Lawmakers look for ways to improve state unemployment process


Mich. (WLNS)- Select members of the house and senate met today to listen to the Unemployment Agency director Liza Olsen testify about the challenges her department is facing.

One of the topics discussed, unemployment fraud. In Michigan millions of dollars were distributed to people who did not qualify for the money.

Another item that was talked about was how long people are waiting to get their benefits.
It’s not secret the process was a nightmare for many in our state, people struggled to get their benefits during the pandemic and reaching the unemployment agency was nearly impossible as phones were backed up and even the website was down.

“We are spending so much time looking at fraudulent documents and the sophistication of these documents coming in, our staff needs to be experts spotting forgery, if we get a chance to catch our breathe we need to look at the benefits process,” says Olsen.

After hearing Olsen’s testimony, Joint select committee on the Covid-19 pandemic chair Matt Hall released a statement saying, “the UIA has struggled consistently for weeks paying people on time they have been slow to fulfill legitimate claims and have made decisions that have led to more fraud.”

The senate and house members say they are going to continue working with the Unemployment agency, to help them find a solution and put an end to many of the challenges they are facing. They are planning to meet again within the next few weeks.

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