GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Tens of thousands of people will not have to give back millions in overpayments from federal pandemic unemployment programs, the state says.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency says about $431 million in extra benefits that went to about 55,000 people have been waived. About $11 million will go back to people who had already started repaying.
The affected people will get messages on their online UIA accounts and in the mail.
State officials blamed the overpayments on the U.S. Department of Labor and said they asked the federal agency not to ask for the money back.
“This is a huge weight lifted off so many Michiganders’ shoulders,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a Wednesday statement. “No Michigander who did the right thing when applying for benefits should be required to pay anything back resulting from errors at the federal level.”
In all, the UIA says, it has waived $4.3 billion in overpayments to 400,000 people and more waivers are expected.
The waivers don’t apply to people who were found to have committed fraud.