Michigan’s unemployed to get $900 more. System glitches remain

Michigan has provided unemployment benefits to some 2.1 million unemployed workers this year, a huge spike due to the coronavirus and business restrictions designed to slow the virus. (Shutterstock photo)

Oct. 14: Lawmakers expand unemployment benefits, pass business COVID liability
Update: Michigan unemployment benefits expanded to 59 weeks for some workers

A second round of $300 in additional weekly jobless benefits should reach laid-off Michigan workers before the end of month, while the state continues to fix glitches in its unemployment system and investigate fraud.

Michigan has been approved for three more weeks of funding through the federal Lost Wages Assistance benefit program. Atop three weeks that have already been approved dating to Aug. 1, that brings additional benefits for the jobless to a total of $1,800.

The state will process the second wave of payments next week, and it will take about 10 business days to complete payments, said Jason Moon of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

The money is the final round of federal assistance expected, unless Congress approves more coronavirus relief.

Related stories:

The first round of payments started processing the week after Labor Day, prompting many questions among recipients who didn’t see the retroactive $300 per week for as long as two weeks. 

Some said they had difficulty accessing the unemployment system to ask questions. 

“I have been waiting patiently to receive my $300 extra a week unemployment benefits,” Henry Garcia of Lansing said on Sept. 12.  “I see other people around my area getting their benefits but I have not received my benefits.”

Now, as those payments conclude, the state is trying to fix other problems in the system, which was overloaded starting in March as waves of residents filed jobless claims amid both temporary and permanent layoffs related to coronavirus. 

Some unemployed workers who needed to update their information for new payments in the  Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) system were unable to do so.

 

“Due to a technical error, around 70,000 claimants’ MiWAM accounts did not display the link to certify for benefits this week,” Moon said. “This issue has been corrected.”

Anyone who missed certifying on time now has the ability to complete the information late. Notifications should have been received by those affected, Moon added.

Some people receiving benefits also received an incorrect email notification saying they had to recertify their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance account, Moon said. 

“This error was communicated to these claimants,” Moon said.

Meanwhile, Moon said, the new rounds of Lost Wages Assistance seems to be causing an increase in fraudulent claims, including in Michigan. That was a concern this summer, as at least 400,000 claimants had accounts or claims frozen during investigations.

“Another wave of claims have been flagged for identity verification to prevent payment,” Moon said. The number of people affected was not available. 

“The higher supplemental benefit attracts additional criminal attention and agencies across the country remain under attack,” Moon said. “These cases have been flagged for identity verification to prevent payment.”

Several people in Michigan already have been charged with unemployment fraud this year, including a former contractor at UIA and a former employee.

The UIA has provided nearly $22 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 2.1 million unemployed workers. Another 17,392 state workers filed claims for benefits for the week ending Sept. 12, compared to 17,844 a week earlier.

Michigan’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in August, according to data released this week by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was unchanged since July.

Economists who watch the labor market say that number could be closer to 10.7 percent, once people who have stepped out of the labor force due to COVID-19 are considered. An estimated 251,000 fewer Michigan workers are now in the labor force.

There also were signs that recovery is slowing, as more temporary layoffs become permanent. 

“Recalls of laid-off workers continued in Michigan in August, but at a slower pace than in the last few months,” said Jason Palmer, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “Total payroll jobs rose by 55,000 in August, well below the average advance of 180,000 per month from May through July.” 

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Brynne
Fri, 09/18/2020 - 6:38pm

Thank you, thank you for publishing this. No news sources for Michigan have printed anything that updates us on why we (some of us) haven't received the extra Lost Wages Act ("$300") money yet. With your article I can stop worrying and hope that mine is coming.

Rachel earles
Sat, 09/19/2020 - 7:01pm

I'm waiting on my first 900 also. I didnt see where the article gave info on why we haven't yet. It just said they asked a man on Sept 12th and then said the payments are concluding. So stressed

Lauren Ross a.k...
Sun, 09/20/2020 - 8:29pm

I was just referring to the fact that NO other news source that I could find, and I have really looked hard, had any useful info other than the mass announcement on 9/10 that LWA money was coming within the next ten days. This article has some good detail and made it clear there were issues that UIA/MIWAM is having with getting this paid out.

I'm sympathetic to the complexities of why this pay out is SO hard to roll out smoothly because I've been IT for decades. I DO think they should publish a lot of detail about what's happening now though. People are really stressing. OI know I have been since Monday September 14th when I certified and nothing showed in my account pertaining to LWA payment AND I realized that maybe the fact that my certifications tab stopping in July (I'd noticed this all along but I got paid ok since then) was related to why I haven't seen the $300/wk for LWA. People who have received it mentioned seeing their August weeks showing $300 in the additional benefits column. I could give more detail but I've already put up a wall of text.

taylor810
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 5:11am

I have the same issue with my Certifications tab. They only show through 7/18. Nothing from 7/25 til now. I've sent UIA countless messages to get this fixed but nothing yet. I, too, have no problem certifying or receiving my money but i'd like to be able to see how much tax, child support is being taken out.

Mina
Sun, 09/27/2020 - 9:58am

uia-miwamissues@michigan.gov

Taylor, the above is the email address that goes straight to A HUMAN.
I used a link by another on Reddit, it was WAS an email address to contact Michigan Unemployment.
It Bounced and came back with the above email address.
My first Covid Claim ended a few days ago. I already was laid off a 2nd time, end of Aug.
I submitted from my Account Claim page my Employers letter documenting my lay-off
and call back, 5 wks ago. No response. It's like a Black Hole, do you want to send us a message.

I needed to open a claim, extend, for my payments to continue to eat.
I sent the email with my Original Covid Claim, the date it closed and clearly stated dilema
NO options are provided on my account by Michigan Unemployment for opening / extending claim.

Taylor, 24 hours later, the new claim was opened, I was issued 13 wks extension thru PUA.
All was taken care of. Did a Human read my email? or was it divine timing ?
I have Not rec'd 300 for lost wages. No alerts. No nothing. I like all are stressing too.
Waiting for the shoe to drop that is says, " you get nothing" Good day Sir
Michigan's process leaves little trust. It's maddening they take it away, they take it away again.

I hope that email address helps you and anyone else here in need.
Mina

Dojo
Mon, 09/28/2020 - 9:56am

My certification only show's until July 18th as well, however if you click on the submissions tab and then select view all it will show you every week you certified and when it was completed. It's a pain in the rear but it should work for ya. Good luck!

Emily
Sat, 09/19/2020 - 10:13pm

Same ...

Corey
Sun, 09/20/2020 - 2:30am

I haven’t received mine either and it’s impossible to reach anyone to discuss.

Lauren Ross
Sat, 09/19/2020 - 1:36pm

Thanks for the detailed information that I haven't found anywhere else. I think from what I've read that if I haven't received the first round of $900 there is still a glitch for me. I have been filing since 4/4 and was unemployed during the weeks ending 8/1 through 9/5, receive $362 per week so I am above the $100 minimum.

I haven't received an email or a link to self certify. I was initially laid off due to my employer's company going out of business (layoff) but I lost a new job due to covid-19 (Never hired but was supposed to start). I have been fretting that since my original reason was non-covid-19 that's why I'm not getting it but it sounds likeI should have seen a link to self-certify. I have logged on every day and no link. I sent a message through their system so as not to bother them with a call but I haven't received a reply in 3 days.
I wonder if I should call Monday if I still don't see it. My last certification was last Sunday.

Anyone else still haven't received the first $900 wave?

Zadie
Sun, 09/20/2020 - 7:49pm

I have not received the 900.00 yet but i did get in contact with someone at the office and asked why i hadn't not and she stated that they are sent out in batches and she stated that as long as a person received 100.00 in unemployment they would receive the payments all i can say is be patience

chinyere olumba
Fri, 09/25/2020 - 5:07pm

I have yet to receive my first $900 and it's September 25th. I never received the recertify link for PUA, which I have already certified the first time, which is why I was able to receive the extra $600. This is very frustrating, especially since I've emailed within my MiWam account and emailed the director of wages.

Chelsea
Wed, 10/07/2020 - 7:17am

I haven't received anything other than Aug 15 & 22 and then the 2 subsequent weeks after that. It went from 2 payments and didn't get anything additional just 160 & 160. And then actually I worked for my dad so I reported earnings and I got 105 and 55 dollar payment. That's all I've received and I am just about losing my damn mind. I have a water bill that is gonna get shut off and bills mounting. I'm a single mother and I I NEED MY MONEY

Rachel
Sat, 09/19/2020 - 6:59pm

there are alot of people laid off like myself a permanent lay off thaylt havent received the first 900 and yet some are getting their 2nd. Its ridiculous!

taylor810
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 5:17am

They say that they are able to get those $900 payments out faster to those of us on PUA Unemployment claims rather than regular unemployment claims for whatever reason. Maybe because we are already linked to federal money rather than state money.

Sara Taylor
Sun, 09/20/2020 - 12:21am

If we still haven't received the first $900 should we continue to wait or be worried and call? I do receive > $100 in unemployment each week. I am on traditional unemployment not PUA. There hasn't been a link to self-certify. I've checked my account every day for a couple of weeks. No emails from MIWAM/UIA either.

Mina
Sun, 09/27/2020 - 10:01am

uia-miwamissues@michigan.gov
Sara, try that email, write/document and send.
Wait 24 hours, check your claim/account on Mi Unemployment.

It's worth a shot. Mina

Julio
Sun, 09/20/2020 - 8:03pm

Everyone is now waiting for their benefits. Wouldn't it be better to get a job instead of waiting for this money? It is mentally and physically healthy to be productive. I think there is a lot of regret coming in the future when you can't find a job, your benefits have ran out, and cost of living is high because the economy is imploding. Then on top of that you will have formed more of a desire not to work and won't have the fortitude to do so and hate the world and those who are working that are doing better than you.

pgardner@bridge...
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 10:35am

One thing to consider is this is not a typical unemployment scenario. Many of the unemployed workers waiting for benefits right now are on furlough or what they hope is still a temporary layoff. Returning to their former job is still their preferred outcome, especially if that was full time with benefits.

Brynne
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 1:31pm

Seriously?? There are 4-5 people looking for work for every job opening. If you, and this is obviously just one of many scenarios that could cause a problem in getting hired now, have several degrees and your speciality is data architecture, and if go into Amazon warehouse, McDonalds, Walmart, etc. to get a job they wouldn't hire you. Rule of thumb: For every $10,000 in salary it takes a month to find suitable employment. 90,000= nine months. 50,000 = five months. Of course there are exceptions but not likely during covid-19.
Go over to the Wall Street Journal and post insensitive comments like yours. It's not helpful here unless you're hiring and you're willing to hire everyone you assume is just being lazy.

HM
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 2:38pm

So in your world people are choosing not to work? The deadly global pandemic and rising death rate is not an issue?

taylor810
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 5:28am

where are these hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers going to find this job you are suggesting?...all while staying healthy and not getting sick or dying?

Lexie
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 10:33am

This isn’t a “get a job you hobo” scenario. Whole industries are still either closed or severely limited. Countless business have gone out of business. Michigan’s population is largely remote. People have to figure out how to educate remote schooling children, work with no to limited daycare options, find work in remote areas, hope they or their kids don’t get Covid (while they’ve lost their medical insurance) or they have to learn a whole new trade entirely which means entry level pay with bills that came from a higher paid life, pre pandemic. Your selfrighteousness, oversimplification of things helps no one. Open your eyes, support your fellow statesmen, start demanding solutions from our state government and be thankful your life is going well.

James
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 6:50pm

Some of us have jobs that are not currently full time due to covid set backs. You should be more considerate before you lump EVERYONE into a category of milking the system.

Jobless in Michigan
Thu, 09/24/2020 - 9:57am

I think you might be mistaken, although some people may be advantageous in unemployment benefits gains. There are many like myself who have been hunting, calling, applying, etc. Etc. With out success. For every 1 job post you have 100- 500 applicants its like a lottery to get a call back. I would much rather work 12 hours 7 days a week than put up with this. It's humiliating and depressing to 45 years old and looking for a new job. Receiving UIA benefits is not why I went to college, but the general assumption is that I chose to be cut from my employment. Im so happy you have a job and also wish I was back to work, but please be mindful of this very real struggle.

Lexie
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 12:15am

UIA has not issued the first round of LWA payments to countless Michiganders and continues to be either unavailable for communication or the reps are absolutely clueless. I have decided to relocate and go back to school. I needed to ask specific questions about my benefits so I’ve been attempting to reach someone for months. One rep had her TV on so I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Another rep suggested I not be honest about my return to school. A message I sent on the portal 2 months ago has still not been answered. If the state is going to continue to be limited in operations, with whole industries closed or severely limited, the state needs to ensure those affected receive the support and benefits they’re entitled to.

Ben B
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 1:37pm

Bridge MI: Now that the weekend is over, you should really consider writing a follow-up to this. We're quite a long way away from those weeks that we were supposed to receive a payment and yet... nothing.

This hurts real Michigan families. Please dig into this for us. Why have many people still not received the first $900? When should those people expect payment?

HM
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 2:36pm

The system isn't experiencing mere "glitches" it's completely broken. Weeks are going by with no payments. People are waiting MONTHS for pending payments to be released.

There's no communication to the people. Deadlines come and go with no updates. Phone agents can't help solve any issues nor answer any questions. I've been hearing "any day now" for 2 months. We're completely in the dark and weeks are ticking by. Not days, WEEKS!
Can it still be considered help if it never comes?

Brian
Mon, 09/21/2020 - 5:00pm

Well, I'm still waiting for my unemployment form March. I have been in processed - pending payment for 2 months. I know it's coming but I wish it would get here sooner than later.

Dylan
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 12:01am

Just thought I'd add another "same." I was "temporarily" laid off in March, been collecting benefits all summer, but not the FEMA. So, being temp laid off is the trigger for the glitch?

Good luck, folks.

Holly Adams
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 2:59am

9/22 and I still have not recieved anything towards the extra 300.00. After finally being able to get through to unemployment ...only because of a method learned on a Michigan Unemployment Unemployment support group the rep hsd the audacity to tell me "you people were told noyt to call us about this on the UIA"..."we people" are losing everything weve worked for our whole lives over this nightmare! I dont know what to do to find out when payment is coming. As the bills go unpaid and my depression reaches a very scary level...here I am again scouring the web a 3am unablev to sleep for the 6th month in a row with NO HOPE IN SITE. THIS JOKE OF AN UNEMPLOYMENT ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIER INABILITY TO DO WHST OUR TAX DOLLARS OAY FOR!!!! "WE PEOPLE SHOULD INSIST ON IT" Somebody please please please HELP US

May
Tue, 09/22/2020 - 9:05pm

So are we going to get our regular unemployment plus $300 or just the $300 until that runs out or what? No communication at all.

Sarah
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 9:24am

Am becoming increasingly alarmed that I have not received any of the LWA payments yet. Received my most recent UIA deposit today and still nothing from LWA. I have certified successfully all along and meet the minimum unemployment payment amount of $100 per week. The only thing the LWA is assisting with is the increase to my stress level.

Anyone who has successfully received a LWA payment, did it come with your UIA or PUA payment or dues it appear in your account on a random day? Trying to plan for when next deposit is possible for bill payment.

Thank you Michigan Bridge fir the article. Still only mention I can find anywhere. Would appreciate follow up on why first LWA payments have not been received yet.

Amy
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 4:29pm

Also just received UIA deposit today, but no sign of the $300 LWA. Still haven't seen anything related to the LWA payment, but it sounds like I'm not alone.

Sarah
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 9:13pm

Thanks for the update, Amy. Hope we all see them soon!

Jenn
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 3:41pm

What happens if your unemployment just ran out? Will you still get the $300 per week for those weeks when you were still getting benefits? The last weeks I had left I just certified for and have zero weeks left and it says "Closed" now. Will I still get those weeks if my claim just ran out this week? I'm so confused..

Sarah
Wed, 09/23/2020 - 9:16pm

Jenn,
I wish I knew the answer. I’m nearly in your situation as I only have .5 of a week left (due to being laid off mid-week.) Fairness would say that we still receive those payments. I’m not any less in need of those extra funds for those 6 weeks just because I no longer have unemployment to claim. I have not seen our situation addressed anywhere before.

Depressed in Mi...
Thu, 09/24/2020 - 9:49am

I certified as usual, now its processed pending payment and called the office 2x and they only say its just delayed nothing is wrong. We had a technical error. Well DTE and Mortgages do not accept that answer. I am hunting for a job and so stressed on top of it all because I'm afraid ever minute I will have no power, be living on a park bench (if there are any left) and starving. I just need to have some answers the MIwam system and Midas are awful it has created an abundance of trouble for people who really need help. The system also says I was paid for the 300.00 but never seen that either - the funds aren't their I believe it was lies and another way to clog the system. I budgeted for general UIA benefits not for the extra. I even told them if the gold up is LWA then they can exclude me. I just need to be able to get by til I find a job. I've always been employed and would rather work 5 jobs than have to put up with this. No answers No help No date of correction No good news. God help me

Still Waiting
Mon, 09/28/2020 - 2:29pm

Michigan UIA department is useless and incompetent. I am still waiting on my payment and I know other people that got the extra money. They are full of excuses, and people are really in need out here and they continue to play games with people's only income.

sherri newville
Tue, 10/20/2020 - 6:54pm

I started receiving unemployment the end of July and received 3 or 4 checks then everything just stopped! It's been a little over 3 months since I first filed and no back pay either!