Hope for Unemployment Recipients.

            Several years ago, the State of Michigan began an automated process to catch fraudsters claiming unemployment. The automated system worked well from the State’s perspective and found tens-of-thousands of Michiganders who had committed fraud. They were assessed penalties in the amount of four times the payment received and the State of Michigan pursued these unemployed “fraudsters” to the ends of the earth. Property was seized and the State pursued the individuals through bankruptcy to have the debt survive. It did all of this knowing that its automated system has serious flaws. Several class action lawsuits were filed and the Federal government conducted an investigation and found that 93% of the fraud determinations were inaccurate. The head of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has been removed from the post and the State of Michigan is promising changes. Hopefully, the State of Michigan will stop treating the unemployed as criminals and correct the many people it falsely claimed to have cheated the system. The Detroit Free Press has written extensively on the problem (see, http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/01/05/michigan-unemployment-insurance-agency/96205168).

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