U.S. Department of Labor announces grants to help workers apply for unemployment insurance benefits

U.S. Department of Labor announced the allocation of $15 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to pilot a program to help workers apply for unemployment insurance benefits. The Department will select five states for the UI Navigator pilot, each receiving $3 million. The states will use that money to partner with labor unions and community organizations to assist claimants in applying for unemployment insurance benefits.

Unemployment insurance refers to a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

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