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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [09/26/2013]
Contact Name: Jason Kuruvilla
Phone Number: (202) 693-6587
Email:
Kuruvilla.Jason@dol.gov
Release Number: 13-1981-NAT

US Labor Department awards grants to boost state Unemployment Insurance program integrity, performance and system improvement projects

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced awards totaling approximately $176.4 million to 40 state workforce agencies for Unemployment Insurance program integrity, performance and system improvement projects. The grants are intended to: support the prevention and detection of UI improper benefit payments, improve state performance and address outdated information technology system infrastructures necessary to improve UI program integrity. Included in these awards are three state consortia grants totaling approximately $98.8 million for projects designed to improve overall program quality, performance and integrity.

"The Unemployment Insurance program is a critical lifeline for those experiencing tough financial times. It helps families keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and provides a boost to the local economy," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "The grants announced today will support state efforts to ensure the program runs efficiently, so that it can remain in place for individuals and families in the future."

To qualify for program integrity funding, states must have implemented or committed to implement a set of core integrity activities. These grant awards support business process analyses to identify areas of weakness that may contribute to improper payments and then design ways to improve performance; promote the implementation and expansion of the State Information Data Exchange System, commonly referred to as SIDES; ensure the implementation of state-identified prevention strategies to prevent improper payments before they occur; and continue the operation of a Cross-Functional Integrity Task Force.

Three grants are being awarded to consortia involving nine states for projects designed to improve overall program quality, accountability, performance and integrity. The consortia approach minimizes the cost of multiple states implementing expensive system redesigns while achieving important program integrity functionality. Consortia grants will be used to design and implement UI tax or benefit systems, as well as implement technology-based tools to prevent, detect and recover improper UI payments. Past consortia grants have resulted in new software solutions that incorporate important integrity functions, such as improved cross-matching, and the integration of SIDES to facilitate communication between states and employers regarding individual eligibility.

These integrity investments will work in conjunction with other strategies being employed to hold states accountable for improved prevention, detection and recovery of improper payments, including: annual reporting on state actions to address improper payments, new state performance measures and quarterly tracking of state implementation of core strategies and individual state improper payment data. Individual state improper payment data can be viewed at http://www.dol.gov/dol/maps/map-ipia.htm.

Editor's note: A complete list of funds awarded can be found below.




Fiscal Year 2013 Unemployment Insurance Program Integrity Awards

Summary

Funding Category

Amount Awarded

Program Integrity — Core and Focus Areas

$77,635,182

Information Technology Consortium Projects

$98,771,460

Total

$176,406,642



Program Integrity — Core and Focus Areas

State

Amount Awarded

Arizona

$1,492,834

California

$3,524,328

Colorado

$1,292,517

Delaware

$419,681

Florida

$1,695,125

Georgia

$1,658,884

Hawaii

$890,025

Iowa

$2,674,185

Idaho

$2,347,586

Illinois

$2,273,674

Indiana

$2,109,047

Kansas

$1,964,574

Kentucky

$2,729,039

Louisiana

$2,984,218

Maryland

$1,598,683

Maine

$2,409,857

Michigan

$1,768,903

Missouri

$2,344,735

Mississippi

$940,000

North Dakota

$74,131

Nebraska

$2,296,213

New Hampshire

$1,963,494

New Jersey

$2,350,000

New Mexico

$2,649,955

New York

$2,835,446

Ohio

$2,968,882

Oregon

$2,179,917

Pennsylvania

$3,133,758

Rhode Island

$1,612,012

South Carolina

$2,572,923

South Dakota

$885,000

Tennessee

$2,011,491

Texas

$2,430,190

Virginia

$1,147,696

Virgin Islands

$2,746,263

Vermont

$1,427,885

Washington

$1,682,262

Wisconsin

$2,796,989

West Virginia

$752,780

Total

$77,635,182



Consortium Projects

Consortium

Amount Awarded

Maryland (lead), Vermont and West Virginia

$82,771,460

Colorado (lead), Arizona, North Dakota and Wyoming

$12,000,000

New York (lead) and New Jersey

$4,000,000

Total

$98,771,460