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Massive amounts of lay-offs create issues filing unemployment

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Posted at 7:48 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 18:06:19-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michiganders are finding it difficult to get on the state's Unemployment website, understandably so considering the massive amount of temporary lay-offs happening at once. Fox 17 spoke with Deb Fragel on Thursday, an HR professional at a large company in West Michigan. Part of her job for the past couple of weeks has been processing unemployment claims to help people at the company where she works. Fragel told us that she gets on mi.gov/uia every night, usually after 9pm, and finds it available and easy to navigate.

Fragel told us the number one problem people are making is not properly logging in, often not knowing that they already have an account set-up, despite never before filing for unemployment. "If they don't have a log-in, they build one. If they've logged in to the Secretary of State for child support, if they've gotten a hunting license thru that mi-login, they already have a log-in. They use that one, then they go in and get to MiWAM thru that," said Fragel. She adds that it's imperative that users click on the correct reason for the lay-off on the site's drop down menu, related to Covid 19. That will ensure that you get the proper new unemployment benefits, which will not require you to search for work two times a week, every week.

Despite the frustrations, Fragel says to resist the urge to call the Unemployment Agency, and remember, if you're locked out, that only last for 30 minutes. "The problem is, it's just jam packed, it's just clogged. But actually the system works very well when you're in. In fact, I haven't seen it work this well in the 17 years that I've done this," Fragel told Fox 17.