Michigan’s UIA Launches Online Coaching Sessions for First-Time Unemployment Benefit Applicants

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is rolling out a new initiative to support workers applying for unemployment benefits for the first time. Recognizing the challenges that can come with navigating the process, the UIA is now offering online coaching sessions led by trained instructors to guide these first-time filers.

These web-based orientations, available Tuesdays through Fridays, are designed to walk users through the UIA’s new online Claimant Roadmap. This roadmap offers a clear six-step guide, helping to answer questions, clarify instructions, and remove any confusion about both filing for benefits and subsequent job searching.

While participation in the sessions isn’t mandatory to qualify for benefits, Julia Dale, the Director of the UIA, strongly believes in their value. “We have invested in these new user-focused tools to improve the overall experience and minimize the stress associated with the filing process,” Dale commented.

Those looking to benefit from this guidance can register at Michigan.gov/UIA. The coaching sessions are scheduled at the following times:

  • 9-11 a.m. on Tuesdays
  • 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays
  • 1-3 p.m. on Fridays

After registering, attendees will be sent a link via email to access their chosen session, complemented by reminder emails one day and one hour before the session’s start.

However, the sessions are tailored specifically for first-time filers. If someone has a current claim and needs assistance, several resources are available, including calling UIA’s Customer Service line, scheduling an appointment online, or using the website’s Ask Ava chat feature.

The new coaching initiative is part of a series of enhancements made possible by a generous $6.8 million equity grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Funds from this grant will also go towards outreach programs for worker communities who have traditionally faced challenges accessing UIA resources. Additionally, the grant facilitates the translation of letters, documents, and forms, ensuring that more Michigan residents can understand and interact with the UIA.

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