From Texas Workforce Commission:

TWC to Implement Staggered Access to Unemployment Benefit Services Portal to Ensure More Texans Can File UI Claims

Recommendations Will Ease Backlog of Texans Unable to Access Unemployment System

AUSTIN- Over half a million Texans have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days as a result of COVID-19. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will soon outpace the total number of claims received in all of 2019. This unprecedented increase has led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal. TWC staff is working around the clock to expand the capacity to take claims but needs your support. Effective immediately, TWC recommends that Texans stagger their calls and access to the online portal based on applicant’s area codes.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded each of us the importance of acting with others in mind,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “Just as with the virus, we can treat this problem far more effectively if we work together and space out the demand rather than having everyone call at the same time. I know there are Texans worried about being out of work and missing their paychecks. We keep working until every Texan that needs help gets help. We are asking for you to join the effort.”

Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times listed below. See below chart for recommended call and access times:

 

Recommended Call and Access Times
Area Code of Applicant Suggested Call Time
Area Codes Beginning with 9 Mon-Wed-Fri 8:00 a.m.-Noon
Area Codes Beginning with 3, 4, 5,6         Mon-Wed-Fri 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Area codes Beginning with 7, 8 Tues -Thurs-Sat  8:00 a.m. – Noon 
Area codes Beginning with 2 Tues-Thurs-Sat 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.

 

Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. Staggering claims will provide help to reduce frustrations for many Texans and provide better access to needed services.

For more information on COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, visit: https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers

From Texas Workforce Commission:

TWC Waives Certain Requirements for Unemployment Benefits Services

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to waive the waiting week, for Unemployment Benefits. In addition to waiving the waiting week, TWC is exercising its authority under the Governor’s declaration of a Statewide Disaster to waive Unemployment Insurance work search requirements effective immediately. These measures support the State’s efforts to address the impact the COVID-19 virus is having on the state’s economy and its workforce.

The waiting week is the first payable week of an individual’s claim for Unemployment Benefits. Under normal circumstances, TWC cannot pay for the first week of a claim until an individual receives 2 times their weekly benefit amount and returns to full-time work or has exhausted their benefits. However, by waiving the waiting week, Gov. Abbott has provided the opportunity for TWC to provide relief to Texans who need it.

Previously to be eligible for unemployment benefits, applicants were required to register for work search on WorkinTexas.com and meet minimum number of work search activities per week. TWC is temporarily waiving these requirements to ensure all Texans can have access to resources when in need.

Those seeking to apply for Unemployment Benefits will need to submit an application. In order to apply you will need:

  • Last employer’s business name and address
  • First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week (including Sunday)
  • Information related to your normal wage
  • Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S. citizen or national)

Once you have an unemployment benefits claim, you can sign up for Electronic Correspondence for online access to your unemployment benefits correspondence. Electronic Correspondence allows you to receive most, but not all, of your unemployment notices and forms electronically in a secure, online mailbox. You are responsible for regularly checking your online inbox, regardless of whether you receive an email notifying you of new mail. All Electronic Correspondence documents are also available as accessible versions for visually impaired customers.

Job seekers can call their local Workforce Solutions office for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC’s online job-search engine, by visiting WorkinTexas.com.

Copyright © 2020 Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.

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