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Unemployment claims expected to spike during 3-week shutdown

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:37 PM EST
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STATE, Mich. (WJRT) -(11/18/20)-According to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, more than 2.3 million people have applied for state and federal benefits since March.

Ashley Field is one of them. She is still waiting for a payment four months after filing in July.

“They said there are thousands of people that are ahead of me and now it is November and I’m on the PUA, I have certified. They told me I would get my payments this week, here it is Wednesday, certified Monday and I still haven’t received nothing,” said Genesee County resident, Ashley Field.

Those filing for unemployment is expected to increase, after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an order, shutting down some businesses for the next three weeks.

The UIA says people returning to the unemployment line because of COVID-19-- should reopen previous claims, not make a new one,

Employers are also encouraged to file online on behalf of full-time employees who are temporarily or permanently laid off.

Field wonders if the increase in those applying for benefits might extend the wait for her claim to be paid out.

“I don’t know what else we are supposed to do and a lot of jobs aren’t hiring, no restaurants are going to be hiring. I can’t go out and get a job because everybody is shutdown,” Field said.

The unemployment agency says they have increased their server capacity and have tripled staff to handle the expected spike.

The mom of two hopes that means she will soon receive a payment.

“So I’m just going to have to wait and hopefully they’ll give me something before Christmas or my kids won’t have a Christmas,” Field said.

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