Bills unveiled to fix Michigan unemployment benefits system

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s unemployment benefits agency would assess smaller penalties on jobless workers who are found to have committed fraud under newly introduced bipartisan legislation.

The change is included in an eight-bill package unveiled by lawmakers Thursday. The measures were drafted in response to the Unemployment Insurance Agency falsely accusing tens of thousands of beneficiaries of fraud.

A new state law prohibits fraud determinations based solely on computer-identified discrepancies. But legislators from both parties say other improvements are needed.

Under one bill, the agency could no longer assess 400 percent penalties above and beyond the amount that people pay back. It’d be 100 percent.

People accused of fraudulent claims would be eligible for help from an advocacy program instead of having to represent themselves or hire a lawyer.

The FOX 17 Problem Solvers have been investigating the UIA for over two years. Click here for the Problem Solvers page and scroll back for dozens of reports.

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  • William P Empey

    Keep the big penalties. If people try to cheat the system they should pace big penalties. Correct the system so they can tell the good people from the cheaters.

  • Marissa Deitz

    I was one of the many that were forced to pay back my unemployment, they took my state taxes every year til it was paid off. I fought it with lawyers over the phone and in writing and got no where is there any way you can help me out with my case as well? It was back in 2011 I felt betrayed I did everything they asked me and even job searched while I only got a few months of unemployment.

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