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Michigan says 97% of eligible unemployment applicants are getting benefits

The Michigan Unemployment Agency says it has processed more than 97% of the 2.1 million claims for benefits made since March 15.
The Michigan Unemployment Agency says it has processed more than 97% of the 2.1 million claims for benefits made since March 15.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 3:02 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency says it is pushing through a backlog of claims and providing benefits to more than 97% of workers who are eligible.

The agency said on Monday it has processed all certified claims filed before May 1 and now is planning to work through all unpaid claims filed before June 1 by the end of July 20.

As of this week, 2.1 million workers have applied for unemployment benefits since March 15. More than 2 million of them have received a combined $15 billion in state and federal benefits.

Fewer than 3% of claims are not approved for benefits and most of those are flagged as potential fraud cases. Only 39,000 claims are waiting for additional identity verification and 20,000 await adjudication for other reasons, according to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

“While there is only small percentage of eligible workers who have yet to be paid, we know that is no consolation to the thousands of claimants who are frustrated, desperate and owed the benefits they were promised,” said UIA Director Steve Gray.

Sophisticated fraud networks have been targeting state unemployment benefits systems by filing fake claims using personal information stolen from other sources.

Officials have resolved about 285,000 of the 340,000 possible fraud cases involving active unemployment benefits accounts in Michigan. An additional 160,000 out of 200,000 new claims for benefits that were flagged as fraud also have been cleared, according to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

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