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PROBLEM SOLVED: UIA releases funds after FOX 17 sends in claims

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-05 13:26:20-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tens of thousands are still waiting for payment from Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Their bills are overdue, they can’t afford food, and they’re worried about losing their homes and cars.

But now there’s some good news for filers who reached out to the Fox 17 Problem Solvers.

A couple weeks ago, I reached out to the governor’s office for comment about the UIA asking about people who were owed more than 10 weeks of payments.

Instead of responding to me, my message got forwarded to the UIA.

The agency then asked me to send along the name and claim number of the person I was writing about. Instead of sending in one, I sent in more than 700.

“Nothing has worked. Nothing. Like I said, eight weeks is patient enough. I don’t go back to work until July. I don’t know what else to try,” Abby Harrison told FOX 17 on June 2nd.

After waiting more than two months, she reached out to Fox 17 for help.

Nine days after her story aired, I emailed to see if she finally got things resolved.

She emailed back, “I have not received any money or correspondence from UIA. It will be 10 weeks on Monday.”

“And I’m hoping that this problem gets resolved with everybody else because I know there’s still a lot of people still waiting and it’s frustrating and maddening and you don’t know what else to do,” said Harrison.

After adding her name to our list and submitting it to the UIA, her backpay is finally in her account.

“It’s a huge relief, I mean I paid a bunch of bills that have been waiting and it’s just a huge relief,” she said. “Yes it’s amazing. It’s - amazing is all I can say.”

A.J. Mohr reached out to Problem Solvers after seeing our Facebook post.

“So, I just took a shot and honestly thank God,” he said. “I don’t know what you did but it worked.”

He too contacted the UIA several times and shows us the messages he submitted on his MIWAM account.

One said he had $200 left in his bank account. Others were titled “hello” and “no money”.

“The Problem Solvers handled it,” Mohr said.

His claim number was on our list too and his payments were quickly issued just days after our submission.

“And every time I checked my phone I just put it down and I’d be upset because I’d never see the money. So, I look it up and put my password in, my eyes get huge and I’m like ‘dad you’re not gonna believe this. I finally got all the money.”

Cindy emailed me Wednesday writing, “I wanted to say thank you VERY much for adding my grandson to the list you submitted to unemployment… If it had not been for you and your team I don’t think this kid would have ever gotten his benefits. Words cannot express my thanks to you!!!”

Joan also emailed me saying, “I just want to thank you for helping with unemployment. I did get a call last Saturday and today I got my unemployment money. Thank you so very much. God bless.”

Dozens of others have also reached back out to us too, saying they waited for weeks and it wasn’t until we sent in our list that they heard anything from the UIA.

Now they finally have their money.

“Hats off to you, that’s awesome. And the fact that you guys are doing something about it that’s what I find the most impressive the most admirable,” said Mohr. “Yea when I saw a comma in my bank account I was like ‘thank God’. It was a great feeling.”

And for now, their problem is solved.

We had more than 1,100 people reach out to us about their claims and those have all been sent in.

If you were one of them, just keep watching your account as we will not get individual updates.

Unfortunately, we cannot help every single case as the requests are so high, but we’re doing everything we can to help and hold the agency accountable.