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How to Use MARVIN Online for Michigan Unemployment Compensation

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If you lose your job in Michigan, you may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. While unemployment benefits won’t replace all your lost income, you can receive checks for a specified amount of time to replace a percentage of your earnings while you look for a new job. To make the claim process faster and easier, Michigan offers online services via the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) and the Michigan Automated Response Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN). Using these services, you can make your initial unemployment claim and certify your unemployment and job search activities.

The U.S. Department of Labor added new guidelines around unemployment in light of COVID-19. According to The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity in Michigan, self-employed, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers qualify for assistance through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Learn who is eligible for assistance.

You can file your claims online at Last names that start with A-L should file claims on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Last names that start with M-Z should file claims on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. Alternatively, you can call 1-866-500-0017. Last names starting with A-L should call on Monday or Wednesday. Last names starting with M-Z should call on Tuesday or Thursday.

Get Started With MiWAM

To begin using MiWAM and MARVIN, you need to establish an account. To do so, go to or go to the MiWAM website to log in. If you made an unemployment claim within the last two years, you can log in to your existing account using the same username and password you created when you made that claim. Otherwise, you need to create a new account.

To create a new account and claim, click the link to “File a New Claim.” From here you are taken to the claim form. You need to fill all required sections of the form honestly and completely. Failing to do so could result in delays to your claim or more serious consequences if it’s proven that you did not provide accurate information. Provide your Social Security number, driver’s license number or state ID, and contact information, employer information for the past 18 months and make a selection as to how you want your benefits sent to you – either by direct deposit to a bank account or via debit card. You also must provide information about your employment, including the employer name and address, the dates of your employment and when employment ended.

Use MARVIN Online to Certify Unemployment

Receiving your unemployment benefits usually requires that you certify your unemployment weekly. To certify means informing the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) that you are still unemployed but actively looking for work.

You have two options for certifying your unemployment. The first is to use MARVIN. When you file your claim, your confirmation includes the date and time of your first MARVIN “appointment.” During this assigned time, you call in to the automated phone system and follow the prompts to certify and continue receiving benefits.

The other option is to use MARVIN Online. To do so, you log in to your MiWAM account and click on the link to certify your benefits. One of the advantages of using the online option is that you can certify at any time, and you do not have to wait for your specific weekly time to call. Expect to answer a series of questions about your unemployment claim, as well as questions about your job search efforts. At the end of the questionnaire, your confirmation tells you the amount of your next benefit payment as well as the date to expect payment.

Other Online Services

The MiWAM and MARVIN unemployment online services allow you to do more than make and certify your unemployment claims. Via this portal, you can check on claims, ask questions, respond to fact-finding inquiries, file protests and appeals, change your contact information, make restitution payments and file anonymous fraud tips. If you do not have reliable internet access, you can file your unemployment claims in person at one of the unemployment offices throughout the state, and call MARVIN weekly to certify.


An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer and editor, specializing in careers, business, education, and lifestyle topics. The author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), which covers everything from career and financial advice to furnishing your first apartment, her work has also appeared in Young Money, Lewiston Auburn Magazine, USA Today, and a variety of online outlets. She's also been quoted as a career expert in many newspapers and magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Parade. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.

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