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Mich. Pays $431M in Unemployment Waivers to Claimants

Around 55,000 Michigan residents have received waivers for unemployment insurance overpayments due to federal guidelines announced in February. More citizens have yet to be notified of a waiver.

(TNS) — Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency said it has awarded about $431 million in waivers to about 55,000 claimants that the agency had determined were paid in error.

Another about $11 million will be refunded to individuals who had begun to pay back the money the agency said they were overpaid.

Some of those claimants have already been alerted to the return of funds and waivers through their Michigan Web Account Manager accounts and letters will be mailed in the coming days to confirm the online notices.

The UIA still is working to identify additional individuals who may deserve waivers of the overpayment notices they received after receiving federal aid during the pandemic.

"This is a huge weight lifted off so many Michiganders' shoulders," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday in a press release announcing the awarded waivers.

The waivers given apply to some individuals who received unemployment benefits through the pandemic, up until Sept. 4, 2021, under CARES Act. The CARES Act programs involved in the waiver program include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earnings Unemployment Compensation.

The federal government told states, including Michigan, in February that they should expand waivers for potentially thousands of people who were unwittingly caught up in the rushed roll-out of federal unemployment relief during the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Labor guidance directed the state unemployment agencies to grant waivers to several categories of individuals, including those who had marked they were not "able and available" for full-time work because they were part-time workers.

Wednesday's announcement came nearly a month after the UIA announced it would temporarily pause new wage garnishments and intercepts of state tax refunds for people accused of being over paid.

The agency has requested an extension of the pause, which is set to expire May 7.

©2022 The Detroit News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.