Labor and Economic Opportunity
Friday, July 30, 2021
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has begun to notify claimants who are no longer eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits that overpayments will be waived.
In June, claimants were asked to requalify for PUA by providing the agency with the necessary information to remain eligible for the federal program. Four PUA COVID-19 eligibility reasons that were included at the beginning of the pandemic were later found by the U.S. Department of Labor to be non-qualifying. Under federal law, UIA had to re-evaluate PUA eligibility for individuals who selected one of the non-qualifying reasons.
After the notifications were issued, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supported Michigan's use of waivers from the Department of Labor, stressing that, "No one who followed the rules and received benefits through no fault of their own should have to pay back money to the federal government."
Of the roughly 690,000 claimants that were asked to requalify, about 241,000 responded to the UIA's request. Waivers will be granted to the initial group of approximately 350,000 non-responses, many of whom may no longer be collecting benefits.
"For those who have responded, we're reviewing their cases to determine if they have an eligible COVID-19 related reason and if they may continue to receive benefits," said Acting UIA Director Liza Estlund Olson. "For those who did not respond, we want to assure them that claimants who are no longer eligible won't have to return the money they received when, through no fault of their own, they chose one of the four non-eligible reasons."
Affected claimants will receive notification in their MiWAM account, or by U.S. mail.
Contacting the UIA
Claimants can visit Michigan.gov/UIA to access their MiWAM account to chat with an agent. They can also contact the UIA by phone at 866-500-0017 or schedule a telephone, virtual or in-person appointment with an agent.