Judge: Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Can’t Collect on Appealed Unemployment Overpayments

A Michigan Court of Claims judge ruled that the state Unemployment Insurance Agency can’t collect on claimants appealing a determination they were overpaid.

Court of Claims Judge Brock Swartzle ruled that his prior preliminary injunction stops UIA collection on all individuals who “timely” appeal UIA claims until they are resolved.

Read More

Whitmer Signs Bill Giving Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency $140M to Overhaul Agency

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill appropriating nearly $140 million to revamp Michigan’s embattled Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA.)

“This fiscally-responsible, bipartisan bill will lower costs for small businesses and fight waste, fraud, and abuse in our unemployment system,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This is the latest step we are taking to fight fraud, hold people accountable, and strengthen the Unemployment Insurance Agency after decades of disinvestment. By making a deposit into the Unemployment Compensation Fund, we can help small businesses balance their books by lowering the costs of unemployment.”

Read More

Bill to Spend $140 Million to Revamp Embattled Jobless Agency in Michigan

A bill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will sign into law aims to spend $140 million to improve the embattled Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

When Michigan’s unemployment rate spiked to 22.7% in April 2020 after COVID-19 and an economic shutdown, the UIA often failed to provide timely benefits to eligible Michiganders.

Read More

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency Didn’t Screen 5,508 Workers; Some Weren’t Trained Before Working

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) failed to screen 5,508 workers before giving them access to software that disbursed $39 billion of taxpayer money since March 2020.

An audit released Friday from the Office of Auditor (OAG) General Doug Ringler marked four “material conditions” – the most severe rating – asserting the UIA failed to take multiple safeguards to prevent employees from looting taxpayer money.

Read More

Michigan State Senator Aric Nesbitt Introduces Bill to Cut State Taxes

Michigan State Senator Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) on Thursday introduced legislation to cut the state’s income tax rates.

The measure, Senate Bill 768, would reduce the personal and corporate income tax rates to 3.9% from 4.25% and 6%, respectively.

Read More

Audit Shows Michigan Agency Mishandled COVID Unemployment Payments

Michigan’s Office of the Auditor General on Thursday released a report on the shortcomings of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

During the coronavirus pandemic, the state agency dished out $3.9 billion in overpayments of federal dollars to residents who did not qualify for the funds.

Read More

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.

Read More

Michigan’s Acting Unemployment Director Once Again on Oversight Committee Hot Seat

For the second time since last March, acting Unemployment Insurance Agency chair Liza Estlund Olson testified Thursday morning before the Michigan House Oversight Committee.

Much like her March appearance, Thursday’s testimony prompted scathing commentary from Republican committee members.

Read More

Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth Calls on Acting Director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency to Be Removed

Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) urged Governor Gretchen Whitmer to fire Acting Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Director Liza Olson.

In the statement, Wentworth highlighted several errors and examples of poor management throughout the state agency.

Read More

Michigan Lawmaker Calls on Unemployment Insurance Agency for Answers About Benefit Blunder

Rep. Steve Johnson

The leaders of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) knew as early as Jan. 6 they erred in developing qualifications for benefits, but didn’t tell the 700,000 Michiganders affected for nearly six months.

The Detroit News first broke the story.

After Jan. 6, the UIA tried to retroactively charge some benefit recipients up to $27,000 for the state’s mistake, instead of admitting it erred.

Read More

Michigan House Oversight Committee Continues Debate on Assuming Subpoena Authority

The Michigan House of Representatives Oversight Committee continued to debate last week whether the committee should grant itself authority to issue subpoenas in specific instances, but postponed a vote until next week’s scheduled meeting.

At its meeting Thursday morning, the committee addressed how broad subpoena authority could be applied to compel testimony from government personnel and agencies. Specifically, the committee resumed its discussion of House Resolution 60, which would authorize the committee to subpoena former Michigan Department and Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon.

Read More

Michigan Investigates Alleged Shakedown By Unemployment Agency Workers Accused of Stealing Benefits

The State of Michigan is investigating whether new employees of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) are stealing funds from jobless residents, multiple media outlets report.

The workers are accused of stealing and charging clients to receive their benefits more quickly, WDIV reported. This is happening even as Michigan is among several states experiencing fraudulent claims being submitted, and they temporarily stopped payments.

Read More