ETA News Release: [06/04/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or 693-4676
Release Number: 09-627-PHI
U.S. Labor Department announces release of $9.2 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to District of Columbia
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $9,210,994 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.
"The District of Columbia's long-standing decision to use recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits helps to ensure that the needs of the 21st century labor force are met," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "It is the right thing to do for workers and is good for economic recovery."
The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the council, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
"We applaud the Department of Labor for supporting the district as we strive to provide exemplary employment-related services to those who need them the most during this economic crisis," said D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "These new funds will allow our Department of Employment Services to make our unemployment insurance system more efficient, to help get people back on their feet faster."
"The district's quick and commendable action to qualify for these funds vindicates our goal of reducing the stress of unemployment on a larger group of Americans caught in today's deep economic crisis," said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. The District of Columbia's approved application will be posted at the Department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery . States' approved applications also can be found at this site.