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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [11/23/2010]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Mike Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x3414
Release Number: 10-1634-DEN

US Department of Labor announces grant exceeding $517,000 to provide Utah workers with health insurance payments

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $517,197 grant to provide an estimated 210 jobless workers in Utah with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage.

"The challenges associated with a job search are daunting enough without worrying about a lack of health insurance if you or a family member falls ill or needs medical attention," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This funding will help eligible Utah residents pay for health insurance while they seek out new careers that pay family-supporting wages and provide benefits for the long term."

The grant, awarded to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, will be used to make "gap filler" payments for unemployed individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit program. Under the program, eligible individuals can receive 80 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs.

These payments cover the gap period, that is, the month(s) to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC program. The state of Utah will provide two to three months of "gap filler" payments for these participants with the funds provided by the Labor Department.

This grant will be funded by resources made available for National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

National Emergency Grants are awarded at the discretion of the secretary of labor based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.doleta.gov/NEG.