Minimum Number of Weeks You Must Work in Michigan to Get Unemployment

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Michigan provides unemployment benefits to workers who are laid off or otherwise lost their job through no fault of their own. Former employees may receive up to $362 per week as of 2011, depending on how much they earned while they were working and whether they are supporting children. Employees can qualify for unemployment regardless of how long they worked for a particular employer as long as they have worked for two out of the last four quarters, not counting the quarter they apply for unemployment.

Base Period

  • Michigan bases your eligibility unemployment on how long you have worked over the past four of the past five quarters. You must have worked for at least two of the four quarters. As of this publication, most people must make at least $2,871 in one of the four quarters and total wages must be at least 1.5 times their earnings in the highest-earning quarter. Michigan does provide an alternative assessment for people who do not meet this requirement, which is also based on working in at least two of the last four quarters.

Alternative Base Period

  • If a Michigan employee does not qualify for unemployment based on the usual requirements, the unemployment office examines whether he made enough money to qualify under the alternative base period. In addition to working for at least two of the last four quarters, the employee must have had made at least 20 times the state average weekly wage in total. As of May 2011, the state average weekly wage is $823.35, so applicants must earn at least $16,467 to qualify for unemployment.

Multiple Employers

  • Employees do not have to work for just one employer to qualify for unemployment in Michigan. As long as the employee worked for two out of the last four quarters and met other monetary eligibility guidelines, the employee may qualify for unemployment even if he worked for his latest employer only for a few weeks. However, the longer he worked for his last employer, the higher his benefit amount is likely to be, as benefits are based on the wages he earned during the base period.

Other Factors

  • The Michigan unemployment office considers the reason the employee lost his job in addition to how long he worked at that job or how long he worked at multiple jobs over the course of the year. Employees must have lost their job through no fault of their own to qualify for unemployment. In addition, an employee must be available for new full-time employment and actively searching for work each week to continue to qualify for unemployment benefits.

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