Legislation Signed to Strengthen Unemployment Insurance Agency, Fight Fraud

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed House Bill 5525, a legislation which makes a deposit in the state’s Unemployment Compensation Fund and funds ongoing efforts to stop waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds.

This comes after the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency paused new wage and state income tax refund garnishment until May 7 for about 398,000 Michiganders marked with overpayment statuses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 5525 appropriates a total of $139.8 million, including $106.8 million in federal funds, $24 million of the state’s General Fund and $8.9 million of state restricted funds. It will also make customer service improvements at the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) and hire dozens of employees to enhance fraud enforcement efforts.

Furthermore, the legislation helps the Office of Attorney General Dana Nessel pursue unemployment claimant fraud, employer fraud and identify theft.

The majority of resources would be deposited into the Unemployment Compensation Fund to lower future costs for small businesses.

“This fiscally-responsible, bipartisan bill will lower costs for small businesses and fight waste, fraud, and abuse in our unemployment system,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is the latest step we are taking to fight fraud, hold people accountable, and strengthen the Unemployment Insurance Agency after decades of disinvestment. By making a deposit into the Unemployment Compensation Fund, we can help small businesses balance their books by lowering the costs of unemployment. Together, we will pursue anyone who improperly exploits unemployment benefits to pad their own pockets and ensure they are prosecuted to the full extent of our laws. Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michigan’s UIA agency, our federal partners, and my administration will continue working together to utilize this funding as effectively as possible to crack down on fraud and save taxpayers money.”