New eligibility requirement to get unemployment benefits in Texas

Texas Workforce Commission reinstates work search proof

New eligibility requirement to get unemployment benefits

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Beginning November 1st, the Texas Workforce Commission is reinstating its work search requirements for any Texans on unemployment.

From mid-September to October 17th, TWC reported 4,890 unemployment claims in East Texas. Since June, it has not been required for applicants to perform work searches to receive unemployment due to the pandemic, but that will soon change.

According to James Bernsen, the Texas Workforce Commission’s Deputy Communications Director, “Texas is beginning to open up more and more businesses have found ways to open up and do so safely, that we think bringing back work search is more appropriate right now.”

Beginning next Sunday, in order to be eligible for unemployment payments, applicants must conduct three job searches a week or take online classes that count as work searches.

“We’re really trying to get people back into searching for jobs. Not just checking a box, ‘oh I looked at this job or that job,’ but looking at their career holistically, looking at building resumes, looking at going to our workforce development centers. There are a lot of things people can do to get them better positioned to get a job,” Bernsen says.

According to TWC, if you’ve been furloughed you’re exempt from work searches as long as there’s a return to work date established within 12 weeks of the furlough. Other coronavirus-specific considerations are also taken.

“If someone has COVID-19 or if they’re in the hospital for any reason and they’re sidelined for a couple of weeks,” says Bernsen, “certainly we would take that into consideration when we look at the work search.”

To remain eligible for benefits, the first step to take is registering on workintexas.com to see thousands of listed openings in the Lonestar state. If you’re self-employed, three steps are required to re-opening your business rather than finding new work. This can be as simple as calling potential clients.

For a list of what TWC accepts as work searches, you can find the link in our Big Red Box.

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