COVID-19 & the Texas Workforce Commission: Triggering on Extended Benefits

By June 8, 2020COVID-19

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) triggered state Extended Benefits (EB). This program provides federal reimbursement to the state for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. This extension will take effect on May 31, 2020 and the first week individuals may be eligible for EB is the week ending July 4, 2020.

State EB are triggered during different periods of high unemployment rates and are calculated by state. EB are available to individuals who exhausted regular benefits during periods of high unemployment. Texas’ unemployment rate is currently 12.8 percent, which exceeds the five percent threshold to trigger the extension. Determination of “on” and “off” indicators can be found here: TUCA 209.022.

Typically, individuals can receive up to 26 weeks of benefits. The CARES Act provides up to 13 weeks and provides an additional $600 per week to claimants until July 25, 2020, as well as allows new employment types to be eligible to receive benefits such as self-employed, contract/gig workers, and those that were previously ineligible.
Since the week of March 13, 2020, the state received 3 million initial claims and paid out $9.7 billion in benefits. For more information about unemployment benefits paid or to view an interactive map of claims, visit TWC’s UI by the Numbers page.

Visit http://www.ui.texasworkforce.org to apply for benefits. The state encourages individuals to keep their mailing and email addresses current in the unemployment benefits services system to prevent delays in communication. The state will automatically enroll eligible individuals in EB – no action is required. The individual should just continue to file timely if they are still unemployed.

 

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 http://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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