How Areas Qualify
The National Board uses a formula involving population, poverty, and unemployment data to determine the eligibility of a civil jurisdiction. There is no national application process. Poverty data is from the American Community Survey (ACS) (source: U.S. Bureau of the Census); unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Poverty figures from the ACS 5-year average period of 2014-2018 were used in Phase 37, Phase CARES and Phase 38.

For Phases 37 and CARES, fiscal years 2019 and 2020 funding, jurisdictions qualified for funding if they met one of the following criteria:
  • Number of unemployed: 300 or more with a 6.9% rate of unemployment
  • Number of unemployed: 300 or more with a 14.1% rate of poverty

The actual award amounts are determined by dividing the available funds by the number of unemployed persons within each jurisdiction that qualifies. Jurisdictions that do not qualify under the formula and thus do not receive funding directly from the National Board may receive funds through the State Set-Aside process, and jurisdictions that do qualify may receive additional funding the same way.