As we continue to address COVID-19 and the broad effects it has had on every facet of our lives, I wanted to provide you with a few updates. Please continue to take care of yourself and your family.
Enough is Enough
As many of you have seen, people all over the country are rising up against the systemic racism and apathy for Black America’s reality that led to the death of George Floyd. This is not the first time the people of our nation have cried out against oppression and injustice, and it likely will not be the last. But even still, as I joined so many of you Thursday night, I felt the hope that change was coming rising in my chest.
These continued incidents of violence and murder at the hands of the police not only bring up a collective horror and grief, for me, but they also remind me of personal tragedies. I know this lost because last year I lost my son. Ten years ago, I lost my nephew. These are not wounds that heal overnight. So in their memory and the memory of all that we have lost, it is vital that we continue fighting to end police brutality.
My colleagues and I in the Legislature are working on the necessary changes to the law, so that police officers must be held accountable when they violate their oath and abuse those they are sworn to protect. I see you, I am with you, and do not lose hope, you can succeed where we have failed in the past. Injustice only disappears in the strength of the light, so be strong, and keep shining the light of truth on these injustices. We can and will overcome this — together.
Upcoming Virtual Education Town Hall
The pandemic’s impact on our students and teachers has been immense. While everyone is doing what they can to continue education opportunities during this trying time, we need to continue to plan on how we will get our kids back on track when it is safe for them to return to school and what we can do in the interim.
Please stay tuned to these emails and my social media accounts for more details. I look forward to seeing you and please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office in the meantime.
MI Safe Start Plan
On Friday, Gov. Whitmer announced that Regions 6 & 8 of Michigan, including the U.P. and northern lower Michigan, will move to Phase 5 of reopening under her MI Safe Start Plan beginning June 10.
Beginning Wednesday, June 10, salons, barber shops, movie theaters, and gyms may reopen as long as they adopt proper safety measures, practices and training, including:
- Implementing workplace infection-control practices;
- Training employees to properly use personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Informing workers on the steps, they must take to notify their employers of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; and
- Teaching workers how to report unsafe workplace conditions.
Under Phase 5, indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people will be allowed with social distancing and other precautions, as well as outdoor social gatherings of up to 250 people as long as attendees maintain 6 feet of distance from each other.
Outdoor performance and sports venues may reopen with up to 500 people with precautions, allowing some outdoor graduation ceremonies to take place.
Beginning Monday, June 15, personal care services like salons, barbershops, and massage and nail parlors can reopen with strict social distancing precautions throughout the rest of the state. At this time, the rest of the state will remain in Phase 4.
This executive order still allows for cities, villages, townships and other local entities to choose to take a more cautious course of re-engagement if they wish.
For more information on Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan, click here.
Protect Yourself from Potential UIA Fraud
The U.S. Secret Service and the Office of Inspector General are working with states across the country to reduce the risk of international criminals attempting to unlawfully access unemployment benefits at a time when residents need that support the most.
Although Michigan hasn’t been targeted yet, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is proactively taking steps to authenticate claims — including asking some claimants to submit additional information. If you or someone you know has received a notice regarding your claim, you’ll find more information below.
For claims that require additional information:
- The UIA will send residents Form UIA 6347 Request for Identity Verification by U.S. Postal Service mail, which will provide a mailing address or fax number for submitting ID verification documents.
- For faster processing, UIA encourages residents to upload copies of the requested documents electronically to their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM).
In addition to Form UIA 6347, residents will also be asked to provide their:
- US Passport or US Passport Card,
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card
- Driver’s licenses or ID card AND
- Social Security Card, or
- Original or certified copy of birth certificate
How to upload documents to MiWAM:
- Login to MiWAM account and under “I Want To”, click “Send Unemployment a Message” to upload required documents. Documents may be sent by message 24/7.
Tips to Prevent Unemployment Identity Theft
When individuals file a claim for unemployment, they receive a written Monetary Determination letter. If you receive this letter and have not applied for benefits, or the name listed is not yours, be sure to contact UIA immediately online at Michigan.gov/UIA and click on the “Report Identity Theft” icon or call the customer service hotline at (866) 500-0017.
If you believe you’re the victim of identity theft, you can place fraud alerts on your credit reports for free through Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You only need to contact one credit bureau and they will contact the others for you.
- Guard your Social security number. Give it out only when absolutely necessary.
- Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal information like your name, birth date or bank account number by phone, mail or online.
- Shred your receipts, credit card offers, account statements and expired cards to prevent individuals from acquiring your personal information.
- Review your credit report at least once a year to be certain it doesn’t include accounts you haven’t opened.
- You can access your free annual credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax at com or by calling (877) 322-8228.
You can find additional tips to keep yourself protected by clicking here.
Please contact my office directly if you or someone you know is in need. My contact information is below.
State Representative Brenda Carter
29th House District