U.S. Labor Department announces release of $100.4 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Illinois

The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $100,383,562 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Illinois. Illinois qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits. Illinois' approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at: http://www.doleta.gov/recovery.

"Illinois recognizes the importance of providing an economic safety net to workers who have entered the workforce recently and lost their jobs through no fault of their own," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "It is the right thing to do for workers and is good for the state's economic recovery."

The Illinois Department of Employment Security can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

"Federal stimulus dollars provide vital support to the people of Illinois as they cope with these difficult economic times," said Gov. Pat Quinn. "Our state intends to take full advantage of the Recovery Act by applying for all possible stimulus funds."

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. To date, in addition to Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota have been certified by the Labor Department to receive a share of the funds.