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Unemployment morass continues to snare legitimate claims

Unemployment office sign

Some people's unemployment claims have been snared in serious gridlock at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

The agency is dealing with large numbers of potentially fraudulent claims, and the UIA says backdated claims for large sums have to go through a lengthy review process and be approved by a manager.

That may be what's happening to Janea Hall's claim, which she filed in March, after she was laid off from her job as a hospital janitor.

The Detroit mother of one says her benefits suddenly stopped in May. She says she's had no income since then.

"Right now I have food to put in my refrigerator, because I just sold some of my furniture, so hopefully the food will last a couple of weeks, I'm hoping it will."

But Hall says she does not have any money to pay this month's rent, and she's worried her landlord may initiate eviction proceedings.

The UIA says the pace of filing of fraudulent claims is not slowing, but hiring additional workers and establishing telephone appointments for those who are experiencing trouble getting their benefits has helped the situation.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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