Please note the following changes to the unemployment process in response to COVID-19.


Until further notice:

  • West Michigan Works! has cancelled non-essential services such as workshops, orientations, hiring events and other group activities.
  • All unemployment claims can currently be filed online at or by calling 1-866-500-0017.
  • You are NOT required to report in person at Michigan Works! to register for work.

The filing process for unemployment insurance can be overwhelming. The two-step process of contacting the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) first before visiting Michigan Works leaves some individuals confused and unsure. To help clear up confusion, here are answers to the most common questions about the register for work process.

Are you the unemployment insurance agency?
No. If you have questions about your unemployment insurance, you will need to contact the unemployment insurance agency. However, service center staff can answer many of your questions about the unemployment filing process. Job seekers work through unemployment insurance claims frequently on our service center computers or on the special UIA phone line.

How do I register for work?
Your first step is to open a claim with the unemployment insurance agency (either in person, online or on the phone). Registering for work is the second step in the unemployment insurance filing process. Visit a Michigan Works service center to complete a job seeker profile/resume on Pure Michigan Talent Connect.

After your profile is complete, service center staff will verify that you’ve registered for work and give you a stamped form. This completes your unemployment insurance claim filing.

Do I have to come into a service center?
Yes, service center staff will make sure you’re correctly registered on Pure Michigan Talent Connect (and MiLogin) and will verify that your profile is complete. You will receive a stamped form with registration verification.

Tip: Bring an ID and current resume to help the process move more quickly.

Can I use a service center to file for unemployment?
Absolutely! Computers are available for online registration, as well as Pure Michigan Talent Connect profile creation.

Do you need to call UIA? There is a special phone line in each service center that moves callers to the front of the call line, which means short wait times!

Find a service center closest to you here.