Coronavirus Update! -- What Texas Residents Need to Know About Unemployment Benefits
As the coronavirus continues to keep businesses closed across the country, the unemployment rate remains high. If you have lost your job in Texas, you can apply for unemployment benefits at the Texas Workforce Commission. Find resources about how unemployment claims relating to COVID-19 will be handled in Texas.
As of mid-May 2021, more than 16 million people were collecting some form of unemployment. This figure includes the millions of employees who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments have taken to contain it, from orders shutting down nonessential businesses to shelter-in-place restrictions, school closures, and more. It also includes millions of gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people who are collecting unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
As explained below, the federal government has created several pandemic unemployment benefit programs, to provide enhanced benefits for a longer period of time to more people who are out of work. However, some states are beginning to cut off federal benefit programs, beginning on June 12.
Governor Abbott announced that Texas will end its participation in all federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs on June 26, 2021, effectively cutting off or reducing benefits for many unemployment recipients. After that date:
- benefits will end for contractors, gig workers, freelancers, and others currently receiving help through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program
- claimants will no longer receive $300 per week in additional benefits, and
- claimants will no longer receive additional weeks of benefits once their state benefits run out.
If You Are Still Employed: Some states provide paid time off that may be available to you. See Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Leave, Family Leave, or Vacation Time in Texas to learn more.
Federal and state governments have made changes to their unemployment programs, to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. more...