Nearly $26 million in funding has been given by the US Department of Labor to support workers’ equitable access to state unemployment insurance systems.

Grants under the American Rescue Plan Act are given to West Virginia, California, Iowa, Michigan, and Nevada.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of roughly $26 million in grant money to enhance the delivery of unemployment insurance benefits to persons in California, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and West Virginia who have trouble accessing them.

The most recent round of equity grants, administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, will enable states to put into action initiatives aimed at removing obstacles associated with race, age, ethnicity, language proficiency, disability status, geographic location, or other systemic issues and making it possible for those in need to access unemployment insurance benefits.

The grants, which are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, will assist initiatives that raise awareness, streamline procedures, offer language services, improve technology, hire more staff, and attend to other requirements particular to underserved populations. The agency is giving California $9,120,000, Iowa $2,937,757, Michigan $6,779,261; Nevada $4,562,000; and Virginia $2,283,000.

The government released guidelines in August 2021 to let states know that there was $260 million in grant money available to support equal access to unemployment insurance benefits.

Eight rounds and one year later, the department has given 25 states and the District of Columbia equity grants totaling around $133 million.

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