Help Me Hank: Here’s how scammers are targeting UIA members in Michigan
It’s a new email scam, and millions in Michigan are being targeted. If you’ve collected unemployment, you may receive an email that appears to be from UIA asking for personal information. However, if you look closely, you may notice misspellings.
3 letter carriers charged for taking bribes from Farmington Hills man to help him steal credit cards
Three letter carriers have been charged for accepting bribes from a Farmington Hills man to help him steal credit cards from other people and intercept fraudulent COVID unemployment benefits he sent to homes along their routes, officials said.
Farmington Hills man bribes letter carriers to get credit cards, steals COVID unemployment benefits
A 28-year-old Farmington Hills man bribed letter carriers to obtain other people’s credit cards and later expanded his scheme to have those carriers intercept fraudulent COVID unemployment benefits he had filed for and sent to homes along their routes, officials said.
Audit flags problems with hiring of Michigan unemployment workers
State auditors say Michigan’s unemployment agency did not require worker background checks or quickly deactivate former contract and state employees’ computer access to the confidential benefits system amid unprecedented jobless claims early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘I could not believe what I was seeing’: Woman shares story of $17K bill from Michigan unemployment agency
She filed for unemployment as an independent contractor and soon the checks she needed arrived, but then late last year she received a notification from UIA telling her she owed the state $17,000. She was stunned.
Michigan names new unemployment director in another shakeup of department heads
Eleven months after Steve Gray resigned as Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency director, Gov. Julia Dale is the new UIA director, Whitmer announced in a news release on Monday, Oct. 25. Michigan’s unemployment agency has been under fire since early 2020 as it struggled to pay record numbers of claimants who were unemployed because of the pandemic. Julia Dale is Michigan's new Unemployment Insurance Agency director. RELATED STORIESUnemployment ends for more than 400,000 Michiganders Sept. 4Michigan’s unemployment agency director got $86,000 to leave job, on condition of confidentialityMichigan House urges resignation of acting state unemployment directorThe pandemic hit Michigan restaurants hard – here’s where it hit worstmlive.com
Michigan considered replacing ‘antiquated’ unemployment system prior to COVID-19
State leaders wanted to replace Michigan’s unemployment operating system before the pandemic hit, but held off once COVID-19 caused a surge in claims, Unemployment Insurance Agency Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson told Legislators on Thursday, Sept. 9. “We were not making any kind of a change in the middle of all this,” Estlund Olson said during Thursday’s House Oversight Committee hearing. “When we started with it, it was light years ahead,” Estlund Olson said. Estlund Olson said her team is working through the issues. Regarding fraud, Estlund Olson said 39 people have been indicted for defrauding Michigan’s system and “many more” are in the pipeline.mlive.com
UIA virtual appointments offer more accessibility for Michiganders
The Unemployment Insurance Agency has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing utilizing voice to text closed captioning.
Michigan House Speaker wants Whitmer to remove acting unemployment director
To date, 99% of eligible Michiganders who applied for unemployment benefits have been approved, Leddy said. RELATED: Truthful unemployment claimants won’t have to repay benefits despite Michigan error, Whitmer saysEstlund Olson was named acting director of the agency after former Director Steve Gray resigned last fall. Unemployment is about to end for hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers after next week, as federal benefits expire Sept. 4. State unemployment won’t end – but people cannot receive federal unemployment if they’re eligible for the state program. Nearly 100,000 Michiganders are getting state unemployment each week, comparable to pre-pandemic numbers.mlive.com
Unemployment ends for more than 400,000 Michiganders Sept. 4
Unemployment is about to end for hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers after next week, as federal benefits expire Sept. 4. Those claimants will see their unemployment assistance end as the federal government ends the programs. State unemployment won’t end – but people cannot receive federal unemployment if they’re eligible for the state program. Nearly 100,000 Michiganders are getting state unemployment each week, comparable to pre-pandemic numbers. The feds created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs shortly after COVID-19 hit in spring 2020.mlive.com
Unemployed will soon have to prove they’re searching for work – or lose benefits
The work search requirement is about to restart in Michigan – meaning unemployed people must prove they’re looking for work if they want to keep getting benefits. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency hasn’t been enforcing it since. The work search requirement applies to everyone on unemployment, including state and federal programs. To satisfy the work search requirement, applicants must report one “work search activity” per week. Some people can get a waiver to avoid having to prove a work search, but the UIA hasn’t explained yet who can get a waiver.mlive.com
Michiganders on unemployment will be required to prove they’re actively searching for work to keep benefits
Frustrated business owners who are offering bonuses and upgraded wages testified in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee that they can’t get workers because of expanded state and federal unemployment benefits.
Michigan halts payments on 100,000 unemployment claims ‘likely filed by criminals’
There’s been a “dramatic increase” in unemployment claims filed in the past week in Michigan, so state officials are putting up fraud protections in hopes of blocking out criminals. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has flagged about 100,000 claims ‘likely filed by criminals,’ the agency said in a news release Wednesday, April 7. Most of the fraud is coming via the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is paid for via temporary federal aid and not Michigan unemployment dollars. RELATED: Feds send Michigan money to find unemployment fraudMore than 500,000 claims were halted last spring for potential fraud. Some criminals impersonate others using previously stolen information to get unemployment money.mlive.com
Michigan man curiously uses photo of Jim from 'The Office' to scam unemployment benefits
click to enlarge LaCameraChiara / Shutterstock.comJohn Krasinski aka The Office top prankster Jim Halpert. Someone photoshopped a picture of John Krasinski, aka Jim from The Office, on a Michigan driver’s license to try and fraudulently obtain jobless benefits, acting state UIA Director Liza Estlund Olson told lawmakers this morning. pic.twitter.com/ALhZ6HxYyO — Jonathan Oosting (@jonathanoosting) March 11, 2021*Looks at camera and raises eyebrows* — Pauly Smilez (@We_Are_SSD) March 11, 2021Bears, beets, and bogus unemployment claims?Not even Jim Halpert — the top prankster (and, depending on who you ask, bully) on NBC's— would attempt a scam like this. (Though it does come close to that time Jim hired “ Asian Jim ” to sit in for him at work so that Dwight might question his own maddening reality. Maybe start small with a stapler in the Jello bit.metrotimes.com
Michigan unemployment agency readies for second wave of layoffs
State of the systemSince the pandemic started, Michigan has paid out $26.1 billion in unemployment benefits. More than 2.2 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents have relied on unemployment benefits at some point during the pandemic. As of Oct. 24, Michigan had more than 213,000 people on state unemployment – but the total for all forms of unemployment is much higher. Michigan is allowing for 26 weeks on state unemployment – instead of the normal 20 – through the end of December. RELATED STORIES‘People need to eat’: Nightmare tales of Michigan’s unemployment systemRestaurant groups sue Michigan, ask court to block dine-in restaurant banQ&A: Michigan unemployment agency director Steve Gray talks about the system’s flawsUnemployed Michiganders frustrated with system find help, comfort in Facebook groupsmlive.com