Michigan Legislature demands answers over error with unemployment benefits

Error could cost hundreds of thousands of Michiganders money

State lawmakers are demanding answers from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency over an error that could end up costing people who collected benefits.
State lawmakers are demanding answers from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency over an error that could end up costing people who collected benefits.

DETROIT – State lawmakers are demanding answers from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) over an error that could end up costing people who collected benefits.

Report: 648,000 may have to repay Michigan unemployment benefits

The UIA is dealing with another big mess that could impact those who are collecting. It has to do with the questions asked of those filing, questions that haven’t been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. Now people need to resubmit their claims or possibly pay back the benefits.

“I don’t have the money to pay that back,” said Erin Miller. “And it’s their mistake.”

State Rep. Steve Johnson said he’s asking for an investigation.

“From all the fraudulent activity occurring within the agency, to their latest letter to nearly 700,000 Michiganders potentially demanding they pay funds back, the UIA is a disaster and there needs to be leadership changes now,” Johnson said. “How about before asking people to pay funds back due to the state’s mistake, they ask former director Steve Gray to pay back his $86,000 hush fund payment?”

Related: Michigan Legislature had more than $600K in confidential severance deals in past decade

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke out about this latest issue Wednesday in Flint. She said she does not believe people will need to pay anything back.

More: Michigan invests $3.8M into employment support program as state reopens


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.