Michigan House OKs unemployment changes after fraud scandal

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan would cut its penalties for defrauding the unemployment benefits system under legislation approved by the state House.

The measure is included in an eight-bill package sent to the Senate Wednesday. It was proposed in the wake of a scandal at the state Unemployment Insurance Agency, which has reversed at least 44,000 fraud cases covering a two-year period after a computer system wrongly accused people of collecting excessive benefits.

The bills would require more ID from claimants applying for benefits and create a mechanism so employers and claimants could address claims filed by impostors.

The agency also would have to reconsider prior determinations of fraud if there is evidence that information was not sent to a beneficiary's address.

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