Bumstead legislation would provide support to families in need of unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead plans to introduce legislation Tuesday that would help families who have not received their unemployment benefits due to the backlog of cases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My office has been contacted by hundreds of constituents and families from all over Michigan who are suffering because they are not receiving the unemployment benefits they are entitled to,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Families throughout our state were promised help they never received, and it is time we make sure residents get the benefits they’re owed.”

Heavy traffic to Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) system, both online and by phone, has caused delays in filing claims and having questions answered. The agency has routinely asked for patience and continues to assure residents that everyone eligible for benefits will receive them.

Bumstead’s legislation would dedicate $11 million to add 300 temporary employees to help with the backlog at the UIA. The source of the funding will be the federal COVID-19 relief funds provided to Michigan.

“The current system was not prepared for an influx in the number of unemployment claims, and it is unacceptable that people are still not receiving their benefits,” Bumstead said. “I appreciate the hard work from the staff at the unemployment agency, but it is clear they need additional resources so folks can get the help they deserve.”