The U.S. Department of Labor has certified for release $41,247,756 in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico qualified for its full share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by including in its law provisions that assist recent entrants to the workforce, part-time workers and individuals who become unemployed because of compelling family reasons.
“The federal government made these funds available under the Recovery Act as an incentive for states and territories to strengthen their safety nets as our economy continues to recover,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “I am pleased to announce that Puerto Rico has made important updates to its UI program to better meet the needs of today’s workforce. These funds will help people continue to pay housing expenses, buy groceries and take care of their families while they look for full-time employment.”
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states and territories that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state or territory can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. With Puerto Rico’s UI modernization, more than $5 billion has been released to eligible states and territories.