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Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091


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The Performance of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance System: Using Individual Claims and Adjudication Data to Test and Strengthen the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Safety-net

Unemployment Insurance (UI) has historically provided stability to families through periods of economic hardship, keeping 3.2 million individuals out of poverty nationally in 2010. Over the past eight years, a variety of reforms have reduced the duration of benefit eligibility by 6 weeks and restricted eligibility for UI, spiking the rate of claims denials to 41% by 2016. These changes have denied benefits to thousands of unemployment insurance claimants. The number of unemployed workers who are applying for UI is also decreasing.

This project will acquire newly available claims and adjudication data for people across Michigan who have claimed benefits during the period from 2012-2018 in order to evaluate the performance of Michigan’s UI system following the legislative changes. Before analysis and accessible publication, the data will be privatized to protect claimants’ identities. Among other things the data will be analyzed for how often and what reasons late appeals adjudication were granted. The results will provide quantitative support for the UI Policy Clinic’s ongoing projects as well as ongoing research into the impact of recent legislative reforms.

Steve Gray, U-M Law School