DETROIT (WWJ) – Giving the unemployed a chance to speak out about the state’s unemployment system. SEIU New Solutions is hosting a discussion Wednesday, June 27, to allow unemployed workers and their advocates to talk about some of the problems with Michigan’s unemployment system.

Amy Tilchen, an attorney for the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Project, said many people grow frustrated, because they’d like to talk to a person rather than an automated system.

“If the workers at the agency were more accessible, if the claimants could talk to someone in person as opposed to a machine, then these problems could be resolved before the people come to us,” she said.

Tilchen said unemployed workers come up against many barriers that make the process more difficult than it should be, such as delays in distributing payments, long wait times for those who call in, inflexible call-in hours and inaccessibility.

Tilchen said more workers need to man the phones at the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency.

“I know that can be difficult, with the funding restraints that the state faces, however if staff was available, so that people could right from the start talk to a person more easily, then the frustration would be less and the problems could be resolved more quickly and it would benefit everyone,” she said.

Tilchen said agents at the unemployment office do a good job  but there is inconsistent training.

Unemployed Michigan workers, community leaders and advocates for a better system of helping those receiving UIA benefits are all welcome to attend the event, held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Detroit Federation of Teachers building — located at 2875 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.


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