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Michigan News

Paying Benefits Vs. Preventing Fraud - The Quandry For Michigan's Unemployment System

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(AP PHOTO/CARLOS OSORIO)
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s acting unemployment director has told lawmakers that her office is trying to strike a balance between quickly paying benefits to jobless workers and preventing fraud. Liza Estlund Olson said Wednesday that  impostor claims are rampant in a backlog of approximately 90,000 cases. Olson took over the Unemployment Insurance Agency less than a month ago after the previous chief, Steve Gray, fell out of favor with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The agency last week released an independent report showing how — faced with an unprecedented deluge of claims during the coronavirus lockdown last spring — it made policy, technological and organizational changes that increased exposure to fraud.