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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [03/30/2011]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or David Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x5945
Release Number: 11-0419-PHI

US Department of Labor announces grant to help West Virginians cover health insurance payments while seeking re-employment

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $500,000 National Emergency Grant to provide an estimated 500 jobless workers in West Virginia with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage.

"Searching for a new job is difficult enough without worrying about paying for health expenses out-of-pocket if the job seeker or a family member needs medical attention," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Helping these West Virginians 'bridge the gap' between jobs and maintain affordable insurance coverage is one way we can support the state's working families during this challenging time."

Awarded to Workforce West Virginia, the grant will be used to make health insurance payments for unemployed individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. Through the HCTC, individuals can receive 65 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs.

The funds announced today will be used to make "gap filler" payments that cover the two or three months it takes to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC.

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/.