LANSING — A bill headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk transfers $10 million in “surplus” unemployment insurance funds to help balance the state budget at the same time thousands of Michigan residents are claiming millions of dollars in benefits and penalties were unlawfully taken from them after the state wrongly accused them of unemployment insurance fraud.
During their lame duck session, lawmakers gave final passage Tuesday to Senate Bill 1008, shifting $10 million to the state’s general fund from the unemployment insurance contingent fund.
Though fraud determinations have dropped sharply since late 2015, statistics released by the state Wednesday demonstrate the scope of the problem the state had with false fraud determinations over a two-year period.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, partly at the request of the federal government and partly on its own, reviewed 22,427 cases in which a computer determined a claimant had committed civil fraud between October 2013 and October 2015 and found that 20,965 of those cases did not involve fraud, Unemployment Insurance Agency spokesman Dave Murray said Wednesday. That’s an error rate of more than 93%.