WASHINGTON – To help identify and address barriers workers face regarding access to state unemployment insurance benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $9.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to the New York State Department of Labor.
The equity grant will fund projects aimed at preventing race, ethnicity, language proficiency, literacy, disability status, socioeconomic status, geographic location or other systemic barriers from impeding access to unemployment insurance benefits for people in need. The department’s Employment and Training Administration administers the grant.
Projects supported by the funds will provide translation services and improve mobile-based capabilities to better respond to underserved communities’ other needs. They will also simplify instructions for all applicants, thereby reducing errors that can cause improper payments.
The award corresponds with the department’s August 2021 announcement of the availability of up to $260 million in grants for states to promote equitable access to unemployment insurance benefits. To date, the department has announced $166 million in funds awarded to 32 states and the District of Columbia.