The requirement for people collecting unemployment benefits to conduct active job searches has been waived as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also waived is the “waiting week” that required job seekers to go without benefits for one week. The measures, taken on order from Governor Greg Abbott, “support the State’s efforts to address the impact the COVID-19 virus is having on the state’s economy and its workforce,” the Texas Workforce Commission said in a news release.
The waiting week is the first payable week of an individual’s claim for Unemployment Benefits. Under normal circumstances, TWC cannot pay for the first week of a claim until an individual receives 2 times their weekly benefit amount and returns to full-time work or has exhausted their benefits. However, by waiving the waiting week, Gov. Abbott has provided the opportunity for TWC to provide relief to Texans who need it.
Previously to be eligible for unemployment benefits, applicants were required to register for work search on WorkinTexas.com and meet minimum number of work search activities per week. TWC is temporarily waiving these requirements to ensure all Texans can have access to resources when in need.
Those seeking to apply for unemployment benefits will need to submit an application. In order to apply you will need:
• Last employer’s business name and address
• First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer
• Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week (including Sunday)
• Information related to your normal wage
• Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S. citizen or national)
Once you have an unemployment benefits claim, you can sign up for electronic correspondence for online access to your unemployment benefits correspondence. Electronic correspondence allows you to receive most, but not all, of your unemployment notices and forms electronically in a secure, online mailbox. You are responsible for regularly checking your online inbox, regardless of whether you receive an email notifying you of new mail. All electronic correspondence documents are also available as accessible versions for visually impaired customers.
Job seekers can call their local Workforce Solutions office for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC’s online job-search engine, by visiting WorkinTexas.com.