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LEO | UIA Making Customer-Focused Renovations at 5 Local Offices

Michigan Business Network
April 2, 2024 9:00 AM

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  • Detroit, Sterling Heights, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Saginaw locations will be remodeled

  • Claimants will be served by UIA staff in nearby temporary offices

  • New offices will be more welcoming and productive

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is renovating five Local Offices to create a more welcoming experience for Michiganders seeking face-to-face service on their jobless claims. During construction, which begins Monday at the UIA’s Sterling Heights office, agency staff will move to nearby temporary locations to serve claimants.

The Local Offices to be renovated are in Sterling Heights, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Detroit with project start dates staggered over the next five months. Once construction is complete, the UIA offices will reopen at their current locations.

The Sterling Heights office will be the first to undergo construction starting Monday, March 4. UIA staff will temporarily be located at the Michigan Works! Service Center, 43630 Hayes Road, Clinton Township.

“It is paramount that we provide the best customer service experience in a welcoming environment for our customers who choose to speak face-to-face with UIA staff,” said UIA Director Julia Dale. “Once work is completed, the public and our staff can be confident that the office experience will be pleasant, productive, and secure. While each office is closed, claimants can still go to our public website at Michigan.gov/UIA to schedule appointments up to 14 days in advance at our temporary locations.”

Construction's impact on claimants

Here are answers to important questions about the renovation projects.

Will UIA staff still meet with claimants? Yes. In-person appointments at the temporary locations can be booked through the appointments page at Michigan.gov/UIA.

How else can claimants reach the UIA? The closures will not affect the ability of claimants to speak with UIA staff by phone or virtually. Claimants can also use the UIA’s Chat With An Agent feature through their MiWAM account at any time.

Where will claimants go to meet with UIA staff?

  • Sterling Heights. Temporary location: MichiganWorks! office, 43630 Hayes Road, Clinton Township. Expected project start date: Monday, March 4.
  • Saginaw: Temporary location: Sixth Floor, Saginaw Office Building, 515 North Washington, Saginaw. Expected project start date: Late March.
  • Grand Rapids. Temporary location: Department of Health and Human Services, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Street SE, Grand Rapids. Expected project start date: May.
  • Lansing: Temporary location: Capital Area MichiganWorks! office, 2110 South Cedar Street, Lansing. Expected project start date: June.
  • Detroit: Temporary location: L450 Cadillac Place, 3024 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit. Expected project start date: July.

Will all five offices be at new building locations? No. The Saginaw and Detroit temporary locations will be in the same buildings that house the current Local Offices. In Saginaw, claimants will meet by appointment with staff in a sixth-floor office instead of on the first floor. In Detroit, the temporary office will be across the hall from the current Local Office in Cadillac Place.

How long will renovations take? Construction at each location is expected to take approximately two months.

What’s driving the changes? The renovation plans were developed after UIA performed site assessments. Work will include reconfiguring public areas and making security changes.

How will claimants be notified? Signs at Local Offices will direct claimants to the temporary office locations. Claimants will also receive appointment reminders by text message with the address of the temporary location for their visit. Project updates will also be provided on the appointments page at Michigan.gov/UIA.

Will all UIA Local Offices be renovated? No. The other seven Local Offices in Kalamazoo, Benton Harbor, Muskegon, Gaylord, Traverse City, Marquette, and Sault Ste Marie will not be affected by the renovations. Check Michigan.gov/UIA for addresses of your nearest Local Office.

Commitment to customer service

The Local Office renovations will improve the user experience for claimants who want to speak directly with an agent. UIA is committed to providing an exemplary user experience to all its customers and creating a national model for fast, fair, and fraud-free service. Among the recent changes that benefit workers:

  • The UIA Claimant Roadmap is an easy-to-follow, user-friendly six step guide to applying for and understanding your benefits. You can find the roadmap at Michigan.gov/UIAClaimantRoadmap.
  • First-time filer coaching sessions use online group sessions to guide claimants through the steps needed to complete an application and qualify for payments.
  • UIA’s Advocacy Program has added new advocates and raised their compensation by 30 percent. The Advocacy Program provides free legal advice to workers and employers who appeal UIA determinations.
  • Planning and design are underway to replace the decade-old MiWAM computer system used by workers to apply for benefits and employers to pay unemployment insurance taxes. The new computer system will be easy to use, speed claims processing, and build on the agency’s aggressive anti-fraud tactics. It is expected to be fully operational in 2025.
  • UIA has extended the number of days available to schedule appointments. Claimants can book appointments up to 14 days in advance.
  • UIA staff are located in 10 regions across Michigan as part of the UIA Community Connect program. This program provides hands-on expertise to employers and workers about how to navigate the unemployment insurance application process. Liaisons also connect workers and employers to UIA’s outreach and education resources.

Transforming the UIA

Since being named to lead the UIA in October 2021– the agency's 11th director in as many years – Director Dale has launched a sweeping transformation of the agency. Among the significant changes made to benefit workers and employers:

  • Developing the innovative Employer Help Center, which can be found at Michigan.gov/UIAEmployerHelpCenter. The plain language Help Center provides answers to employers on unemployment tax and claim issues and UIA programs.
  • Creating the UIA Modernization Workgroup, consisting of labor, business and jobless advocates to advise the UIA on significant improvements in how it can better serve Michigan workers and employers.
  • Naming a Legal Advisor and creating the Legal and Compliance Bureau to leverage collaborative anti-fraud practices to pursue bad actors, in collaboration with the Michigan Attorney General’s office, and local, state and federal law enforcement. To date, 162 people have been charged, 91 convicted, and 71 sentenced.
  • Scoring 100 percent for the third year in a row from the USDOL, meeting the reasonable assurance of quality benchmark for employer audits in 2022, 2021, and 2020.
  • Reassigning staff and resources to address the largest categories of claims that are contributing to the agency’s case backlogs.
  • Rebuilding to more than $2.3 billion (and growing) the UI Trust Fund, from which weekly benefits are paid to workers.
  • Approving more than 76,000 overpayment waivers (with more to come) of state and federal benefits paid out during the global pandemic, waiving more than $555 million.
  • Halting overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, while the agency addresses pending protests and appeals. More than $13 million was refunded to workers since May 2022.
  • Implementing new ethics and security clearance policies for employees and contractors.

Need help with a claim or have questions?

Speak with an agent

Call Customer Service

Chat with Ava

Schedule an in-person, phone or virtual meeting at Michigan.gov/UIA

During regular business hours

Our chat bot can answer many questions at Michigan.gov/UIA

UIA Claimant Roadmap  

Go to the UIA Claimant Roadmap

First-time Filers Coaching Sessions

Employer Help Center logo  

Go to the Employer Help Center


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