Senate approves Bellino’s state unemployment system reform

Categories: Bellino News

The Michigan Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Joe Bellino fixing Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

The measure is part of a bipartisan bill package addressing the failures of the UIA based on the findings of a workgroup consisting of legislators and other stakeholders. Bellino’s bill clarifies the employer determination process of claims filed against them.

“Many times, employers either fail to adequately respond to claims against them or the UIA cannot get any information from employers due to lack of communication in the current system,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “Because of this, claims are delayed or fraudulent claims are processed.”

Bellino’s bill proposes solutions for an employer failing to respond in a timely manner to unemployment claims against them and agency-requested information.

Other measures in the bipartisan bill package:

  • Ensure claimants don’t get charged interest on overpayments due to agency failure;
  • Give those accused of fraud access to an advocacy program;
  • Allow the reopening of a fraud case by the agency within three years with good cause;
  • Create a new process for the agency to handle potential identity theft claims; and
  • Clarify the eligibility for hardship waivers and the agency’s process for ruling on applications for a waiver.

House Bill 5170, along with the rest of the bill package, moves to the governor for approval.