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Whitmer admits problem with federal jobless benefits is "frustrating"

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying to reassure tens of thousands of Michiganders who’ve been warned they might have to pay back federal jobless benefits.

This affects nearly 650,000 people who initially qualified for the "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance" program. 

The problem is the state included four ways a person could qualify that ultimately were not approved by the federal government. 

Whitmer agreed that it’s frustrating.

“Trust me, I would prefer not to go through this,” said Whitmer. “But when the federal government tells us we got to have it in these columns, one of these three columns, we've got to ask the people of our state to just fill out that paperwork.”

Whitmer says she does not anticipate that all these people are going to have to repay their federal benefits.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was created to provide unemployment benefits to people who did not qualify for state jobless benefits.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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