DOL Provides Grants for State Unemployment Insurance Programs

September 18, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

the-beggar-739687-mPlanning to cheat your state’s unemployment system? Think again. The Department of Labor this week issued more than $87 million nationwide to improve state unemployment insurance programs. The funds will allow state agencies to implement program integrity and system improvement activities, and expand reemployment and eligibility assessment programs.

“These grants will allow state agencies to upgrade and enhance their unemployment insurance programs by adopting new technologies, ensuring payments are given to those eligible to receive them and incorporating programs to ensure recipients of unemployment insurance are given the resources they need to find a new job quickly,” Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a recent DOL release.

To receive funding, states must have implemented or have plans in place to implement a set of required integrity activities. Included in these awards are five state consortia grants of about $15.8 million for projects designed to improve overall program quality, performance and integrity. State consortia have also committed to implementing the full range of required integrity activities in order to qualify for UI information technology modernization funding.

In addition, Alaska, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Utah will receive some $5 million for the reemployment and eligibility assessment program. Six of these states are receiving grants to expand their use of REAs, and two states will implement new REA programs. The REA program introduces claimants to the reemployment services that are available at the American Job Center, helps them to develop an individual reemployment plan and includes a complete review of the claimant’s eligibility to assist in preventing unemployment insurance improper payments. In states that have REA programs, participants are referred to reemployment services that are appropriate for their needs.

Sounds like DOL is on the right track here. Let’s hope these grants provide some positive outcomes.

What do you think about these DOL grants? Is this money well-spent?

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