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UIA director takes decisive action to get more help to people in need
May 27, 2022
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced today they are working to identify people who were asked to repay unemployment benefits because of unclear instructions regarding gross earnings versus net earnings. As this group of claimants is identified, they will receive a waiver for the overpayment of benefits related to this issue.
“We are moving aggressively to reform the UIA to address the mistakes of the past and improve service for everyone in Michigan,” said Julia Dale, UIA Director. “Our top priorities are providing better service and removing bad actors. Already, we’ve issued 55,000 waivers for people who needed help and did nothing wrong, but that’s not good enough.
“We won’t stop fighting until we’ve corrected past mistakes made by this agency so that not one innocent Michigander will face consequences as a result of asking for help they needed.”
The next group of claimants the Agency is assessing for waivers is those who filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and, because of unclear instructions at the time, provided the agency with gross earnings as opposed to net earnings, resulting in an overpayment of benefits.
“We are aware that there are issues related to gross versus net income calculations on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance weekly benefit amounts,” Dale said. “UIA is performing an analysis to determine the total population impacted by this issue. The U.S. Department of Labor has approved waivers for this group, and we are working hard to identify everyone who was affected so that we can issue the waivers.”
In the seven months since her appointment as director of the UIA, Director Dale has:
- Issued waivers for 55,000 people (and counting) who were asked to pay back benefits despite doing nothing wrong, and obtained federal approval of a pause on overpayment collections.
- Implemented new policies for employees and contractors, including fingerprinting, criminal background checks, and an updated ethics policy.
- Collaborated with the Attorney General’s office to combat fraud at the agency.
- Built a new, user-friendly website, and worked with nonprofit partners on improving access to the website and all other interactions with the public.
- Rebuilt the Trust Fund to $1.4 billion (and counting).