COVID-19 & Texas’s Return to Work

By June 17, 2020COVID-19

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced that the work search requirements will resume for individuals seeking unemployment benefits. Previously, work searches had been suspended due to COVID-19, but it will be reinstated for all individuals receiving benefits on July 6, 2020. All individuals must document their efforts to find new employment, with the first report due to the state on July 19, 2020. Work search efforts do not need to be sent in unless it is requested by the state.

Moreover, the state asserts that unemployment benefits are not intended as a job replacement, but a temporary benefit to help individuals until they can resume employment. The work search requirement does not mean that individuals must take the first job available, but it does mean that they must show an active effort to obtain new employment to receive benefits. Individuals who meet their work search requirements will continue for up to 39 weeks, in accordance with state law and the federal CARES Act.

Please be aware that furloughed workers with a definite return to work date (within 12 weeks of the layoff) will be exempt from work search requirements. Return to work dates beyond 12 weeks can result in the waiver of work searches at the discretion of the state. While self-employed individuals do not need to register on or complete work search requirements, they do need to begin taking steps to reopen their businesses. If individuals do not plan to reopen their businesses, they must complete a work registration and seek available work.

More information on work search requirements can be found here: The state encourages individuals to visit their job portal at for information on public and private sector jobs, as well as links to education and training opportunities, resume assistance, and other resources.


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 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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