New COVID restrictions in Michigan trigger flood of new unemployment claims

Michigan unemployment agency works to improve technology

New COVID-19 restrictions lead to flood of new unemployment claims in Michigan

DETROIT – Thousands of Michigan residents are expected to file for unemployment benefits in the coming weeks as those working in the service and entertainment industries take another hit amid new COVID-19-related closures.

As the Michigan health department’s new coronavirus measures take effect, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is working to beef up its workforce and improve technology to serve those in need.

“The UIA has increased capacity, improved workflow and other internal systems and reduced red tape to meet the unprecedented level of claims that have been filed since the pandemic began. These efforts have positioned the agency to better deal with large fluctuations of demand if necessary,” UIA interim director said.

The UIA is receiving 35,000 calls daily with a 60 percent answer rate. It has 1,200 employees and 26 billion people have been paid out since March.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said people returning to unemployment because of COVID-19 should reopen previous claims, not make a new one. Use the same login information as you did the first time you claimed unemployment.

READ: More unemployment coverage

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.