How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Michigan?

Michigan defines an employer as having paid at least $1,000 in wages during the Calendar Year (CY) or having had an employee/employees for at least 20 weeks out of the base period.

To qualify for unemployment insurance in Michigan, you must have earned at least 1.5 times your HQW within the entire base period. You had to of worked during at least two quarters of the base period. Additionally, your HQW must have met the minimum required amount of $2,871, with a minimum total base period earnings of $4,307.


Your total base period earnings must have been at least 20 times the Average Weekly Wage (AWW) of Michigan. You also must have worked during at least two quarters of the base period in order to qualify for unemployment insurance.

The AWW for Michigan as of July, 2014 is $893.44

Therefore, the minimum total base period earnings required for this method is $17,868.80

Michigan does not offer an extended base period; however, an alternate base period is available for those who fail to qualify for unemployment insurance using the regular base period. The alternate base period considers the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period (instead of the first four).


  • Linda Rodriguez

    Can I apply for partial unemployment I’m not getting 40 hours at my work place we have no work in our Dept , they say I can go home lack of work but I don’t get pay !

    • Your weekly benefit will be 4.1% of your high quarter wages, not to exceed $362/wk. You can apply, but probably won’t receive very much, as MI will deduct 60% of your gross part time earnings from the benefit.

  • Kim

    I recently decided to take voluntary separation in lieu of termination. Will i still be able to get unemployment benefits? I have worked for this company for 5+ years.

    • Depends on the circumstances. Why were you being discharged/terminated? Why did you choose a quit instead of being terminated? Was misconduct involved? Apply for benefits. Michigan will make the decision. If you are denied, appeal. MI offers free advocates for UI claimants who, overall, do a very good job for claimants on appeal.

  • I hired a friend to work part, approximately 20hrs a week a little over 4 months and lately has been coming in late and leaving early, a mutual friend has told me she is trying to get fired so she can collect unemployment, what choices to I have?

  • If I was fired because I got into a car accident & my doctor said I couldn’t work for 3 months, can I file for unemployment…. I was employed at ups for 6 months, I took a personal leave but now they saying I can’t come back

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