2010-12-30 / Business

Unemployed can claim benefits throughout holidays

Although the state of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will be closed on the two days prior to New Year’s Day, unemployed workers can still contact the agency’s automated MARVIN system to claim their unemployment benefits.

“MARVIN (Michigan’s Automated Response Voice Interactive Network) does not take time off for the holidays,” UIA Director Stephen Geskey said. “So, while our offices [were closed] Dec. 23 and 24, and [will be closed] Dec. 30 and 31, MARVIN will be available by telephone or through the Internet all week, Monday through Friday.”

Unemployed workers claiming benefits in Michigan must contact MARVIN by telephone or online once every two weeks to claim their unemployment benefits. During their MARVIN contacts, individuals certify that they are unemployed and meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits. After the MARVIN contact, their benefits are normally authorized and issued on the next business day.

Because of the upcoming holiday, Geskey said, there may be a one- or two-day delay before the benefits are either directly deposited into the bank accounts or loaded onto the debit cards of unemployed workers. The holidays are observed by Michigan state government and most financial institutions.

“It normally takes two to three business days for electronic payments to reach an individual’s bank account or debit card,” Geskey said. “While MARVIN will accept the individual’s certification, the holidays could cause processing delays by banks.”

Individuals who contact MARVIN by phone must do so during specific times according to a Monday through Wednesday schedule based on the last two digits of their Social Security numbers or anytime on Thursday or Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and on most Saturdays between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. MARVIN can be reached at (866) 638-3993.

MARVIN is also available online to those with free online web accounts at www.michigan.gov/uia. MARVIN online is available to users anytime during their reporting week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on most Saturdays.

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