The U.S. Department of Labor announced a $2 million National Emergency Grant supplemental award, in the form of a National Emergency Grant, to provide an estimated 1,175 additional jobless workers in North Carolina with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage. The state qualified for funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
An initial award of $2 million was approved on Aug. 11, 2009, to serve about 1,800 people. A supplemental award of $2.2 million was provided on June 30, 2010, to serve an additional 2,400 individuals. January 2012's $2 million supplement brings the total funds awarded to date to $6.2 million and the number of jobless workers served to 5,375.
“Health insurance is an important benefit for millions of American workers and their families,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These additional funds will ensure that these North Carolinians keep their health insurance while they search for new jobs.”
Awarded to the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment and Training, the funding will be used to make payments for unemployed individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. The “gap filler” payments enabled by this funding cover up to three months, which is the amount of time it takes to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the Health Coverage Tax Credit program. Through the credit, eligible individuals can receive 72.5 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs.
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.