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Wrongful unemployment class action settlement deadlines approach in early April
March 24, 2023
Two key dates for eligibility must be met for payout consideration
Michigan residents who believe they were wrongly accused from 2013-15 of falsely receiving unemployment insurance benefits should be aware of two upcoming deadlines to join a $20 million class action settlement with the State of Michigan.
The important deadlines to submit forms are:
- April 5, 2023: The registration form which determines eligibility for an award from the Compensation Fund.
- April 14, 2023: Claim forms, opt outs and objections to the settlement.
Links to key case deadlines and additional background information in the Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency class action lawsuit are posted to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency’s (UIA) website at Michigan.gov/UIA.
In January, the Michigan Court of Claims approved a $20 million class action settlement and also established dates for participation in the settlement process.
The settlement is the result of a 2015 lawsuit filed on behalf of unemployment benefit claimants who experienced wrongful collection activities by the State of Michigan after being erroneously found to have committed fraud through an auto-adjudication process in connection with receiving unemployment benefits from Oct. 1, 2013, to Aug. 31, 2015.
Those seeking further information or wishing to submit a claim can go to UIAClassAction.com, call 1-833-438-5028, or email info@UIAClassAction.com.
“We urge anyone who believes they were affected by these circumstances to register to be considered part of the settlement,” UIA Director Julia Dale said. “This settlement is one of the many reforms the agency is implementing to create a UIA that will be a national model for fair, fast and fraud-free service.”
An important component of Director Dale’s reforms is installing a new computer system to replace one that is a decade old. The hallmarks of the modern, innovative system will be ease of use, speedier claims processing and a human-centered design for workers and businesses who access UIA’s online services and programs.
When Director Dale took over leadership of the UIA, she was the 11th director in as many years. Since being appointed in October 2021, Dale has:
- Created the UIA Modernization Workgroup, consisting of labor, business and jobless advocates to advise the UIA on significant improvements in how it can better serve Michigan workers and employers.
- Collaborated with the Attorney General’s office as well as local, state and federal law enforcement to bring bad actors to justice and combat fraud at the agency. To date, 115 individuals have been charged in connection with unemployment benefits fraud.
- Rebuilt to nearly $1.8 billion (and growing) the UI Trust Fund from which weekly benefits are paid to workers.
- Approved more than 76,000 overpayment waivers of state and federal benefits paid out during the global pandemic, waiving more than $555 million.
- Halted overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, while the agency addresses pending protests and appeals.
- Identified initiatives and processes that would ease access to jobless benefits for workers in underserved communities under a $6.8 million equity grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
- Reassigned staff and resources to address the largest categories of claims that are contributing to the agency’s case backlogs.
- Identified necessary changes to correspondence to add a human-centered approach to make letters easier to understand for claimants and employers.
- Implemented new ethics and security clearance policies for employees and contractors.
Workers who need assistance or have a question about unemployment are encouraged to schedule a phone, in-person or virtual appointment at Michigan.gov/UIA. They also can call UIA’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.