“The bottom line is that what the state is telling us is that nobody cares.”

“I work for the State of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services and we were furloughed one day a week for five pay periods, so that’s 10 days. As a part of that, we were supposed to get federal workshare money and small unemployment benefits … the next two periods went by and I still didn’t get payment. HR sent two more messages to UIA before they finally responded saying “all payments have been issued” for those weeks. It showed that those payments were issued and had ‘approved’ status, and gave the last four digits of the bank account where it was sent.”

“But it wasn’t my bank account. I was told to call UIA fraud if I didn’t get the payments, so I knew my payments were being stolen.”

“I have tried to call UIA multiple times and you try to press the right buttons to get where you need to go and, ultimately, it just ends up saying ‘all our representatives are busy, call back later, click.’ It’s just an automatic disconnect.”

“I have heard from nobody. It is the most helpless and hopeless feeling. I think how lucky I am. I’ve had a really good job, I have a savings account, and I wasn’t completely laid off. But there are people who have been completely laid off; I don’t know how they’re making it. I had enough to cover my bills but nothing more, so I had to dig into my savings account to buy groceries. I have a daughter who didn’t get a birthday gift, a grandson who didn’t get a birthday gift, and my boyfriend who I’ve lived with for 16 years that didn’t get a birthday gift because I’m just hoping this money comes in.”

“I hope that I can be a voice for other people because I don’t know how people are completely laid off and having these kinds of problems and nobody will respond. It’s like there’s no human compassion. There’s no kindness. It’s like we don’t matter.”

“[Gov. Whitmer’s] oversight of UIA appears to be nonexistent. The basic needs of families are going unmet. I have listened to the majority of her addresses to the state and have not heard her discuss the failure of the UIA system and what her plan is to care for the Michiganders who are affected. It feels like we have been forgotten by her.”

“At some point it becomes so hopeless you give up. If it was just the money, I’d just walk away and say I have to catch up. But this is my Social Security number … I know I need to protect myself, but I can’t even get the information.”

Sue Lamoreaux-Asplund
Daggett, Michigan