US Labor Department delays hurt Oklahoma job assistance programs

Tuesday, November 18th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Washington-AP) -- Some laid off workers in Oklahoma and 24 other states are not getting promised federal assistance and the US Department of Labor is being blamed.

The states say the problem is forcing them to delay or deny emergency assistance to some workers who lose their jobs.

Congressional investigators say the federal assistance is often delayed more than three months and sometimes never materializes. The federal assistance is intended to reach workers before they're laid off or the business where they work shuts down.

The Labor Department blames the states for submitting incomplete applications and says the delays average 53 days. But the department says it's now committed to approving grants within 15 days of receiving an application.