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UIA offering virtual appointments in effort to increase accessibility

UIA, Unemployment Insurance Agency
Posted at 7:41 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 19:41:33-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Unemployment Insurance Agency has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing utilizing voice to text closed captioning.

Virtual appointments provide personal contact with a customer service agent and the convenience of a remote connection, a news release said Tuesday.

The 20-minute virtual appointments can be scheduled online up to one week in advance on the UIA’s website.

Up to 340 virtual appointments should be available per day.

“We’re excited to expand the ways that customers can get one-on-one service if they need assistance with their claim,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the UIA. “Offering virtual appointments also helps us to be more responsive to our customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

That’s because of the platform’s real-time captioning and chat features, according to Stephanie Beckhorn, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training.

Once the virtual appointment is scheduled, customers will receive an email with a link to join the appointment via Google Meet at the appointed day and time.

Customers will need to have a Gmail account to join from a mobile device, though they don’t need a Gmail account to join from a computer.

Hours of operation for virtual appointments are:

  • Monday-Wednesday from 8:15 a.m. to 4:25 p.m.
  • Thursday-Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.

So far, the UIA says it has held more than 12,000 virtual appointments, including 212 of which utilized the closed captioning feature.

In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, customers can contact the UIA by calling 866-500-0017, chatting with an agent through the Michigan Web Account Manager or scheduling a phone or in-person appointment here.

Elle Meyers

Elle Meyers

6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2021

State Capitol

Neighborhood Reporter

Elle Meyers

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