U.S. Department of Labor to Coordinate States Volunteering to Handle UI Claims of Katrina-Affected Workers
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 -- The U.S. Department of Labor will facilitate the volunteer efforts of states assisting with unemployment claims of Gulf Coast workers affected by Hurricane Katrina. The handling of initial claims phoned in elsewhere by jobless workers, will be paid through voluntary arrangements worked out among states. These arrangements will be administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration.
“A number of states have volunteered to help Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama process the increased volume of Unemployment Insurance claims caused by Hurricane Katrina,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “We will free up funds for the volunteer states to use in helping to speed up the processing of Unemployment Insurance claims for hurricane survivors so they can get their income assistance on time.”
Secretary Chao informed the Governors of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi of this offer in a letter sent yesterday. States negotiating offers of assistance are asked to inform the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration as soon as possible to allow funds to be made available to states providing help. The three Katrina-impacted Gulf Coast states will have the option of making arrangements with one or more states offering assistance. The states of California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington have volunteered to ease the processing burdens of their Gulf Coast neighbors.
“The states’ offers of assistance once again demonstrate the American spirit of quickly aiding those suddenly in distress,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Emily Stover DeRocco. “Helping in the delivery of needed funds will be a significant step for so many on paths back to re-employment in the aftermath of Katrina.”
For more on the Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance programs, please visit http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/unemployment- insurance/index.htm. More information on the Katrina Recovery Job Connection can be found at http://www.jobsearch.org/katrinajobs or through America’s Job Bank at http://www.ajb.org.
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