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ETA News Release: [03/19/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0341-SEA

US Department of Labor announces $4.8 million grant to provide Washington state workers with health insurance payments

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $4,847,959 grant to provide an estimated 1,500 jobless workers in Washington state with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage.

"Today's grant will help Washington state residents pay for health insurance while they seek new employment. That makes good sense. After all, losing your job is bad enough, but the impact is gravely compounded if it also means the loss of health benefits," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Awarded to the Washington State Employment Security Department, this grant 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. Through today's funding, the state of Washington will provide up to three months of gap filler payments for the participants.

Of the $4,847,959 announced today, $2,583,912 will be released initially. Additional funding up to the amount approved will be made available as the state 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