Workforce commission responds to coronavirus impact

State relaxes unemployment rules

At the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Workforce Commission has temporarily dispensed with the “waiting week” and work requirements normally involved in accessing unemployment insurance benefits through the state.

The move was made in response to the coronavirus public health emergency and the many workers who have lost income as a result.

The waiting week is the first payable week of an applicant’s claim. TWC usually doesn’t pay it until applicants receive twice their normal weekly benefit amount, and either return to full-time work or exhaust their benefits. The purpose of doing away with the waiting week temporarily is to provide relief faster to Texans who need it, according to TWC.

Also, previously to be eligible for unemployment benefits, applicants were required to register for work search on www.workintexas.com and meet a minimum number of job-search activities each week. TWC is temporarily waiving these requirements as well to make sure Texans can get their hands on the resources they need, says the agency.

Anyone seeking unemployment benefits needs to submit an application. To do this you’ll need to log on or create a new account on the TWC website and provide the following information:

>>Social Security Number

>>Most recent employer’s business name and address

>>First and last dates (month, day and year) that you worked at your last job

>>Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week, including Sunday

>> Military service start/end dates and copy of DD Form 214, member copy 4-8, if you served in the military during the past 18 months

>>Alien Registration Number, if not a U.S. citizen or national

In addition to this, applicants will need to enter a payment option, then review and submit their applications. An application is not complete until it has been submitted and a confirmation number received by the applicant, who will need to confirm the claim before proceeding to the Next Steps portion of the application. Applicants can sign up for electronic correspondence for online access to most, but not all, notices and forms related to their claim.

For complete details and instructions go to www.texasworkforce.org.