LANSING (WILX)-- Getting a hold of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency will be almost impossible next week.
The agency 's shutting down for five days to install a new computer system. From September 26th -September 30th the online system and phones will be down, and all Problem Resolution Offices will be closed.
The more than a 150,000 UIA customers will be out of luck if they need unemployment help any of those five days.
"I'm worried because that's the only income I have right now. I didn't get to call at my time and they don't have a makeup day so I'm without my money," said Marci Ricci.
UIA Chief of Staff Sharon Moffitt-Massey says not to panic. Anyone who misses their certification day, make-up day, or needs to establish a new claim will not be penalized for the agency's unavailability. Customers just need to contact the agency on Tuesday.
(Call the UIA Customer Service Line at 1-866-500-0017)
The agency's closing because it's getting a new computer system. The new system called Midas won't be replacing the agency's current automated response network (MARVIN), but it will update the system that's more than thirty years old.
"The new system will be faster, more efficient, and more user-friendly. It uses one webpage for information when the current system takes ten," said Moffitt-Massey.
Questions and Answers Regarding the Unemployment Insurance Agency's System Upgrade:
Q. Since the Agency's phone lines and computer systems will be unavailable during the system upgrade, will I be able to visit a local UIA Problem Resolution Office to obtain unemployment assistance?
A. No, the Agency's Problem Resolution Offices will be closed to the public September 26-30. They will re-open to the public at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, October 1.
Q. If I miss my assigned bi-weekly certification day, will the system be available for me to call or log in to MARVIN Online on the usual make up days?
A. No. Claimants who miss their regularly scheduled bi-weekly certification time will only be able to call or use MARVIN online to certify before 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25. The Agency recommends those claimants whose bi-weekly certification time is scheduled for the week ending Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 should make every effort to certify at their regularly scheduled time. The make-up days will not be available during that week. For claimants whose bi-weekly certification time is scheduled for Monday, September 30, they may certify any day beginning Tuesday, October 1 through Friday, October 4.
Q. I missed my scheduled day during the week of September 23rd and was not able to certify on September 26 or 27. What should I do now?
A. Claimants will need to contact a UIA customer service rep either through their online account at michigan.gov/uia, call the UIA Customer Service Line at 1-866-500-0017, or visit a Problem Resolution Office.
Q. Will I be able to establish a new claim or reopen an existing claim on Sept. 26-30?
A. No. All of the Agency's customer service lines and computer systems will be unavailable during the system upgrade.
Q. Why is the upgrade taking five days?
A. This major overhaul of the Agency's 30-year old computer system involves disabling the old system, and converting and testing large amounts of data before implementing the new system.