LANSING, Mich., May 14, 2021 — State Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) testified in the House Workforce, Trades, and Talent Committee on Thursday morning on her legislation, House Bill 4434. The bill would require the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to use plain language in all direct communications with the public, in addition to the policies and rules the Agency creates.
“One of the things most asked by constituents trying to navigate the UIA system is ‘what does this mean’,” said Stone. “Honestly, this is a change we should have made years ago, but like many structural and system changes, COVID-19 made it worse. More people than ever have needed to rely on unemployment insurance due to the pandemic, and there simply were not enough people working at the Agency to answer all the questions and offer the appropriate levels of support. Since translation into layman’s terms is often the help people are seeking, we need to make sure people can understand these documents, letters and procedures.”
Under HB 4434, the UIA would have to include a clear, concise, and factual reason for any determination or redetermination provided to a claimant or employer, as well as a statement on the party’s appeal rights.