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Michigan to process backlog of jobless claims filed before May by July 4

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency on Tuesday says it will eliminate a backlog of unpaid claims filed prior to May 1 by Independence Day.

There are 11,824 workers still awaiting a decision on eligibility, about 0.5% of all claims, according to the agency. Since March 15, 2.2 million eligible claimants have applied for state and federal benefits, which at times has overwhelmed the system and delayed the up to roughly $900 per week in payments.

“While most of our eligible workers have been paid," Steve Gray, the agency's director, said in a statement, "the unprecedented number of claims during this crisis means that there are still tens of thousands of real Michiganders needing one-on-one review to pay benefits."

The organization says by July 4 it will pay out benefits, communicate why the claimant is ineligible or deem the worker unreachable after multiple attempts to make contact. Gray added the state is "working around the clock" and enhancing its resources quickly to eliminate the remaining backlog.

The state has approved and submitted benefits to 94.5% of eligible claimants. There are 90,000 unpaid claims flagged as potentially fraudulent, while another 33,000 are pending review for other reasons.

Since March 15, the state has paid out more than $14.3 billion in benefits to more than 2 million workers. 

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble