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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [02/24/2011]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 11-0210-BOS

US Department of Labor announces grant to help New Hampshire workers with health insurance payments

Funds also will allow state to upgrade existing benefit payment system

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $744,000 grant to provide partial premium payments for health insurance coverage to about 150 jobless workers in New Hampshire. Funds also will be used to upgrade the state's existing benefit payment system.

"Being without health care coverage can be one of the most stressful aspects of losing one's job," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "When workers have some assurance that their coverage will continue beyond a layoff, they can better focus on the task at hand: finding another good job that leads to long-term career opportunities."

The grant, awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, will be used to provide "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.

The payments provided through this grant cover the gap period, that is, the time it takes to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC program. The state of New Hampshire will provide two to three months of gap filler payments for each participant. New Hampshire also will use part of these funds to upgrade the state's existing benefits payment system.

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