Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has announced a goal to clear its backlog and make a determination on all eligible unpaid claims filed before May 1.
For the 11,824 workers who applied prior to May 1 and are still awaiting a decision on eligibility, the agency will pay out benefits, determine that the claimant is ineligible and communicate why, or deem the claimant unreachable after multiple attempts to make contact. Unpaid claims filed before May 1st represent only 0.5% of all claims.
“Our goal is to have every unemployment claim filed before May 1st resolved by the end of next week,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “While most of our eligible workers have been paid, the unprecedented number of claims during this crisis means that there are still tens of thousands of real Michiganders needing one-on-one review to pay benefits. We know COVID-19 continues to cause fear and frustration for these families and we are working work around the clock and enhance our resources to quickly eliminate the remaining backlog and get every worker the emergency financial assistance they’re entitled to.”
The UIA also provided a detailed update on unemployment claims related to COVID-19 in Michigan. Since March 15, 2.2 million eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, with over $14.3 billion in benefits paid to over 2 million workers.
An estimated 94.5% of eligible claimants have received or are approved for benefits. Of the remaining unpaid claimants, most are flagged for potential impostor fraud. Currently, 90,000 unpaid claims are flagged as potentially fraudulent while 33,000 unpaid claims are held pending adjudication for other reasons.
The UIA has made adjustments to its claims processing system to more efficiently adjudicate claims, but in many instances, the agency still needs additional information from the claimant before a determination can be made. For eligible unpaid claimants, the agency will make attempts to contact them if needed. There remains a path for individuals to protest any determination made by the agency on their claim.