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Michigan to resolve claims

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan said it will soon resolve unemployment claims for about 11,800 people who filed before May.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency said Tuesday its goal is to clear a backlog that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic and make a determination on older claims by the end of next week. The agency will soon announce a target date to resolve claims filed in May or later.

For those still awaiting a decision on their eligibility, the state will pay benefits, determine the claimant is ineligible and communicate why, or deem the person unreachable after multiple attempts to make contact.

Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray, who was scheduled to testify before frustrated lawmakers today, said while eligible workers have been paid, “the unprecedented number of claims during this crisis means that there are still tens of thousands of real Michiganders needing one-on-one review to pay benefits.”

He said the agency is “working around the clock” to eliminate the backlog. Gray said 94.5% of 2.2 million eligible claimants have received or been approved for benefits.