Work Search Requirements for Unemployment Benefits to Be Reinstated

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This release was produced and distributed by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — As Michigan’s economy continues to improve, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will reinstate work search requirements for unemployment benefit claimants starting May 30, 2021. The work search requirement was suspended in March 2020 to help the increased volume of hardworking Michiganders facing unemployment due to the pandemic.

To remain eligible for benefits, claimants must actively seek work and report at least one work search activity for each week they claim benefits. A work search activity could include:

  • Submitting a job application.
  • Interviewing with an employer
  • Attending a job fair or employment workshop
  • Applying for the new Clean Slate program
  • Participating in reemployment services through Michigan Works! or creating an account on job search sites such as

Work search is required for those receiving benefits under the state’s regular unemployment insurance program as well as federal benefit programs. If an individual has an approved waiver, they are exempt from the work search requirement. There are COVID- specific exemptions for people who are self-employed, unable to work due to COVID-19, and parents with children attending school remotely because the school is closed.

Claimants may apply for a waiver prior to their certification either in MiWAM or by calling the UIA customer service line at 866-500-0017. They will be notified at the time of the request whether a waiver of the requirement is granted.

“With record numbers of Michiganders filing for benefits during the pandemic, many may not be familiar with the work search requirement,” said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson. “We want to make sure claimants understand what information is needed to meet the newly reinstated requirements and prevent a delay in receiving their benefits.”

Claimants must be able and available to work and actively seeking work each week that benefits are claimed. To submit a work search activity claimants will input the details of their work search when they certify online or by phone. Failure to submit a work search activity will result in a loss of benefits for that week.

“The availability of the COVID-19 vaccinations and the reopening of workplaces allows more opportunities for Michiganders to be safe and successful in their job search,” said Estlund Olson.

Michigan Works! Agencies offer a variety of services and resources to assist with finding jobs. Individuals can search for jobs, attend workshops, participate in virtual job fairs or explore careers and training. For more information contact 800-285-WORKS (9675) or go online to is another resource to explore job opportunities in the state by getting connected with employers who are hiring right now! Visit to discover current openings.

For more information on work search requirements, visit the UIA website at

For information about open jobs throughout the Upper Peninsula, please click this link.