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Michiganders have had trouble applying for unemployment benefits due to the high number of applications to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

The UIA is receiving a high volume of calls and some callers may get a busy line.

“The UIA is working hard and fast to handle the influx of applications for unemployment benefits as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “While an unprecedented number of calls and clicks has challenged the system, particularly during peak hours, we want to assure Michiganders that the system is providing emergency financial relief.”

Gray recommends going online to filing first as it remains the fastest way to apply and phone lines are very busy.

Workers can head to or call (866) 500-0017.

If you are using the website, the agency said to expect longer than normal load times as it may take several minutes to load a page.

Applying online between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. will be faster as fewer people will be on the website.

Applicants with more questions about the process and current challenges due to COVID-19 can find answers by clicking here.

Gray added the eligibility window to apply has been increased 14 to 28 days from the date their work stoppage.

“The UIA is shifting as many resources as possible to handle the increase in applications and is exploring further solutions to help Michiganders get the assistance they need as soon as possible,” Gray said. “We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.”

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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