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Unemployment Q&A for common issues

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Posted at 12:38 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 12:38:48-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — These are just a few of the questions I've sent to Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Read below for answers.

MIWAM Mistakes

RYAN: If someone makes a mistake on their MIWAM - either puts in too much money that they made, waives a week, etc. is there a way for them to go back and correct it?

UIA: To make a correction, claimants should send a correspondence via their MIWAM account or calling the customer service phone line.

RYAN: If they can correct the mistake, do they have to do so within a certain amount of time?

UIA: Claimants should contact the agency as soon as they realize the error has occurred. If the certification is timely, a correction can be made.

Regular Claim VS PUA Claim

RYAN: Some people are denied regular unemployment then get put on a PUA claim. After protesting, they get a letter saying they should not have been denied - so some of them would get the $362 instead of the $160.

What will happen for them? Will they get the extra $202 for all the weeks that they were qualified?

UIA: When an individual is eligible for a higher weekly benefit rate, we will issue a payment adjustment.

RYAN: When would they get it?

UIA: If found eligible, payments are processed the next business day. Depending on their payment method, the funds should be available in 3 to 5 business days.

RYAN: Is there anything they need to do to get that back pay - once they get a letter telling them they qualified for the normal claim?

UIA: No action is required of the individual.

Protesting a Determination

RYAN: What can I tell people who are still waiting for an answer to their protest?

UIA: For non-monetary cases, when we are made aware of a disagreement or dispute of a determination, the case is reopened and reevaluated. A redetermination would be issued after the matter is reviewed. The preferred method of submitting a protest of a determination, for claimants and employers, is to use MIWAM.

We want claimants to know that we will get to their protest as quickly as possible. If additional information is needed, the Agency will make contact the claimant before closing an issue. Claimants and Employers can assist us in answering the Agency’s calls or respond to voicemail in a timely manner.

RYAN: What's the backlog for protests?

UIA: The amount of time it takes to review a protest depends on the type of the protest and how it was submitted. Because we receive documents daily through MiWAM, mail and fax, while also processing work, the number of protests fluctuates.

RYAN: Who looks at them?

UIA: All non-monetary protests are reviewed by UIA.

RYAN: How many people are devoted to just protests?

UIA: It depends on the workload and the type of protests. Staff could review Protest correspondence or the adjudication of redeterminations. All staff currently adjudicating could resolve a redetermination. The staffing in that area is based on operational needs.

RYAN: Is there a deadline for the agency to respond with a re-determination or answer them?

UIA: No, there is no federal deadline for us to complete a redetermination. We resolve oldest cases first. However, the faster we can respond to a protest, the faster payments can be issued if eligible and the faster a party who might disagree with our redetermination can appeal and have a hearing.