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State Reassures Revamped Unemployment Program After Fraud

The state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has been hit hard during the pandemic and failed to keep up with demand as restrictions forced many Michiganders out of work.

On top of that backlog, a new report says the state possibly paid $11 billion to fraudulent claims in the past 19 months. Many of the issues were from people claiming unemployment that did not qualify or overlapped with federal benefits.

The state says they have reworked their protocols and the decreased demand has allowed more due diligence, cutting down on those numbers.

“The report certainly shows that that is happening all around the country, not just in Michigan but in the state of Michigan we have stepped up to respond to it,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, “We saw the problem, we acted quickly and now our system is showing to be 99.5% effective in reducing fraud. While we’re still really angry and the people need to be held accountable who committed that fraud, we’re working to build a system that will be responsible for Michiganders going forward.”

The state has paid out nearly $35 billion in benefits since March 2020.