need for you to make sure that you fulfill these job searches every week, and provide a weekly certification to let the unemployment office know that you are meeting all of the requirements. 

Be sure to have your job search record up to date, in case you are called at the unemployment office for a periodic eligibility review.

Bear in mind that failure to submit timely and accurate work search forms may result in the termination of your payment Ul benefits.

In addition, after collecting 50% of your entitled weeks, you must apply for and accept any work that is suitable.

Do well to keep your address up-to-date with UIA, so that they can contact you if there is a question about your payment.

Processes Of Registering For The Unemployment Work Search

The state of Michigan requires that all recipients of Michigan unemployment insurance benefits register with Michigan Works.

There are two-step processes that you can follow. They are:

First, you’ll need to create a job seeker profile on Pure Michigan Talent Connect – Pure Michigan Talent Connect – Home (mitalent.org)

Once your profile is complete, you will need to meet with a staff member from your local Michigan Works Service Center, either virtually or in person. 

This staff member will verify your job seeker profile and send this verification to Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

After doing so, you will receive a confirmation email that shows that the process has been completed successfully.

It is important that you must bear in mind to complete the two-step process at least one business day before you submit your first weekly certification claim. 

Failure to do so could mean a delay in receiving your benefits

Read also: 6 Steps To Apply For A New Job After Being Fired Or Laid-Off

How Do You Report Your Work Search?

As arranged by the state of Michigan, you are allowed to report your work search activities either over the phone or online, and you are required to do so on a bi-weekly basis.

Let’s look at how you can do each of them.

Report Through Online

To submit your Michigan unemployment work bi-weekly search certification online, it is done through the use of your Michigan Web Account Manager account and below are the basic steps to follow:

A. Log into your Michigan Web Account Manager account.

B. Follow the prompts to answer questions about your work search activities for the certification period

C. Enter the details of your work search activity for both week 1 and week 2 of the certification period

If you choose to certify online, you may do so on any day during your certification week.

Report Through phone

To report through the phone, you will call this number: 866-638-3993.

Afterwards, you should listen to the prompts and answer the certification questions as they are posed to you. 

Submitting your answers while still staying on the line. 

You will be connected to an agent who will provide details about your work search activities. 

While on this, ensure that you don’t hang up before you have given these details or your certification won’t be complete and you will not receive your benefits for that certification period.

Importantly, if you choose to submit your weekly claim over the phone, you will be required to call on the scheduled day and time that corresponds with the last two digits of your Social Security Number. 

You may do so Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What Are The Acceptable Work Search Activities?

Below are the considered valid Michigan unemployment work search activities:

A. Create a profile or resume on a professional networking or job site such as MiTalent.org, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn, Google Careers, etc. (once per benefit year)

B. Apply for jobs, either in person or online.

C. Participate in documented virtual or remote job shadowing

D. Register for work with a private employment agency, recruiter, or headhunter service

E. Enroll in the Clean Slate Program through your local MichiganWorks! once per benefit year.

F. Participate in online job search workshops or seminars that help improve your skills and make you more attractive for employment

G. Obtain a National Work Readiness Credential

H. Participate in a virtual or in-person job fair or other MWA-sponsored hiring event and reach out to at least one employer afterward

I. Use resources available at a local MichiganWorks Office such as obtaining job postings for jobs listed by local employers and making at least one contact

J. Participate in a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment appointment either initial or follow-up.

K. Complete an online interest inventory, such as Strong, My Next Move, Myers/Briggs, or similar.

L. Participate in a private sector paid or unpaid work experience or internship.

M. Complete LinkedIn Learning certified courses or courses on a similar online learning platform that issue certificates of completion.

What Are Not Considered Weekly Work Contacts?

These are the weekly work contacts that can’t be considered. They include:

A. Checking back with a temporary agency for more work.

B. Using your current part-time employer as a work contact.

C. Seeking or working in self-employment. 

Do I Have To Accept Any Job Offer?

According to Michigan labor laws, anyone receiving Michigan unemployment benefits must accept suitable work whenever it is offered. 

It doesn’t mean that you have to accept any job offer that comes your way because you may be disqualified from receiving benefits if the state of Michigan determines that an offer you refused was for work that matches your experience and skill set.

To decide whether full-time or part-time work offered to you is suitable under the law, the state will consider the following:

A. The employee’s prior training and work experience

B. The employee’s physical fitness for the job

C. Length of the employee’s unemployment

D. The employee’s prior earnings

E. The employee’s prospects for securing work in their previous occupation

F. Any risk to the employee’s health, safety, health and morals

G. Distance of the work from the employee’s residence

If you decline a job offer that the state determines is suitable, you can be denied benefits if the pay rate for that job is at least 70% of the gross pay rate you earned immediately before losing your job.

But once you’ve collected half of your benefits, the law states that you must apply for, and accept, work even if the job is outside of your previous training and experience, or unsuitable as to the pay rate as long as three key criteria are met. 

Below are the criterias or conditions that you consider before accepting a job:

A. The pay rate must be at least minimum wage

B. The pay must equal at least the average wage for similar work in your area

C. The pay must equal at least 120 percent of your weekly benefit amount

As stated in the Michigan labor law, work is considered unsuitable only if it’s vacant because of a labor dispute, or if wages are below the usual rate for that job in the area. 

Work can also be termed as unsuitable if you are required to join, resign from, or refrain from joining a union in order to accept the job.

Once you find a job, you can simply stop certifying for unemployment benefits but if the new job doesn’t work out, you can still reopen your unemployment claim.

read also: How To Respond To A Lowball Job Offer (Sample Emails)

How Do You Report Your Work Search When You Return to Work?

If you have reported within the first week ending date before returning to work. Then, the work search must be submitted within the four weeks of the first week ending date in order for them to have it recorded on time. 

That is to say that you don’t necessarily need to wait for four weeks to submit this form.

Also, you can’t email your work search before the first week.

So ensure that you submit your work search for the weeks you were laid off even after you returned to work.


We hope that this article has been helpful to guide you through the process of your unemployment work search.

For further questions, do well to comment on them in the comment section below.

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