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U.S. Dept. of Labor Announces Release of $10.4 million in Unemployment Insurance Modernization Incentive Funds Alaska

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $10,412,823 in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to the state of Alaska.  Alaska qualified for the remaining two-thirds of its share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by extending unemployment benefits to individuals who leave jobs for compelling family reasons.

“Alaska is among several states that have already received parts of their shares of UI modernization funds to help unemployed individuals who have recent work experience obtain the assistance they need and who deserve to be eligible to apply for UI benefits,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “I am pleased that recent changes to Alaska state law will extend this important assistance to those who are forced to leave their jobs for such compelling family reasons as caring for an ill or disabled family member.”

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services. 

“Record unemployment has left Alaska families struggling and sacrificing to make ends meet,” said Sen. Mark Begich. “This money will help families avoid making choices between meals and medicines. As our economy shows signs of improvement, I am encouraged that those who are unemployed will find jobs and rejoin the workforce.”

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. Alaska’s approved application will be posted at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery.   Other approved applications can also be found on this site.

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