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Judge OKs list of people eligible for $20 million unemployment fraud settlement

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A Michigan judge has approved a preliminary list of the people eligible for a portion of a $20 million settlement in an unemployment fraud case.

The state agreed to the settlement last year, but the parties still needed to define exactly who was eligible.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency says errors in a computer system caused about 40,000 people to be wrongly accused of fraud — but, according to the Court of Claims order certifying the settlement, only some were “forced to pay, or had their tax refunds intercepted, without the opportunity to present exculpatory evidence or otherwise be heard.”

“Every settlement class member’s claim arises out of this lack of due process,” reads the order signed by Judge Douglas B. Shapiro.

Now, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday, they believe they know who those people are.

“Class counsel and UIA have compiled a class list which they believe identifies all eligible class members and details the economic losses they experienced because of a wrongful collection,” Nessel’s office said in a press release.

“Claimants who are on the class list will automatically be eligible to participate in the settlement.”

A court-appointed administrator will mail notices to those people February 1.

People who don’t receive a notice but think they should be part of the settlement can submit documentation to the claims administrator.

In a statement, Nessel called the settlement “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

“While this settlement cannot undo the hardships these residents faced, it does secure the long overdue relief that they deserve,” Nessel said.

Brett joined Michigan Public in December 2021 as an editor.
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