Labor and Economic Opportunity
Rep. Sander Levin ‘very pleased’ UIA is taking additional steps
LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is reviewing remaining cases of potential fraud that were initially identified by an automated computer system but later included involvement by agency staff and contact with the claimant. The cases in question were from 2013 through 2015.
“We are being as thorough as possible in reviewing potential fraud determinations because we want to be fair to people filing claims, but also continue to be vigilant against fraud, which hurts everyone,” said Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda M. Stokes. UIA is part of TIA.
Stokes has been working with U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, who has raised concerns about the remaining cases. Stokes said Bruce Noll, the agency’s acting assistant director, and his team already are working on the review process. About 7,000 of the original 30,000 cases have already been reviewed.
“I am very pleased to hear that the State has committed to reviewing the additional fraud decisions made during the period that there were automatic computer determinations," Levin said. "It is important that the Talent Investment Agency has announced a full review of all cases to ensure that anyone wrongly accused of fraud is made whole and has their record corrected, in addition to the comprehensive improvement measures announced for UIA yesterday."
As of August 2015, the UIA no longer uses the automated system to issue fraud determinations. Instead, trained staff investigates, reviews and makes the determination in all fraud cases, which includes the additional step of contacting the claimant and/or employer if further information if needed.
Stokes on Thursday announced a three-part plan to review all aspects of the UIA operations in an effort to make the agency more effective and efficient in making sure people get the benefits they are entitled to.