Michigan reverses 70% of unemployment fraud cases, to refund more than $20 million

Aug 11, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan says it has reversed 70% of unemployment benefit fraud cases and is refunding $20.8 million after people were wrongly accused of collecting excessive benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency announced the results of a review Friday. It reviewed more than 62,000 cases for people who were assessed a fraud penalty and did not seek an appeal. About 44,000 cases were reversed.

Michigan has been under fire for a computer system that wrongly churned out cases of fraud. Last month, it dropped criminal charges against 186 people.

Over a two year period, Gov. Rick Snyder's administration mostly relied on the computer system to flag thousands of people. They were hit with penalties, wage garnishments and lost tax refunds - before the state admitted it was wrong.

Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit claiming the state wrongfully accused thousands of people of unemployment fraud because the plaintiffs didn't file the lawsuit soon enough.