Reopening UIA regional offices should be a priority

We join state Rep. Sara Cambensy and others who are asking that Unemployment Insurance Agency regional offices and phone lines be reopened with all due haste.

The Marquette Democrat and a handful of Michigan House of Representatives members sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking as much.

The letter comes shortly after the state moved to the next phases of reopening under the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s announcement that SOS branch offices would begin reopening by appointment, a recent Mining Journal story on the issue detailed.

In addition, Cambensy issued a statement, which read, in part: “Our legislative offices can help categorize the easiest claims to resolve and create a list of constituents to schedule for appointments. Because our offices can only request a specialist to assist constituents with their claims, rather than go in and address claims directly, we feel this is the best way to get people their money the fastest.”

Of course, by now most of us have heard horror stories about filing for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, interminable waits, processing errors, the list goes on.

This is an effort to take a definite step in the right direction on a problem that has impacted many thousands of state residents at a tough time.

We hope these offices are opened very soon and outstanding cases are handled promptly.


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