The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of more than $204 million in grants to support strengthening and modernizing unemployment insurance systems in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, the grants will also help make these systems more reliable and accessible to users.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the grants will enable recipients to adopt new strategies for upgrading and redesigning unemployment insurance programs, better defend systems against fraud and make systems easier to maintain and change. Funds will support states’ use of cloud technology to make UI systems more flexible and more user friendly. As part of the effort, the department will also encourage grant recipients to share models, lessons learned and software modifications with other states to allow them to also benefit.
The awards follow the department’s July 2023 announcement of approximately $200 million in funding for states to invest in IT projects that support increasing unemployment insurance systems’ agility and resilience. Previously, the department awarded more than $93 million to 49 states for program integrity and more than $73.5 million to 33 states to implement Tiger Team recommendations.