State Offers New Coaching Sessions for First-Time Filers Seeking Jobless Benefits

Workers applying for jobless benefits for the first time can now get online guidance from trained instructors with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, which will walk users through the steps they need to follow to qualify for payments.

Coaching sessions are available Tuesdays through Fridays and will provide ample time for questions. Workers can sign up at for the voluntary web-based orientations. Participating in an orientation session is not required to qualify for benefits.

During the sessions, UIA staff will guide first-time users through the UIA’s new online Claimant Roadmap, which offers six steps that explain applying for and understanding benefits. The roadmap is an easy-to-follow, user-focused tool that provides answers, clarifies instructions, and eliminates confusion about filing for benefits and searching for work.

“The new worker orientations, in combination with our recently launched Claimant Roadmap, is another example of how we are modernizing the Unemployment Insurance Agency to make it easier for anyone to file for benefits,” said Julia Dale, Director of the UIA. “We listened to what users told us about their experiences with the UIA. These new user-focused tools are significant improvements and can take a lot of stress out of the filing process.”

Workers can sign up for a coaching session through the UIA’s public website where they can choose a day and time that fits their schedule:

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

After signing up, users will be emailed a link to use on their selected day and time. Reminder emails will be sent one day and one hour before the session begins.

The sessions are not intended for someone who has a current claim. They can either call UIA’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017; go to the Schedule an Appointment page at to make an in-person, phone or virtual appointment; or use the website’s Ask Ava chat feature to get answers to their questions. The online sessions are one of a number of initiatives being launched under a $6.8 million equity grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will also fund outreach to communities of workers who have historically had difficulty accessing UIA resources and translations of letters, documents, and forms sent to workers and employers.