By Mike Kruzman & Jon King /

Livingston County residents who have been contacted by the Unemployment Insurance Agency, which is now questioning their eligibility for pandemic benefits, are encouraged to provide the needed information as soon as possible.

More than 600,000 Michigan residents who received pandemic-related unemployment aid are being told to update their accounts after the state learned that some reasons for eligibility approved months ago were wrong. Michigan has been paying an extra $300 a week in federal aid to jobless who qualify on top of maximum state benefits of $362.

In a release, the UIA states that there was ambiguity in the federal guidelines at the onset of the pandemic, and that the U.S. Department of Labor is now deeming four previously accepted reasons for assistance to no longer be valid: your work hours have been reduced as a direct result of COVID; you were seeking part-time employment affected by COVID; you have insufficient work history to qualify for regular unemployment and are affected by COVID; or you are unemployed or are working less than regular hours as a result of COVID and were denied on another claim.

Claimants should log on to their MiWAM account and click on the “Requalify for PUA” link under the Alerts tab. Those who have been so notified have 20 days to submit updated eligibility information.

Rachael Kohl, an attorney with the Workers’ Rights Clinic, said many people receiving letters are back to work. “I’m just hoping that the agency does the right thing, here,” Kohl told “Because at this point, this money’s been spent. And these people did nothing wrong to get it.”

Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said he would investigate the performance of the Unemployment Insurance Agency.