Michigan removes another $ 70 million of overpayments related to the unemployment pandemic

LANSING, MI – More people asked to pay off pandemic unemployment benefits receive bills.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency issued layoffs this week for applicants who reported their gross salary instead of net salary when applying for unemployment assistance.

According to agency spokesman Nick Assendelft, the layoffs canceled an estimated $ 70 million for 14,505 people with overpayment notices. Another $ 4.5 million is returned.

“Based on the confusion caused by the revision of federal guidelines, UIA worked with our federal partners to alleviate Michigan workers who had received too many benefits through no fault of their own and now received reimbursement notices,” said Julia Dale, director of the agency. Michigan Unemployment Insurance. statement.

Claimants do not have to apply for an exemption. Those who qualified received notifications via their MiWAM account and mail.

Connected with: Michigan UIA will abandon overpayments related to the problem of net and gross earnings

This is the third round in Michigan pandemic relief.

Last year, an agency error led to nearly 700,000 people being declared ineligible for the federal pandemic unemployment program, which extended aid to part-time workers and concerts. As a result, around 530,000 people were asked to pay their benefits, and some faced high bills and the threat of recovery.

Michigan settled its initial 350,000 overpayments last August. Then, following broader guidance from the US Department of Labor in February, another batch of layoffs resulted in $ 431 million in May, and another wiped out $ 53 million in July.

This round of layoffs addresses the problem of “confusing federal instructions” first reported by the Detroit Free Press. Claimants who submitted their gross earnings instead of their net earnings were charged with misreporting their earnings.

Connected with: Dismissal from unemployment brings relief to thousands. More Michigan residents are still waiting.

Michigan needed the approval of the US Department of Labor to issue the layoffs because it was federal dollars.

“We fix problems from the past, help employees today and implement long-term agency reforms for the future with better, faster service and zero tolerance for fraud,” said Dale.

To date, Michigan has waived overpayments of $ 4.42 billion for nearly 484,000 people who applied for benefits under the federal program. More than 76,000 of these layoffs have come out this year.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is also currently pursuing two class actions for pandemic benefits.

The first, submitted in January, claims that the state has unlawfully requested repayment of the aid. This led to the issuing of a preliminary injunction blocking debt collection efforts for overpayment appeals. And a September lawsuit said the agency froze payments to thousands of workers during the pandemic, while not providing workers with an appeal.

Anyone with questions about the overpayment waiver can go to Michigan.gov/UIA to schedule an appointment in person, by phone or online with a member of the agency.

More about MLive:

Michigan may waive further unemployment bills under new federal guidelines

The unemployment agency in Michigan has illegally requested a refund, says the class action lawsuit

Michigan residents continue to grapple with high bills due to an unemployment agency mistake. Experts fear their tax returns may be confiscated.

A Michigan man owed $ 25,000 on pandemic unemployment, says the class action lawsuit

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