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Why are Michigan unemployment offices still closed?

Unemployment Insurance Agency working to reopen offices

LANSING, Mich. – Most of the state has reopened as the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) slows, but why are Michigan unemployment offices still closed?

Secretary of State offices have reopened, but that’s not true for the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Help Me Hank has learned work is being done to open up soon and help people who are still struggling to get their benefits.

Residents are frustrated because they need answers and information from the UIA, but offices remain closed.

With the website having issues and the phone system jammed, it seems like opening offices would help make the process smoother.

What’s causing the delay? There are a variety of factors at play, but the main issue is staffing, Local 4 was told. The UIA is preparing for possible large crowds, and they’ll need to enforce social distancing and have security in place.

READ: Will extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits be extended or replaced by ‘back-to-work’ bonus?

Unemployment has become a hot button issue in Michigan, and the challenges have angered many residents. Officials said safety has to be part of the opening plan.

“The UIA is working with the Office of the State Employer to develop a plan on the potential reopening of its field officers,” a UIA spokesperson said. “We will ensure that we use staff resources efficiently and effectively to continue to best serve UIA customers.”

In the meantime, most of the web problems have been sorted out and the identity theft issues are slowly being resolved.

The best days to call about unemployment are Wednesday and Saturdays, as call volumes tend to be lower, officials said.


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