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    UIA Clarifies Recent Changes Made to Monthly Unemployment Benefit Notices

    Agency:   Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

     

    Although I have had an outstanding balance as a result of benefit overpayments, why does my notice (bill) include interest and penalty fees?  In the past, these additional fees have not been included on my notices, so what has changed?

    As a result of legislative action (House Bill 4408 and P.A. 14), Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is allowed to recover interest on the amount of improperly paid unemployment benefits.  Additionally, this action has also mandated UIA to acquire and install software to pursue collection of restitution payments and, as of the beginning of September; the software has been installed successfully.

    Although claimants with outstanding balances have always received monthly notices from UIA, the new notices appear differently due to the change in software and the addition of the interest amount.

    What should I do if I do not agree with the amount the Unemployment Insurance Agency says I owe?  And, how was the interest amount calculated?

    Claimants have 30 days to protest the Agency determination that they have been overpaid.   The form to file to protest the determination is Form UIA 1733.

    Interest is only applied on the total principal amount the claimant received and will begin to accrue only after the 30-day protest period has expired.  Claimants with outstanding (active restitution) balances will be charged at a rate of one (1) percent per month, computed on a day-to-day basis for each day the outstanding balance remains unpaid, until the Agency receives payment in full, plus accrued interest.  Filing a protest after the 30-day protest period has expired  will not prevent interest from accruing.

    If the 30-day deadline to submit a protest has passed, may I still submit a protest?

    Yes, claimants can submit a protest after the 30-day protest period has expired.  However, UIA must take two things into consideration - the reason why the protest was not filed in a timely manner as well as the original protest.  Is the "reason" (excuse) for the late protest valid? If it is found to be "good cause" for the late protest then the original protest is considered. If not the protest is not considered and the first determination stands.

    What if I protest within the 30 days from the initial date I received the overpayment determination, but the 30 days have expired before I receive a response back from UIA about my protest?  Will I be penalized? 

    Claimants are not penalized if the 30 days expires before the claimant receives a redetermination (decision) from UIA.  Filing a late protest does not prevent interest on the amount due to cease accruing.

    What should I do if I cannot pay the total amount due right away? Is there a way for me to make arrangements for bill payment?

    Claimants who are unable to pay the amount due to UIA can call 1-800-638-6372 to
    establish a payment plan.

    Am I the only person who received this notice?

    No, the notice was mailed to 90,000 claimants across the state.

    How large were the overpayments? Was there an average amount?

    The Agency cannot pinpoint an average overpayment since the averages have fluctuated tremendously, particularly over the past few years which included extended weeks available to collect.

    How long were people receiving overpayments?

    These 90,000 overpayment accounts represent individuals who were overpaid any number of weeks.

    What happens if claimants fail to pay?

    If the claimant doesn't pay: interest will increase on the principal, State Tax refund will be intercepted to pay toward or pay off the balance, and there is a great possibility depending on what occurred that lead to the overpayment) the Federal Tax refund will also be intercepted. Further, wage garnishment is also an option.

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