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

Dec 2, 2020

An unemployed worker checks looks at the State of Michigan unemployment site, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Detroit.
Credit (AP PHOTO/CARLOS OSORIO)

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.