Unemployment funds finally kick in after The Rebound Detroit steps in to help

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:19:08-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - (WXYZ) — "I’m really freaking out and panicking, as to what am I going to do?" said Veronica Davis.

7 Action News first introduced you to Davis last week while speaking to 7 Investigator Heather Catallo about her challenge to make ends meet.

"I keep them in a little jar, and my husband and I are like, 'OK, we’re down to just four quarters,'" Davis said.

Davis was worried while waiting for unemployment benefits she applied for back on March 30 immediately after being laid off as a clerical worker at Imlay City Ford.

"So we’re like... in case I need gas to go anyplace, that’s what we’ll use it for," Davis said. "I think we have enough food to last us, maybe if we’re lucky till next Wednesday."

Davis has been held up by a non-monetary issue.

In the meantime, Norman Comer, a retail worker in Ann Arbor, has been waiting six weeks for benefits. He has certified week after week but to date, has received no payment.

"Zero – haven't received a penny," Comer said.

In Southfield, Linda Holliday, a senior waiting seven weeks for benefits, tells 7 Action News that she’s been contacting the state to no avail, asking, "What can I do?"

Strapped for cash to pay the bills, we took their pleas to the state and soon after we stepped in, the UIA stepped up bringing relief to Holliday, Comer
and Davis, too.

"I can't explain it, it's an indescribable feeling," Davis said. "It really is just how grateful I am and my husband. I gave him a big hug and we both had tears in our eyes."

To those frustrated with the UIA, Employment Attorney Deborah Gordon says gives this advise:

"They have hired more people but you need to be persistent," she said.

The agency has beefed up its operations to help troubleshoot the claims still in limbo. The office began with 130 staffers pre-pandemic, and now there are more than 650 staffers manning the phones.

"Make sure you fill out the application in a way that you're most likely to get approved," Gordon said.

Here’s the Rebound Rundown

  • DO -- clearly state that your departure from work is involuntary
  • DO -- provide as much information and supporting documentation as possible
  • DON'T -- select the “leave of absence” option even if you’ve been furloughed

If you have a question on this topic, we’d be happy to hear it and help you find an answer. Just email us at the Rebound Detroit or join our Facebook group, Rebound Detroit.