Michigan unemployment offices to institute scheduled phone calls to better reach residents

Michigan workers frustrated over issues with unemployment agency

Michigan Unemployment Agency will soon take appointments for phone meetings

LANSING, Mich. – A major compliant for thousands of Michiganders working to collect unemployment benefits has been trying to reach someone on the phone to answer questions.

With Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency offices closed, residents have no choice but to rely on the website or phone -- but some changes are being made to make it easier.

Millions of Michiganders have filed for unemployment and many have collected, while others have had issues from fraud to basic problems like reaching a person. It’s been frustrating for many.

A big step is being made to help relieve some of the stress and problems with getting answers. Local 4 was told UIA will soon be accepting appointments for meetings over the phone. The meet times will be set and will allow residents to call in, ask questions and avoid waiting for hours for someone to pick up.

The website had many issues early on -- it simply couldn’t keep up with the enormous demand and the phone system kept crashing. Major investments were made to upgrade technology and to hire new staff members to keep up with the demand.

However, UIA branch offices remain closed with no open date scheduled.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.