There was a time where being unemployed wasn’t anything to be afraid of. My brother used to call unemployment compensation, “Rocking Chair Money.” By that he meant he could sit around at home and still draw a check. Unemployment wasn’t anything to be afraid of because you knew you could go back to work, someplace, whenever you wanted to. If you wanted to work, there was always a place to go to work.
I know in the town I lived there were several gray iron foundries. This was hard, dirty work, but you could apply for work in the morning and be working that afternoon. Many guys would work for several weeks, quit, live off their earnings for a while, then come back and reapply when they ran out of cash. Invariably, the foundry would take them back because they were always short of workers.
Gone are the day when foundries, or mills or any other decent paying company is sitting there waiting for you to need a job. No more do we refer to unemployment compensation as “Rocking Chair Money.” Today, unemployment is an ominous threat hanging over our head. We are all afraid of the consequences.
Fortunately, we have a program that is called Unemployment Insurance. Our employer pays into a fund while we are working, that is designed to help us make ends meet when we are out of a job. So, don’t feel bad if you have to apply for unemployment; that’s why the program was set up and your employer has paid into it for as long as you have been working for them anyway.
The very first step to take when you find yourself out of work is to file an unemployment claim. It has been made very simple for us; you can do it by telephone or you can do it on-line.
By telephone you call 1-866-500-0017. There is a call in schedule based on the last two digits of your SSAN (Social Security Account Number), be sure to acknowledge that schedule or you won’t get service.
From 8:00AM to 12:30 PM
Monday = 00-15 Tuesday = 34-48 Wednesday = 67-81 Thursday & Friday = OPEN CALL-IN
From 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Monday = 16-33 Tuesday = 49-66 Wednesday = 82-99 Thursday & Friday = OPEN CALL-IN
You will need; 1) Your SSAN number 2) Your Michigan drivers license number 3) Your mailing address with zip code 4) A telephone number where you can be reached 5) Your county of residence. You also need A) Names and addresses of your employers for the past 18 months B) Your last date of employment with each employer C) your earnings, by calendar quarter, for the last 18 months.
Respond to the online queries using the materials from above and you will have filed your claim for unemployment benefits.
It is somewhat easier to file online. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, I would suggest filing online. To do so you must still bring together all the information and materials that you collected for filing by telephone. Then you log into the site;
This is the unemployment page for the official State of Michigan web site. Down the middle of the page is a listing of sub-sites. The very first one is “File an Unemployment Claim Online.” Click on that one. There are several informational tabs at the top. Click on the last one; “Begin Filing.” A separate dialogue box will pop up.
For online claims, if you want your benefits deposited directly into your bank account, you will need Your United States financial institution’s Routing Transit Number and your Checking Account Number. You can find both of those numbers at the bottom of a blank check.
Follow the prompts, respond to the user input blanks, and click on the “Proceed” button when you are finished. There are helps all along the way on the online method of applying; be absolutely certain to acknowledge them.
After you click on the last “Proceed” you have nothing to do but wait; you have applied for unemployment compensation. Be sure to print out the confirmation page when given the opportunity, you will need this for further steps. If you cannot print, then write down the confirmation number and keep it with your unemployment materials.
That’s it; you have filed your claim. I recommend filing your claim just as early as possible after having been separated from employment. I was laid off in the morning and by that afternoon I had my claim filed. There always seems to be some sort of bureaucratic delay and the faster you apply the shorter the delay.
I just talked only about the state of Michigan. I am certain, since unemployment is actually a federal program, that other states have similar programs accessed in a similar fashion. Find your local unemployment office and check it out.