If there is one thing many Michigan residents can agree on, it’s huge problems surrounding the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. The agency has been plagued with problems going back to before the COVID-19 shutdowns. And in the last 18 months, things have just gotten worse. Significantly. We still don’t know what the state is doing to recapture over one billion dollars in payouts to fraudulent claims.

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The most recent issue surfaced just a few weeks ago as the agency sent letters to hundreds of thousands of residents saying they may have to replay benefits. Not through a mistake of recipients. But rather, due to mistakes on the part of the agency applying federal guidelines to the benefit payouts.

Now the state is backing off that notice, sort of.  About half of those who got the potential payback notice are now getting a new notice essentially saying, “…never mind.” That’s leading many state residents and Michigan state lawmakers to ask how the state is determining who is in the lucky group. In the wake of it all, a key committee of the Michigan State House of Representatives is opening an in-depth investigation of the department’s activities of the past year and a half.

A new web page is now online asking anyone caught up in the confusing mess to supply state lawmakers with details of their experience so that can be reviewed as part of the legislative probe of the UIA.

State House Oversight Committee Chair Steve Johnson from Wayland is hoping everyone involved takes the opportunity to tell their story. “The Oversight Committee is working to get answers and we’ll continue to make sure that impacted people have a seat at the table. UIA has not had a good track record recently in this regard and our committee will look to find effective solutions both for the present and the future.”

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