Unemployed Michigan workers won’t have to repay benefits paid in error

Unemployment agency is granting waivers for all PUA benefits paid in error
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 3:18 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Unemployed workers who received federal benefits in error won’t have to repay anything.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced on Friday that it will waive repayment of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for workers who received money they shouldn’t have after a change in federal guidelines for the program.

The U.S. Department of Labor removed four reasons to qualify for PUA benefits, which were allowed at the beginning of the pandemic.

About 690,000 unemployed workers, who selected one of those four reasons for getting benefits, received messages from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency in June, asking them to submit new information and requalify for PUA benefits.

The messages told workers that they may have to repay any benefits they received if they don’t qualify under new federal rules. However, the agency announced on Friday that nobody will have to repay benefits even if they still don’t qualify for PUA benefits.

About 241,000 workers responded to the unemployment agency’s request for more information to requalify for PUA benefits. The agency is reviewing their cases to determine whether they still qualify.

“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,” said Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Acting Director Liza Estlund Olson.

Unemployed workers will receive official notification of the repayment waivers in their MiWAM account or with a letter sent by U.S. Mail.

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