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ETA News Release: [12/28/2012]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4653
Release Number: 12-2477-ATL

US Department of Labor provides grant increment to assist Kentucky with health insurance payments for jobless workers

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $1.4 million National Emergency Grant increment award to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet's Department for Workforce Investment. The award will provide partial premium payments for health insurance coverage for eligible unemployed individuals.

"A job search is stressful enough without worrying about a lapse in health insurance coverage," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The additional federal funds announced today will provide continued assistance to dislocated workers so they won't be without health insurance while they search for new jobs."

The grant increment will enable the commonwealth of Kentucky to provide two to three months of "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 72.5 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs. These payments cover the period of time needed to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC program.

A National Emergency Grant was awarded to Kentucky on Oct. 22, 2009, for up to $6 million, with $3.6 million released initially. Today's increment of $1.4 million brings the total awarded to date to $5 million. Additional funding, up to the amount approved, will be made available as the commonwealth demonstrates a continued need for assistance.

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/.