Michigan waives repayment of $431M more unemployment checks

May 4, 2022, 3:33 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Over 55,000 more claimants won’t have to pay back unemployment overpayments totaling $431 million from the Michigan unemployment agency during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state announced Wednesday.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has to date waived more than $4.3 billion of overpayments to residents, totaling 400,000 claimants who were improperly awarded pandemic unemployment benefits.

Many were worried about having to pay back funds after 648,100 Michigan residents received letters in the summer of 2021 informing them that they would have to reapply for eligibility, according to a state audit released in November. Of those residents who received letters, 347,437 who had been deemed eligible for the benefits were later found ineligible.

The overpayments were the result of chronic miscommunication between the UIA and the U.S. Department of Labor over eligibility criteria while the UIA was distributing over $39 billion in unemployment benefits. Members of the state and the federal government have disagreed about who is responsible, but ultimately Michigan residents were not responsible for the overpayments and will not be required to pay them back.

Those who receive waivers are notified through their Michigan Web Account Manager accounts. The state will mail letters to those given waivers making them aware of the notification on the account.

The UIA will continue to review overpayments to extend waivers to anyone eligible, UIA Director Julia Dale said in a news release Wednesday.

“The federal jobless assistance programs were a critical lifeline for many Michiganders affected by the global pandemic and our action today means they will be able to continue to provide for their families without the fear of having to pay back benefits awarded through agency error,” Dale said.

The UIA has been the subject of intense scrutiny from Republican lawmakers over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic due delays in paying out benefits and constituent’s having difficulties contacting the UIA. Dale was named the director of the agency by the governor in October after the acting director and her predecessor were criticized in legislative committees for distributing more benefits than ever in state history over two years.

Though the Department of Labor initially allowed for a pause on collection of funds through May 7, the UIA requested an extension to identify more individuals eligible for a waiver, the news release said.


Anna Liz Nichols is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
5 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
13 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
13 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
20 days ago
A young bison calf stands in a pond with its herd at Bull Hollow, Okla., on Sept. 27, 2022. The cal...
Associated Press

US aims to restore bison herds to Native American lands after near extinction

U.S. officials will work to restore more large bison herds to Native American lands under a Friday order from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
20 days ago
Children play in a dried riverbed in Flassans-sur-Issole, southern France, Wednesday, March 1, 2023...
Associated Press

Italy, France confront 2nd year of western Europe drought

ROME (AP) — Bracing for Italy’s second consecutive year of drought for the first time in decades, Premier Giorgia Meloni huddled with ministers Wednesday to start mapping out an action plan Wednesday, joining France and other nations in western Europe grappling with scant winter rain and snow. Meloni and her ministers decided to appoint an […]
22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...
Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Michigan waives repayment of $431M more unemployment checks