Jackson State LB Abdul-Malik McClain accused of running COVID-19 relief benefits scheme
A Jackson State University linebacker was arrested by federal officials is accused of orchestrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-related unemployment benefits. He is accused of running the scheme with other players while he was attending USC in 2020. McClain has been charged with 10 counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. McClain allegedly caused at least three dozen fraudulent applications to be filed with EDD during the summer of 2020, before he transferred to Jackson State. According to the indictment, those fraudulent applications sought at least $903,688 in PUA benefits and led the EDD to pay out at least $227,736.mlive.com
Michigan starts giving extra $100 in unemployment, but few are eligible
Michigan has started paying an extra $100 in unemployment to select jobless workers, two months after the program was signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. The funding comes from the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation Program, and the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency will pay the extra $100 per week retroactively back to the week of Dec. 27. For more on how mixed earners have lost out on unemployment benefits, visit mixedearners.org. All pandemic unemployment funding ends the week after March 13 – including PUA and MEUC – unless the federal government passes an extension. RELATED STORIESFeds send Michigan money to find unemployment fraudDespite draining 89% of unemployment funds, Michigan says it won’t run out in 2021Whitmer veto means some Michiganders could lose extra 6 weeks of unemployment benefits‘People need to eat’: Nightmare tales of Michigan’s unemployment systemmlive.com
Nightside Report Feb. 1, 2021: Michigan unemployment: PUA, PEUC claimants can now reopen, certify claims, state says; Restaurants reopen indoor dining
New COVID-19 restrictions lead to flood of new unemployment claims in MichiganMichigan unemployment: PUA, PEUC claimants can now reopen, certify claims, state saysDETROIT – Michigan residents who had PUA and PEUC claims that ended in December can now reopen, certify or apply for benefits, state unemployment officials said. Officials with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said they have completed system updates for the recently extended federal unemployment insurance programs. Those changes include indoor dining being capped at 25 percent capacity. Two shutdowns, partial reopenings: How Michigan restaurants have been handled during COVID pandemicRestaurants have been the most hotly debated topic of Michigan’s shutdowns throughout the COVID pandemic. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have twice shut down indoor dining, with the most recent ban ending Monday (Feb. 1).
Michigan unemployment: PUA, PEUC claimants can now reopen, certify claims, state says
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan residents who had PUA and PEUC claims that ended in December can now reopen, certify or apply for benefits, state unemployment officials said. Officials with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said they have completed system updates for the recently extended federal unemployment insurance programs. All remaining Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claimants whose claims ended when CARES Act programs were interrupted in December can now either reopen, certify or apply for benefits available under the Continued Assistance Act, according to the state. A new provision under the CAA requires PUA claimants to submit proof of employment or self-employment to maintain eligibility. Workers on regular state UI benefits will no longer receive the PEUC extension automatically.
Law clinic at University of Michigan helps residents resolve unemployment claims
RELATED: Michigan unemployment: Residents can start to claim remaining PEUC, PUA paymentsThere’s a new way people who are battling the Unemployment Insurance Agency can get help to solve these issues. The University of Michigan’s Workers’ Rights Clinic has law students assisting residents in solving what can be frustrating issues. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the school said the Workers’ Rights Clinic would average about 15 phone calls each week. The Workers’ Rights Clinic -- formerly the Unemployment Insurance Clinic -- offers advice, provides representation at more. To apply for legal assistance through the Workers’ Rights Clinic, visit the University of Michigan Law School’s official website here.
Why start of extra $300 weekly unemployment benefits will be delayed in Michigan
The additional $300 weekly unemployment payments for residents who qualify for COVID-19 relief will be delayed in Michigan, officials said. Congress passed a COVID-19 relief package that extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation federal unemployment programs. “This federal extension will bring much needed relief to nearly 700,000 Michigan workers who are currently receiving benefits under the PUA and PEUC programs,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “We will have to make updates to our systems to extend benefits and renew the FPUC $300 supplemental payments,” the release says. Year-end tax statements for anyone who received unemployment benefits in 2020 will be available online in mid-January.
Workers overpaid in pandemic unemployment may no longer have to return the money
In recent months, hundreds of thousands of self-employed, freelance and gig workers have been notified that they've been overpaid in unemployment benefits during the pandemic and must return the funds to their state. The problem impacts people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a CARES Act program that provides jobless aid to those who don't traditionally qualify, including self-employed, freelance and gig workers who lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, if a state mistakenly overpays an unemployment recipient, they can waive the requirement that excess funds be returned. It's unclear how many people have been overpaid by PUA, as states are just now starting overpayment detection efforts, Evermore says. More than 9.2 million Americans were drawing PUA benefits as of the end of November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among 20.6 million Americans collecting jobless benefits altogether.cnbc.com
The latest coronavirus relief proposals don’t include $1,200 stimulus checks. Here’s what else could impact your wallet
Extended unemployment insurance Both proposals include extensions for unemployment insurance as millions of Americans are still without jobs due to the pandemic. "Extensions of unemployment insurance and paid leave are the most important support Congress can give to families, so that they can make it through the winter while we wait for a vaccine." McConnell's proposal would also extend unemployment insurance, but for a shorter time. PPP, initially established by the CARES Act, gave small businesses loans that were forgivable if used mostly for payroll costs. In the first round, PPP approved more than 5 million loans, which amounted to more than $525 billion in funding.cnbc.com
Gov. J.B. Pritzker says upgrades should speed things up at state agency overwhelmed by unemployment claims amid pandemic shutdown
We hired outside contractors, they built an entirely new system. That system has a much higher capability than the existing systems that IDES has for unemployment, and so I believe that it will be able to handle the unemployment claims that come in under the PUA system, Pritzker said during his daily news briefing.chicagotribune.com