Resources for Tough Times

Filing an Unemployment Claim

File online or by phone with the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), the State of Michigan's source for unemployment claims. UIA may be reached toll free at 866-500-0017

Michigan Works! provides in-person assistance, computers, and job postings, at local offices throughout the state:

  • Ferndale: 248-545-0222
  • Highland: 248-889-0410
  • Novi: 248-956-5060
  • Oak Park: 248-691-8437
  • Oxford: 248-969-2399
  • Pontiac: 248-276-1777
  • Southfield: 248-796-4550
  • Troy: 248-823-5101
  • Waterford: 248-682-3417
  • Wayne: 734-858-4284



For additional assistance in filing your claim, watch Filing Your Claim for Unemployment Benefits and Finding a Job at the UIA website.



Health Insurance Options is the home of the Health Insurance Marketplace which allows residents to find, compare, and purchase health coverage. Look at CPL's Affordable Care Act Resources to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how to obtain affordable health coverage for you and your family.


COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. Call toll free at 866-444-3272 for more information.

Spouse/Partner’s insurance

Consider enrolling in health insurance available through spouse’s or partner’s employer.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPPA, you have 30 days to enroll in your spouse/partner’s plan if you lose insurance due to loss of employment, regardless of when the open enrollment period is.

Private Health Insurance

Research health care insurance providers based on cost and amount of coverage.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance not-for-profit organization provides "Report Cards" on Health Insurance Providers.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BC/BS, 877-4MY-BLUE [877-469-2583]) of Michigan is the state's nonprofit insurer of last resort. BC/BS must accept all applicants.

Government Funded Health Insurance

Veterans qualify for VA benefits: 877-222-8387

Medicaid is available to low-income families, disabled persons, children, and pregnant women.

MIChild (Toll free: 888-988-6300) helps children under age 19 of working families (those who do not qualify for Medicaid). This program has a higher income bracket than the Medicaid program.

Free or Low Cost Primary Care

A list of Free Clinics in Michigan can be found at the Free Clinics of Michigan.

At Community Health Centers, you pay what you can afford based on your income.



Finding a New Job



General — a "one-stop shop" that provides tools to help job seekers, students, businesses and career professionals.

Cover Letters, Resumes & References

Job Searching

CPL Job Search Toolkit - contains useful resources on job seeking, resume and cover letters, interviewing, computer skills and careers and salary

Occupational Outlook Handbook looks at future growth in different occupations. Published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Handbook includes information on income, training, job searching and the job market by state.

The database ReferenceUSA allows you to search for potential employers by industry, number of employees, location, etc.

Job searching websites:

Interview Preparation's Job Search site offers a variety of interview questions, answers, and interview tips


Job Training

U.S. Representative John Dingell’s office has compiled a guidebook entitled, "Displaced Workers Guidebook," which includes information on unemployment benefits, food and funding assistance, job training programs and more.

Homeownership Preservation

Housing and Energy Assistance from the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency. Offers foreclosure prevention counseling as well as home ownership counseling and assistance. Call 248-209-2600 for Pontiac, or 248-542-5860 for Ferndale

GreenPath Debt Solutions — Non-profit organization in Farmington Hills offering help with foreclosure prevention, repossession, and utility shutoff. Offers free debt counseling services either over the phone or in-person. Also information on loan modification scams that claim to be associated with the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development. Call toll free at 800-550-1961

Step Forward Michigan — Program operated by MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) to help homeowners keep their homes through refinancing. Call toll free at 866-946-7432

Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project — Collaborative statewide project from the Michigan Poverty Law Program that provides direct legal representation to homeowners facing foreclosure, support to housing counseling organizations, coordinating policy advocacy on a statewide basis, and provides training and technical support. Call 734-615-2450

Making Home Affordable from the Department of the Treasury. Refinance or modify loans to a payment that is affordable now and into the future. A self-assessment tool provided allows homeowners to determine if they are able to benefit from this program. Also includes FAQs, payment estimators and lots of other valuable resources. Call toll free: 888-995-HOPE

Hope Now — An alliance between HUD approved housing counselors and mortgage companies that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance. Call toll free 888-995-HOPE

Mortgage Foreclosure Resources for Consumers from the Federal Reserve. Information and links to agencies and organizations that may be able to help consumers

Foreclosure Prevention Resource Center — The Mortgage Bankers Association provides information about the foreclosure process and borrower options.

Credit Repair & Maintenance

Credit Score/Report

Maintaining Good Credit

Credit Counseling

Additional Assistance Programs

General Assistance

  • MI Bridges is a 24/7, secure web portal for clients and community partners to access Department of Human Services programs including food assistance (FAP), State Emergency Relief (SER) for energy and non-energy related needs, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Child Development Care (CDC), and Cash Assistance.
  • The Information Center, Inc., The Family Resource Place is a private, non-profit organization, comprehensive Information and referral agency dedicated to the national goal of bringing people and services together
  • Michigan Helping Hand helps Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need
  • United Way 2-1-1 is a multi-lingual, comprehensive information and referral service available 24/7/365. Its database contains more than 20,000 programs and services such as after school programs, senior care services, medical and prescription assistance, credit counseling and mortgage foreclosure assistance, and housing and utility resources

Michigan Department of Human Services

The Michigan Department of Human Services provides help in numerous ways. Call 517-373-2035 for assistance.


The Michigan Energy Assistance Directory, developed by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, provides information on private and public programs that offer energy assistance, as well as a county listing of utilities, programs, and resources available.

Food Stamps/Food Banks

Senior Services