Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
I was interested in the previous person's experience with Michigan Unemployment. A friend of mine was unemployed and collecting unemployment for about 4 months. He found a job, and the day before he started the job, his wife from whom he was separated told him she had filed for divorce. He was a total wreck--not sleeping, not eating, and having a very difficult time concentrating on what he was doing while he was being trained in on the new job. He continued to collect unemployment because he thought he was going to be fired, amounting to approximately $3000. He told me he had done this, and I guess I gave him the wrong advice--neither of us realized that there would be a huge penalty, and I told him I thought the right thing to do would be to tell the state the situation, and offer to pay back the $3000. The state responded by giving him a $15,000 penalty on top of the $3000 he owes. His income is small and he has to pay them $125.00 each month. After paying child support and the money to unemployment, he can't afford a place to live, and can't afford to put gas in his vehicle, causing him to ride a bike to work when he can't pay for gas. He is driving a beat up truck that was given to him by a relative after his car was repossessed. He has continued to drive the truck after it was totaled in an accident because he couldn't afford to add money to what the insurance company paid him to get another vehicle. He can't afford to pay a lawyer. Is there any way a lesser settlement could be negotiated with the state, since he did own up to his mistake with them and offered to pay back the $3000? I have always felt honesty is the best policy but in this case the advice I gave him made his situation worse.
Response: Your friend may apply for hardship waiver. However, since he knowingly collected unemployment benefits when he should not have, it is unlikely for the state to waive the repayment due to financial hardship. Nonetheless, it would not hurt for him to go ahead and request the waiver. For more information on how to request the waiver, click here.
I see that you are licensed in MA and NY. Does your answer apply nationwide, or is there any chance that the state law in Michigan may be different?
Response: My answer is specifically based on the laws of the State of Michigan. The link that I provided you is the link to Michigan division of unemployment compensation. Here is the link once more:
Waiver of Overpayment repayment.
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