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Michigan: 350K who got unemployment aid won’t have to repay

The Unemployment Insurance Agency said Friday it will give waivers to the group, many who may no longer be collecting benefits.
 The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. (WJRT)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 3:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP/WLUC) - About 350,000 Michigan residents who received federal unemployment aid will not have to repay benefits after the state had informed them that some reasons for eligibility it approved at the start of the pandemic were not OK.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency said Friday it will give waivers to the group, many who may no longer be collecting benefits. They are among nearly 600,000 claimants whom were asked last month to requalify for the federal assistance, which is $300 a week on top of maximum state benefits of $362.

The agency had learned that eligibility reasons it authorized at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic were later found by the U.S. Labor Department to be non-qualifying.

The 350,000 are those who did not respond to the request. About 241,000 people did respond.

“We’re reviewing their cases to determine if they have an eligible COVID-19-related reason and if they may continue to receive benefits,” Liza Estlund Olson, the agency’s acting director, said in a statement. “For those who did not respond, we want to assure them that claimants who are no longer eligible won’t have to return the money they received when, through no fault of their own, they chose one of the four non-eligible reasons.”

Claimants can visit www.Michigan.gov/UIA to access their MiWAM account to chat with an agent. They can also contact the UIA by phone at 866-500-0017 or schedule a telephone, virtual or in-person appointment with an agent.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press, WLUC. All rights reserved.