The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan package of bills — now signed into law — to reform and improve Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.
The reforms help fix problems created by the automated fraud system in which more than 37,000 people were wrongly accused of fraud and lost their benefits from 2013 to 2015. The agency has required human review in making a fraud determination since August 2015. Under the new laws, claimants accused of fraud will also have access to an advocacy program for better representation.
The changes also create a new process to handle potential identity theft claims, an ever-increasing problem. Among other provisions, this measure allows benefits to stop when the agency receives an affidavit from a person with a stolen identity and establishes a position similar to an “inspector general” to investigate fraud and make recommendations to improve integrity and accountability within the program.
If you have been affected by this, or have any questions regarding your unemployment benefits you can call the Unemployment Insurance Agency toll-free at 1-866-500-0017.