Just as Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency finished implementing new federal programs that allow the majority of unemployed workers in the state to claim benefits, some users were unable to log in to the site Monday morning.
When claimants went to the state’s unemployment website and tried to log in with their MiWAM logins, they were redirected to a waiting area, and then the site wouldn’t load.
Caleb Buhs, communications director for Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget, said MiLogin, which allows users to access many state services and systems online across multiple departments, “is experiencing slowness this morning causing some users the inability to connect.”
Buhs said the department is working on identifying the cause of the issue, and said he didn’t have an estimated time for when it would return to a normal operating speed.
The state agency announced Monday that it had completed system updates for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs for claimants who had exhausted their benefits prior to Dec. 26.
With those updates, the majority of filers can now claim benefits, with the agency updating the new federal programs in waves over the last month. Those updates likely drove an increase in traffic to the website Monday morning, as claimants who had been without benefits for more than a month went to file.
The site had crashed early on in the pandemic, when more than a million state residents filed for benefits in a short period of time as businesses across the state shut down under the state’s stay home order.
Now, there’s a group of more than 200,000 Michigan residents who haven’t received a check since the end of December.
The state UIA rolled out the new federal programs, which extended PUA and PEUC benefits and offer a supplemental $300 benefit, throughout January. Those on regular state unemployment insurance and Extended Benefit (EB) programs were the first to get the $300 benefit earlier in January. The agency then implemented the programs for PEUC and PUA claimants who had benefit weeks remaining as of Dec. 26 in the middle of last month.
The delays have led to angst among filers who haven’t received benefits in over a month and left many wondering if they would get their checks at all.
Separately, Michigan’s UIA offered more details Monday on what claimants filing for benefits should expect.
PUA claimants who exhausted their original 39 weeks of benefits prior to Dec. 26 can now reopen their claim to receive an additional 11 weeks of benefits, retroactive to the week ending Jan. 2. PUA claimants will need to submit proof of their employment to be eligible, with acceptable documents including tax documents, paycheck stubs, state or federal employer identification numbers, business licenses, business receipts or a signed affidavit.
Claimants should not submit this information until they’re instructed to do so, the…
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