COVID-19

Michigan labor office struggling with unemployment claims influx

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), which processes unemployment benefits for workers and employers, said it is stepping up efforts to process “unprecedented number of claims being filed” as social distancing measures and state work stoppage orders impact commerce throughout the state.

The LEO said laid off workers are met with busy signals and a slow website due to a rush of claims following the Michigan governor’s executive order expanding unemployment eligibility and benefits.

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“While an unprecedented number of calls and clicks has challenged the system, particularly during peak hours, we want to assure Michiganders that the system is providing emergency financial relief,” Steve Gray, director of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, said in a press statement.

“We have dedicated additional resources to process the influx of claims and have mobilized our entire team to help you through this difficult time,” the LEO said on its website. It also issued a number of recommended steps for workers to file their claims.

Bridge Magazine reports that other state institutions are also being overwhelmed by calls, including state and local law enforcement.

WWMT reports on local businesses struggling with the new, temporary business climate, and state offices that are available to help.

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