The CARES Act: Texas’s Non-Traditional Applicants & Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

By April 25, 2020May 1st, 2020CARES Act, COVID-19

Non-Traditional Applicants:

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) advised self-employed, contract and gig workers who were impacted due to the COVID-19 should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Individuals can apply for benefits via the state’s unemployment benefit services (UBS) page: https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services.

The state also advises that when UBS asks about the reason for job separation during the application process, individuals should select “reduced hours.” If their reduced hours are a result of COVID-19, they should also select “COVID-19” under the disaster impact section. The system will display necessary questions relevant to that separation reason. First, the system will review the claim for regular unemployment eligibility after the application process is completed, which will result in an automatic denial for regular unemployment benefits only. Then, the state will automatically enroll these applicants in PUA. The initial denial for unemployment insurance may cause confusion but does not affect the PUA eligibility. Please note that individuals who have already submitted claims should not reapply for benefits. These individuals should continue to request benefit payment every two weeks while the state enrolls them in PUA and they will not need to call the state.

Non-traditional applicants who are eligible will qualify for a base weekly benefit amount of $207, plus the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payment per week.

Finally, non-traditional applicants must submit their 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C, F or SE prior to December 26, 2020 by fax, email, or mailing addresses below. Applicants who submit their tax information may not receive an immediate response. Please do not resubmit unless explicitly asked.

  • Fax: (512) 936-3250
  • Mail: Texas Workforce Commission, P.O. Box 149137, Austin, TX 78714-9137

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC):

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will begin to distribute Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The TWC stated that no action is needed by individuals who recently exhausted, or will soon exhaust, their benefits. The state will determine if individuals qualify for additional benefits under any of the pandemic unemployment programs and will notify individuals by mail or email. The state highly encourages individuals to ensure that they have entered in correct contact information on their claims for benefits.

In order to be eligible for up to thirteen weeks of extended benefits, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Original UI claim was dated on or after July 8, 2018;
  • Exhausted all entitlement to regular UI benefits;
  • Not eligible for benefits in any other state or territory; and
  • Current benefits will be exhausted by December 20, 2020.

If individuals meet the above criteria, the state will notify them by mail or email. The state does not encourage individuals to apply for benefits again as this could produce a system error and delay benefits.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

 

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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