Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency announced Thursday that it has sent out another round of waivers to claimants as it identifies those who were deemed eligible and received benefits in the pandemic but were later told they were overpaid and told to pay the money back.

In a news release, the agency said it sent out 7,300 waivers for overpayments related to state and federal COVID-19 claims, for a total of $53.2 million, or about $7,288 per claim. The UIA also said it will refund $2.4 million to claimants who were repaying benefits.

For claimants with more than one overpayment determination who receive a waiver for one determination but have others pending, the agency will apply those payments toward overpayments not covered by the waivers instead of issuing a refund.

UIA Director Julia Dale said in the news release that the waivers should provide “fresh hope” for Michigan residents who faced paying back benefits. Dale pointed to “frequently shifting federal and state program rules” as to why claimants were told they were overpaid.

Dale added that the agency still has more work to do in providing financial relief to claimants.

Over the last three months, the agency has waived a total of $484.2 million in overpayments from 62,300 claims. It’s unknown how many claimants are eligible for waivers because “it’s very difficult to quickly access information and requires programming to pull out specific data” from the agency’s current computer system, Nick Assendelft, a spokesperson for the agency, said in an email.

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