Michigan awarded $6.8M federal grant to boost access to jobless aid
LANSING, MI - The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency was awarded nearly $6.8 million to help underserved communities access jobless aid. “This grant will shatter barriers that many Michiganders encounter when they apply for unemployment insurance benefits after losing their jobs,” Michigan UIA Director Julia Dale said in a Monday, Aug. 29 statement. Funds will be used in Michigan to launch four equity initiatives, including:Using data to track and identify equity gaps in jobless aid. Translate information for jobless workers who do not speak English as their primary language or have visual disabilities. Create partnerships with community, faith-based or cultural organizations that help unemployed workers in Michigan.mlive.com
Michigan to halt collections on pandemic unemployment overpayments through October
LANSING, MI – The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced Wednesday, July 27 it is once again pausing collections on pandemic overpayments. This impacts people who received federal pandemic benefits but were later deemed ineligible for aid. Related: Michigan erases an additional $53M in pandemic unemployment overpaymentsThe suspension halts collections on unemployment benefits though the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Mixed Earnings Unemployment Compensation and federal reimbursement for the first week of benefits. Michigan erases $431M in pandemic unemployment overpaymentsMichigan can waive more unemployment bills under new federal guidancemlive.com
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.
Michigan unemployment agency failed to protect confidential information, audit finds
LANSING, MI – A recent audit found some holes in the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency’s security controls that protect sensitive information. It found the Michigan UIA did not always protect federal tax information, which is “critically important” for taxpayer confidentiality, as required by the IRS. “The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has made significant operational changes over the past six months to enhance responsiveness and problem-solving. Additional performance audits on the Michigan UIA are currently in progress including on fraud and claims processing. More on MLive:Michigan judge to consider injunction to block collections on pandemic jobless aidMichigan erases $431M in pandemic unemployment overpaymentsUnemployment waivers bring relief to thousands.mlive.com
Michigan pauses collections on pandemic unemployment overpayments until May
LANSING, MI – The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced Friday, April 8 it is temporarily pausing collections on pandemic unemployment overpayments. This impacts workers who qualified for a federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program but were retroactively deemed ineligible for benefits. Related: Motion asks Michigan court to pause collections on pandemic unemployment billsFebruary guidance from the federal government allowed Michigan to waive the overpayments. During the pause, the state says it will not issue new wage garnishments or intercept state tax refunds. It does not include collection activities of existing wage garnishments, intercepting federal tax returns, deducting from current jobless aid or recovering overpayments from other states, officials say.mlive.com
Michigan lawmakers approve $4.8B supplemental for infrastructure upgrades
LANSING, MI — Michigan lawmakers approved legislation Thursday that would use billions in federal funding and state surplus dollars to appropriate $4.8 billion for upgrades to local infrastructure. Together, SB 565 and HB 5525 appropriate $4.8 billion in state surplus and federal dollars for public transit, broadband internet, local parks, affordable housing and water infrastructure projects. $945.4 million is from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. A $250 million investment will go towards boosting access to broadband internet, while more than $380 million is designed to state and local projects across the state. The supplemental also brings $150 million in housing and community investments for expanding accessible and affordable housing and supporting its development across Michigan.mlive.com
Michigan unemployment agency hired some ‘high-risk’ workers with criminal records, audit finds
This report follows a December 2021 audit that found the agency overpaid $3.9 billion in benefits through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The audit says these “high-risk” workers had potentially “disqualifying” convictions that were not caught by the Michigan UIA. The Michigan UIA, however, did not provide the agencies guidance on what criminal convictions would rule out a prospective employee. One finding says the Michigan UIA took anywhere from four to 68 days to deactivate former workers’ access to state databases. Additional performance audits on the Michigan UIA are currently in progress including on fraud, online claims systems and claims processing.mlive.com
Did you get Michigan unemployment benefits in 2021? Don’t file your taxes yet.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said 1099-G tax forms won't be sent out until the end of February. This means anyone who received benefits in 2021 needs to wait on the form until they can file their taxes. (Photo by Shannon Murphy | MLive)mlive.com
State disputes audit on long-term care deaths, AG says fake presidential electors could be charged: This week in Michigan politics
LANSING, MI — Lawmakers returned to Lansing this week where members of the House and Senate Oversight Committee grilled Unemployment Insurance Agency leaders about the reported $8.5 billion paid out in fraudulent benefits. Republicans said there should be accountability for the agency directed by the governor’s administration for the billions in taxpayer dollars lost. Democrats pressed UIA director Julia Dale over whether individuals who were notified that they had intentionally misrepresented their claims will be subject to wage and tax garnishments.mlive.com
Report Says Michigan Paid $8.5B In Fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Claims
Michigan likely paid about $8.5 billion in fraudulent or improper jobless benefits over a 19-month period during the coronavirus pandemic, far more than previously estimated, according to a report released Wednesday by the state...detroit.cbslocal.com
Michigan Unemployment agency paid out $3.9 billion in improper benefits to ineligible claimants, audit says
LANSING, MI — An audit of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency found the agency had ignored federal warnings while doling out at least $3.9 billion in overpayments to nearly 350,000 claimants, who were later deemed ineligible. People who were ineligible and still received benefits shouldn’t worry about having to pay them back, the audit said. Republican lawmakers, who have been critical of Michigan’s unemployment agency since the early months of the pandemic, issued statements Thursday slamming Gov. While chairing the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hall wrote a letter to the Auditor General with state Sens. But now it’s even worse than we were aware of and it shows why these audits were needed,” Hall said.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.
‘I’m not lazy.’ Michigan’s jobless fought stigma, the system for months. They’ll be cut off Sept. 4.
I think that’s what it’s going to take.”Michigan has about 500,000 people on unemployment, including approximately 400,000 on temporary federal unemployment. ‘I just want to pay my bills’Nearly 18 months after the pandemic began, Michigan’s UIA is still struggling to parse out the cheaters from the legitimate claimants. But if nationwide trends continue, only 50,000 of the 400,000 getting kicked off unemployment in Michigan will find work in the next two months. “COVID was one pandemic,” Mitchell said. ‘People need to eat’: Nightmare tales of Michigan’s unemployment systemMichigan cut off unemployment for thousands of eligible residents.mlive.com
Getting unemployment? Starting today, Michigan is paying benefits on a different debit card
It was a big day for the Unemployment Insurance Agency, as Wednesday was the changeover from Bank of America debit cards to new U.S. Bank debit cards for recipients. The new debit cards were sent in the mail and were scheduled to arrive by Wednesday at the latest. All new funds from this point forward will go on the U.S. Bank card for those who opt to receive their aid via card. Bank of America is getting out of the unemployment debit card business across the country, she said. Any unused funds will go to Michigan’s unemployment trust fund, Estlund Olson said – even if the money came via federal benefits.mlive.com
350,000 won’t have to repay unemployment money after Michigan error, thanks to waiver
After Michigan made a mistake, it asked 690,000 unemployment recipients to refile their paperwork to see if they were actually eligible for the benefits they received. About 450,000 failed to respond, but the Unemployment Insurance Agency has decided not to demand the money back from 350,000 of those claimants – granting them a waiver. RELATED: Truthful unemployment claimants won’t have to repay benefits despite Michigan error, Whitmer saysThose 350,000 people won’t be able to keep collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits in the future, however. All federal pandemic benefits end in Michigan after Sept. 4. Michigan averaged 565,000 unemployment claims per week through the first two weeks of July – and about 85% were federal pandemic benefits.mlive.com
Lawmaker plans probe into mistakes, fraud in Michigan’s ‘disaster’ of an unemployment agency
Michigan’s unemployment agency is “a complete mess” and will be investigated by the Michigan House Oversight Committee, according to a statement from Chairman Steve Johnson, R-Wayland. Johnson plans to have the committee do an in-depth investigation, starting with hearings “on the pattern of mismanagement, incompetence and outright fraud” within the agency, he said. The Unemployment Insurance Agency made a mistake in allowing people to claim federal unemployment for four unapproved reasons. In the spring, the UIA demanded money back from disabled claimants who were only available for part-time work, not full-time jobs. RELATED STORIES‘People need to eat’: Nightmare tales of Michigan’s unemployment systemMichigan’s unemployment agency director got $86,000 to leave job, on condition of confidentialityFeds send Michigan money to find unemployment fraudUnemployment worker claimed unemployment, sent money to same account as her paycheck, feds saymlive.com
Michigan mistake means up to 650,000 could be forced to repay unemployment benefits
Michigan allowed workers to claim federal jobless benefits for unapproved reasons, so the Unemployment Insurance Agency is asking nearly 650,000 people to resubmit paperwork to see if they’re still eligible. Any money clawed back would go straight to the federal government since it’s federal unemployment funding in question. Michigan has sent $36.7 billion in unemployment benefits to people throughout the pandemic. RELATED: Michigan Senate votes to end $300-per-week federal unemployment supplement earlyUnemployed workers are eligible for up to $362 per week, plus all claimants get an extra $300 per week in federal benefits. About 85% of claims are for the temporary, federal money.mlive.com
Unemployment worker claimed unemployment, sent money to same account as her paycheck, feds say
A 28-year-old Birmingham woman who worked for Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has been charged with defrauding the unemployment system and stealing thousands of dollars. Mims also claimed federal unemployment benefits for herself while working for the UIA, duping the system to show she was unemployed. She received nearly $15,000 of unemployment benefits and had the money direct deposited to the same account her paycheck went to. Others charged with unemployment fraud in MichiganMims isn’t the first unemployment worked to allegedly defraud the system. RELATED STORIESDetroit couple charged with stealing unemployment money after conspiring with workerMichigan unemployment numbers lowest since March 2020Unemployment offices to reopen for appointments June 30; no walk-insmlive.com
Michigan unemployment offices to reopen this summer
Michigan’s unemployment offices have been closed for more than 14 months, but will reopen no later than July 12. It hasn’t been determined if it’ll be limited to appointments only – like Secretary of State offices – or if walk-ins will be allowed. The UIA’s current online and phone services will still be available after the offices reopen, Robinson said. Work search requirement begins May 30Starting next week, claimants must prove they’re looking for work to keep getting benefits. or creating an account on job search sites such as MiTalent.orgThe work search requirement had been waived since March 2020.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.
Unemployment text message scam circulates in Michigan
Don’t click on email or text links claiming to be from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, said Attorney General Dana Nessel in a news release. “At a time when so many people are struggling financially, bad actors are using scam texts and websites that mimic government unemployment insurance benefit websites,” Nessel said in the release. If you believe your identity has been stolen and someone else is claiming benefits in your name, report it to the UIA. Michigan has 732,000 people still claiming weekly benefits – as of the most recent data available, the week of April 3. RELATED STORIES‘Just kidding’: Michigan unemployment agency reconsiders who’s eligible, demands money backMichigan’s unemployment agency director got $86,000 to leave job, on condition of confidentialityCOVID-19-related reasons no longer acceptable to get Michigan unemploymentDespite draining 89% of unemployment funds, Michigan says it won’t run out in 2021Extended Benefits unemployment program ends in MichiganMichigan halts payments on 100,000 unemployment claims ‘likely filed by criminals’mlive.com
Metro Detroit father who fought for unemployment benefits runs into another glitch in the system
Thousands of Michigan residents are still struggling with the Michigan Unemployment Agency while trying to get their benefits. A Metro Detroit father is one of the people who thought his issue was fixed, but then the money once again stopped coming due to another glitch. READ: Michigan officials say unemployment rate declined in February -- here are the numbersBrandon Gregware has been struggling with the unemployment agency. If you find yourself in a similar situation you should call the Unemployment Insurance Agency and set up an appointment. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims climbed from 725,000 the week before.
Unlike last stimulus, unemployment pay won’t be delayed this time, Michigan leaders say
When President Donald Trump signed the December stimulus package, it extended and expanded unemployment benefits nationwide through March 14. But the programs took weeks to implement, leaving many without their benefits for weeks or months. People eventually received backpay for the weeks missed, officials from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency said. “The UIA does not expect there to be a delay in paying out federal benefits,” UIA spokesperson Lynda Robinson in an email. “Claimants should continue to certify as usual.”RELATED: Michigan unemployment rate drops – but largely because people gave up looking for workThe latest stimulus package extends unemployment benefits through Sept. 6.mlive.com
Despite draining 89% of unemployment funds, Michigan says it won’t run out in 2021
Michigan’s unemployment fund took a hit from the pandemic, but the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency said Thursday it’s “highly unlikely” the money will run out in 2021. States pay unemployed workers via a trust fund that employers pay into every year. Republicans and business leaders have pushed for the state to dump millions of dollars into the trust fund – but Gov. For the week of Jan. 30, there were about 991,000 Michiganders getting unemployment pay, up 375,000 compared to the week prior. It’s the most Michigan unemployment claims in a given week since mid-October.mlive.com
Michigan residents say there are problems with online unemployment system, struggle to get benefits
DETROIT – People in Michigan trying to file for unemployment or update a claim said they have been struggling to get the benefits they need. Officials said several upgrades have been made in the last few months, but there are two major problems that are persisting despite those upgrades. READ: Thousands of Michigan residents still struggling to get unemployment benefitsThe first is the online system just can’t keep up with the demand. The other issue is identity theft. The identity theft is causing accounts to be frozen and even just lifting the freeze is a challenge.
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.
Michigan residents still fighting unemployment fraud amid tax season
DETROIT – Some Michigan residents have been receiving 1099-G forms for unemployment benefits that they never applied for or received. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency was hacked last year. She said receiving the 1099-G is just the latest update in a long struggle with the unemployment agency. The larger problem for many people is that they’re getting kicked up into a higher tax bracket, where the tax bill is still higher. READ: Task force cracking down on unemployment fraud in Michigan
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.
Michigan unemployment: Residents can start to claim remaining PEUC, PUA payments this week
Michigan residents who have remaining pandemic unemployment payments can start to claim them this week, including the additional $300 COVID-19 benefit, state officials announced. Residents who claimed Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and had weeks remaining on their claim as of Dec. 26, 2020, can start to certify their claims, according to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. RELATED: Whitmer confirms start of $300 unemployment payments to Michiganders affected by COVID-19The certification process can be done through MiWAM accounts, officials said. Residents who didn’t exhaust their original 13 weeks of PEUC can claim the balance of remaining weeks, starting with the week ending Jan. 2, officials said. Claimants who didn’t exhaust their original 39 weeks of PUA payments can claim the balance of remaining weeks, beginning with the week ending Jan. 2, the state revealed.
$300 COVID-19 unemployment payments slowly making way to Michigan residents
The battle to collect unemployment benefits continues for many Michigan residents, but state officials said the $300 COVID-19 bonus is coming soon. State officials said that money is slowing making its way to Michigan. READ: Whitmer signs $106M relief bill, extends COVID-19 unemployment benefits through MarchThe Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments run from Dec. 27, 2020, through March 13, 2021. They offer an additional $300 in benefits per week to Michigan claimants who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Claimants don’t have to take action to receive the additional payments.
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.
Gov. Whitmer: Expiration of unemployment benefits to impact 700,000 Michiganders
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer estimates that the unemployment lapse would affect nearly 700,000 Michigan residents who are dependent upon unemployment benefits amid the pandemic. “We have hundreds of thousands of people in my state who are risk of losing their benefits,” Whitmer said on CNN Sunday morning. Get some relief to people,” Whitmer added, addressing Trump’s initial refusal to sign the $900 billion COVID relief bill that has been passed by Congress. Good news on Covid Relief Bill. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2020“Good news on Covid Relief Bill,” Trump tweeted.
Thousands of Michigan residents still struggling to get unemployment benefits
DETROIT – Last month, when the director of the Michigan Unemployment Office resigned, promises were made that critical fixes would be made and help would arrive for the thousands struggling to get benefits. On Monday, those problems still remain. Many people have been going back and forth with unemployment officials for months with no end in sight. Many people are desperate for help. Watch the video above for the full report.
The biggest problems people encounter when filing for unemployment
DETROIT – New unemployment claims have been increasing as states start to put new restrictions in place to deal with a surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. There were 853,000 people who applied for benefits last week, that’s the most since September. In Michigan, another 20,000 people applied for benefits. Local 4′s Hank Winchester found out that a lot of people are still running into trouble trying to get their benefits. READ: Michigan father locked in battle with unemployment agency over lack of benefitsWatch the video above for the full report.
Michigan father locked in battle with unemployment agency over lack of benefits
DETROIT – A father of four has been locked in a battle with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency since the summer. He hadn’t received any benefits, and after running into a problem at every turn he reached out to the Help Me Hank team for help. He has been working for months to try to get the benefits owed to him. Local 4′s Hank Winchester investigated and now the father will be getting his benefits. The problem was that the father’s identity had been stolen and because of that, his account was put on hold.
Michigan health director talks limits to his authority in COVID-19 oversight hearing
Early Wednesday, Dec. 2, the Republican from Marshall led a COVID-19 oversight committee hearing on the Unemployment Insurance Agency and its vulnerability to fraud. Hall led Gordon down a line of questioning that clarified the breadth of Gordon’s legal authority to issue public health orders. “It is obviously a narrower authority,” Gordon said, saying he can’t address certain policy areas that Whitmer once did, such as unemployment. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)Mike Mulholland | MLive.comHall told MLive afterwards that he appreciated the understanding that Gordon and MDHHS has narrower authority under the public health code. “We are profoundly focused that we reach folks where they are,” Gordon said, saying his department is focused on communicating and understanding minority perspectives on public health.mlive.com
Spike in unemployment claims led to greater fraud risks, UIA says as it releases report
LANSING, MI – With record levels of unemployment claims filed, the potential for fraud naturally rose this year, state labor officials said as they released a report from a consulting firm this week. While fraud risks increased, so did mitigation efforts from the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, according to the report prepared by Deloitte. Related: 140K Michigan unemployment claims flagged for possible fraud deemed legitimate by stateThat prompted the agency to pursue “aggressive measures” to “address these vulnerabilities,” said UIA Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson. The UIA also suffered a glitch with its software platform Fraud Manager, which automatically screens claims for potential fraud. Lastly, UIA made several policy changes that limited time to review claims for potential fraud, paid first-time claims more than required and hindered ID verification.mlive.com
Audit: Effort to speed unemployment payments exposed system to fraud
LANSING, Mich. – An audit to address issues at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) found that shortcuts used to expedite payments left the agency vulnerable to fraud in hundreds of millions of dollars. The audit done by Deloitte cited multiple actions taken that caused problems. Michigan officials are warning residents of an email scam that is attempting to retrieve personal information from individuals collecting unemployment benefits. According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, an email is being sent to claimants seeking personal information. The email is being sent from a Gmail account that appears to be from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) -- it is not.
Michigan officials warn of email scam targeting unemployment claimants
Michigan officials are warning residents of an email scam that is attempting to retrieve personal information from individuals collecting unemployment benefits. According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, an email is being sent to claimants seeking personal information. Michigan residents are being warned of an email scam targeting individuals who collect unemployment benefits. (Michigan Department of Attorney General)Officials say the UIA would never ask a claimant to reply to an email with personal information. “Bad actors are increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to deceive people into giving away personal information,” Nessel said.
New COVID restrictions in Michigan trigger flood of new unemployment claims
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. These efforts have positioned the agency to better deal with large fluctuations of demand if necessary,” UIA interim director said. 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.
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
Michigan unemployment: Residents returning to unemployment should reopen previous claims
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan workers who returned to work after being on unemployment and are now temporarily unemployed again should reopen their claims online, officials said. “Michiganders who were on unemployment, went back to work, and are now temporarily unemployed again due to COVID-19 can reopen their claim online,” the UIA said in a release. Click here for more information on filing or reopening an unemployment claim, including FAQs, tutorial videos and other resources. UIA encouraged Michigan employers to file employer filed Claims online on behalf of their full-time workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off. The program allows job providers to retain their skilled workforce and avoid layoffs by reducing employee hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for the lost wages.
Michigan looks to overhaul unemployment office after sudden departure of UIA director
The state of Michigan is looking to overhaul its unemployment office after the director’s sudden resignation. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Michigan unemployment office has worked through significant issues. The UIA has been flooded with calls, as more than 2 million Michigan residents have applied for benefits since the start of the pandemic. The system couldn’t keep up with demand, and many people were frustrated. UIA Director Steve Gray tried to answer questions from lawmakers, but now he is out.
‘People need to eat’: Nightmare tales of Michigan’s unemployment system
Jess Hammersley thought Michigan’s unemployment system was working great. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about with the unemployment system,’” Hammersley said. That’s the same ideal for the people who’ve gone months without their unemployment pay, like Battle Creek resident Wreghn Wohali. Facebook groups like the 76,000-member “Michigan Unemployment public help page during COVID-19” group also serve as good resources. Economists credit higher unemployment pay during the pandemic as the reason consumer spending is up despite the pandemic.mlive.com
No more on hold: Michigan unemployment agency now does phone appointments for claim issues
Reaching a real person at Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has been a puzzle for thousands of residents out of a job since the pandemic began. Starting on Wednesday, Oct. 21, jobless workers having issues with their unemployment can set up a phone appointment with the agency. The agency expects to schedule 800 appointments per day from 8:15 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. Monday through Friday. As of the week ending in Sept. 26, about 387,000 Michigan residents were on unemployment – 9% of the workforce. Whitmer signs bill extending some unemployment benefits through Dec. 31 in MichiganMichigan cut off unemployment for thousands of eligible residents.mlive.com
Gov. Whitmer signs bill extending some unemployment benefits through Dec. 31 in Michigan
Gretchen has signed a bipartisan bill that closely mirrors one of her executive orders tossed because of this month’s Michigan Supreme Court ruling. Because of other federal unemployment programs, this means Michigan workers are still eligible for up to 59 weeks of unemployment pay. The bill – Senate Bill 886 – also doesn’t make employers cover any costs of the benefits when they lay off workers due to the pandemic. Despite Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-76 on unemployment being invalidated by the court ruling, this bill deems all benefits paid during the pandemic as valid – except in fraud cases. “(Forty) states, including all of our neighbors, automatically provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment relief.mlive.com
Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs bills extending unemployment benefits until end of year
Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills that extend unemployment benefits for residents who have lost work due to COVID-19 until the end of the year. Senate Bills 886 and 991 codify part of Whitmer’s orders that expanded unemployment benefits to Michiganders. “When we get back to session I look forward to taking up our bills to expand unemployment benefits and create stronger pathways to get Michigan families the resources they need during a pandemic,” said Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown). Since March 15, the state has paid more than $25 billion in benefits to 2.2 million workers. Michigan was one of the first states to begin issuing the additional $600 pandemic benefit from the U.S. government.
Michigan unemployment offices to institute scheduled phone calls to better reach residents
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. The website had many issues early on -- it simply couldn’t keep up with the enormous demand and the phone system kept crashing. However, UIA branch offices remain closed with no open date scheduled.
Michiganders could lose unemployment benefits if no action is taken in next few days, Whitmer says
LANSING, Mich. – Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents could lose their unemployment benefits if lawmakers don’t act in the next few days, according to Gov. On Tuesday, she called on the Republican-leg legislature to return to the Capitol and negotiate new orders. The two side haven’t been able to reach agreements since Whitmer extended the state of emergency without legislative approval in April. “These are the men and women who’ve lost a job and were counting on expanded benefits to put food on the table for their kids,” Whitmer said. On Sept. 8, Whitmer signed a bill to allow Michigan residents who qualify for unemployment to earn an extra $300 per week.
Michigan: People who exhaust unemployment get 20 weeks more
LANSING, Mich. – People who exhaust 39 weeks of unemployment benefits in Michigan are eligible for up to 20 weeks of additional payments, the state announced. The federal extended benefits program kicked in because Michigan has had an unemployment rate of 8% or higher for three straight months during the coronavirus pandemic, the Unemployment Insurance Agency said Thursday. People out of work get up to 26 weeks of regular benefits and an additional 13 weeks because of the virus outbreak. The weekly payment for those who surpass 39 weeks will the same as what they received for regular unemployment insurance and not include the since-expired supplemental federal benefit of $600 and later $300.
ClickOnDetrot NIGHTSIDE REPORT -- Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to ten days. The coronavirus (COVID-19) isn’t the only illness that educators and parents are worried about as students head back to school. The strike, which started on Tuesday, Sept. 8, is happening alongside a strike by U-M graduate student instructors and graduate student staff assistants protesting the university’s return to in-person education. Read MoreWednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 --
Michigan UIA releases guidance on when to expect bonus $300 unemployment benefit
More than 900,000 Michigan workers who are collecting unemployment benefits are expected to begin receiving a $300 weekly bump in payments this month. The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to ten days. Also, all unemployed workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step. States were initially granted three weeks of LWA benefits and must apply for additional weeks.
Gov. Whitmer signs bill to cover $300 weekly unemployment bonus for Michiganders during pandemic
Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill to allow Michigan residents who qualify for unemployment to earn an extra $300 per week as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues. The bill appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The $300 payments will continue until the relief funding has been exhausted. The bill also includes $8 million toward the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, a barrier to prevent invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan. It also provides match funding for disaster flood cleanup in Midland and Gladwin counties, as well as funding to cover costs for flood response and mitigation efforts in Detroit.
Record 311,000 file Michigan unemployment claims
The number of applications shattered the previous high of 128,000, which was set the prior week. LANSING Claims for unemployment benefits continued to skyrocket in Michigan last week during the coronavirus pandemic, when 311,000 people filed initial applications more than double from the previous week. The number of applications shattered the previous high of 128,000, which was set the prior week. The weekly record for new claims had been 77,000 in January 2009, during the Great Recession, which hit the state especially hard. The state Unemployment Insurance Agency has implemented a schedule for people to apply based on their last name.monroenews.com