Date: April 3, 2020
Media Contact: Cisco Gamez
Recommendations Will Ease Backlog of Texans Unable to Access Unemployment System
AUSTIN- Over half a million Texans have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days as a result of COVID-19. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will soon outpace the total number of claims received in all of 2019. This unprecedented increase has led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal. TWC staff is working around the clock to expand the capacity to take claims but needs your support. Effective immediately, TWC recommends that Texans stagger their calls and access to the online portal based on applicant’s area codes.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded each of us the importance of acting with others in mind,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “Just as with the virus, we can treat this problem far more effectively if we work together and space out the demand rather than having everyone call at the same time. I know there are Texans worried about being out of work and missing their paychecks. We keep working until every Texan that needs help gets help. We are asking for you to join the effort.”
Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times listed below. See below chart for recommended call and access times:
|Area Code of Applicant||Suggested Call Time|
|Area Codes Beginning with 9||Mon-Wed-Fri 8:00 a.m.-Noon|
|Area Codes Beginning with 3, 4, 5,6||Mon-Wed-Fri 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|Area codes Beginning with 7, 8||Tues -Thurs-Sat 8:00 a.m. – Noon|
|Area codes Beginning with 2||Tues-Thurs-Sat 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.|
Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. Staggering claims will provide help to reduce frustrations for many Texans and provide better access to needed services.
For more information on COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, visit: https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers
The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the services it offers in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. To receive notifications about TWC programs and services subscribe to our email updates.