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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [05/15/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0541-PHI

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $62.8 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Virginia

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $62,817,683 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to be eligible for benefits. Virginia's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/.

"Virginia has a UI program that better meets the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "By using recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits, Virginia enables unemployed workers who are relatively new entrants to the workforce to get the assistance they need and deserve."

The Virginia Employment Commission can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

"Too many Virginians, like other Americans, are struggling to make ends meet during these tough economic times. We have a responsibility at the highest levels of government to do all we can to help," said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine. "These funds will provide critical relief to thousands of Virginia's displaced workers as we continue efforts to get our economy back on track."

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. In addition to Virginia, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and South Dakota have been certified by the Labor Department to receive a share of the funds.