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  • underemployed Michigan Unemployment: Help For Underemployed Workers

    Are you underemployed? What does that mean, you may ask. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance provides help not only to unemployed workers but also underemployed, so you may be eligible for help without even  realizing it.

    Underemployed workers are workers who receive some income in a week but is still eligible for temporary unemployment benefits from the Michigan UI program. So, how can you know if you are eligible for underemployment benefits? Can full-time workers receive this kind of assistance? If not, what are the requirements to be considered and underemployed workers? These are some of the questions this article will answer.

    What does the law say about underemployment?

    Unemployment describes a worker who has no work whatsoever. If you are receiving unemployment insurance benefits and cannot find any type of employment you are considered unemployed. However, if your hours have been reduced due to no fault of your own or you found some side-work while you were receiving unemployment benefits, you are considered underemployed. It is important to understand the distinction between a part-time worker who works less than 40 hours a week out of choice and someone who had a full time job and whose hours were reduced due to lack of work. According to Section 48 of the Michigan Employment Security Act you must be either unemployed or underemployed to receive temporary unemployment financial assistance.

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    Can full-time workers receive underemployment benefits?

    No, only workers who work less than a full-time week due to no fault of their own can qualify for underemployment benefits.

    How does the Michigan UI determine how much underemployment benefits you receive?

    The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency tries to balance between encouraging unemployed workers to find whatever work they can while searching for a full-time or better job and only providing financial assistance to those that need it.

    How does it draw the line between those who can receive underemployment benefits?

    The Michigan Unemployment Insurance program uses a formula to determine how much a worker can receive in unemployment benefits when they receive some other type of work. Incidentally this income does not only include regular wages and salaries, it also includes rent and board, interest or investment dividends and cash payments for odd-jobs. It is important to include any income you earn during a week you claim for UI or extended unemployment benefits or your claim could be permanently cancelled. Failure to declare income could also lead to fines and other disciplinary measures.

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