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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [10/27/2009]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 09-1291-ATL

US Department of Labor announces $6 million grant to provide Kentucky workers with health insurance payments

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $6 million grant to provide an estimated 1,550 jobless workers in Kentucky with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage.

"The challenges associated with a job search are enough without worrying about a lack of health insurance if you or a family member fall ill or need medical attention," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This funding will help eligible Kentuckians 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 Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Department for Workforce Investment, 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 (HCTC) program. Under the program, eligible individuals can receive 80 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs. These payments cover the months it may take a worker to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC program.

Of the $6 million announced today, $3.6 million will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the commonwealth of Kentucky demonstrates a continued need for assistance.

The amount released today will be funded by resources made available for health coverage National Emergency Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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/.