Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Warned Twice Before Errors, Emails Show

Emails show that in May 2020, the federal government warned Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance (UIA) about its lax jobless aid qualification questions. Despite a second warning as early as Jan. 6, 2021, the UIA still didn’t fix its mistakes.

The unheeded warnings are now costing nearly 600,000 Michiganders stress as well as potentially thousands of dollars to repay Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits erroneously paid out.

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Virginia Employment Commission Still Overwhelmed by Claims Backlog

The Virginia Employment Commission is still lagging in processing claims, according to an interim report from the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC) presented to legislators Monday.

“A theme that you will hear in the presentation is that while the agency could not have been expected to be fully prepared to respond to the pandemic, it could have been better prepared,” JLARC Director Hal Greer said. “As you’ll hear, 18 months into the pandemic, the agency is still overwhelmed by backlogs of claims. Its call center continues to under-perform, and the agency is struggling with how to recoup a significant amount of benefit payments that were incorrectly issued.”

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Florida Circuit Court Judge Hears Case Regarding CARES Act Reinstatement

Judge Layne Smith of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit Court held a hearing Wednesday for a lawsuit filed against Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and its Secretary, Dane Eagle.

The complaint was filed on July 25th by attorneys on behalf of a group of Broward County residents in response to the $300-a-week in federal unemployment benefits – known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the ‘CARES Act’ – that were cut off in Florida on July 26th. 

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Watchdog: Virginia Employment Commission Still Struggling

A spokesperson for the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) told legislators that the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is still unable to answer most of its incoming calls and expressed concern about the backlog of certain types of claims requiring extra review. On Tuesday, JLARC Principal Legislative Analyst Lauren Axselle gave a brief update to legislators, noting that an interim report will be complete in September with a final report on the VEC scheduled for November.

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Virginia Rep. Spanberger Co-Sponsors Bill to Help People Transition from Unemployment Benefits to Jobs

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia-07) is co-sponsoring a bill that would provide $180 per week through Labor Day to people who get jobs after being unemployed. The Strengthening Unemployment Programs to Provide Opportunities for Recovery and Training (SUPPORT) for New Workers Act is meant to incentivize people to return to work who are currently receiving unemployment benefits, including an extra $300 federal pandemic unemployment benefit.

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Virginia Government Asking Citizens to Repay Thousands in Pandemic Unemployment Claims

Virginians are reporting letters from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) asking for repayment of unemployment claims due to VEC error.
The government hasn’t made any exceptions for the VEC’s errors resulting in overpayments – even with the mandatory shutdowns throughout this pandemic.

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Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Cut Waste from Coronavirus Bill

U.S. Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC-13) and Ken Buck (R-CO-04) introduced the Getting Americans Back to Work Act to amend a portion of the CARES Act, which resulted in some unemployed filers receiving higher wages through unemployment compensation than through their previous jobs.

The bill caps the amount an individual can receive from unemployment insurance at 100 percent of their previous wages.

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