All About Extended Unemployment Benefits In Texas
Updated : October 29th, 2020
In March, the federal government passed the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide temporary financial relief to those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The relief measures included Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), etc. These programs took effect in March. However, lately, the state of Texas triggered a state extended unemployment benefits program that provides additional 13 weeks of unemployment assistance.
The extension comes after the previously extended unemployment benefits for 13 weeks under the federal’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) relief measure. The new extension took effect on May 31. Here, let’s have a detailed look at extended unemployment benefits in Texas.
Extended Unemployment Benefits In Texas
Typically, Texans can receive the benefits for 26 weeks. However, under the extended unemployment benefits program, Texans can now collect the payment for 52 weeks.
Texans could start receiving their state extended unemployment benefits in the week that ends on July 4, which is 13 weeks after the first extension (PEUC) that took effect in the state. Before collecting their additional 13 weeks of state extended benefits, the claimants must first exhaust their regular 26 weeks and the additional 13 weeks under PEUC.
The self-employed workers, gig workers, and independent contractors can collect extended benefits, provided they have exhausted their benefits under PUA program.
Who Qualifies For Extended Benefits In Texas?
To qualify for the extended unemployment benefits in Texas you must meet several eligibility requirements. Some of them include:
1. You have exhausted your regular as well as benefits received under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
2. You are able, available for work, and are actively seeking for a job
3. You are not receiving benefits with respect to any unemployment compensation of another state
4. You have wages in the base period of your regular benefits that includes:
- Wages higher than 40 times your most recent weekly payment
- Total wages in the base period greater than or equal to 1.5 times the highest quarter
How To Apply For Extended Benefits In Texas
You will have to provide several details while filing a claim. They include:
- Your last employer’s name, address and other contact details
- The first and last dates you worked for your last employer. If you worked on more than one occasion, provide the latest employment dates
- Information related to your normal wage you are seeking
- Information regarding hours worked and pay rate, provided you worked the week you file a claim (including Sunday)
- Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
Once you submit your application, the authorities will review it and will send you a Determination Notice, that indicates whether your claim is approved or denied. If your claim is approved, you will have to request payment every 2 weeks.
But if your claim is denied despite meeting the eligibility criteria, you can appeal for unemployment benefits.
Appealing Unemployment Benefits Denial
You can appeal Unemployment benefits by requesting a hearing, within 14 days after the Determination Notice was sent to you. On receiving your appeal request, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will schedule a hearing. Your hearing may take place over the phone or face-to-face.
Texas has multiple levels of hearing process. If you disagree with the decision after your first hearing, you can re-appeal to the three commissioners of TWC. The commissioners will review the evidence and give their judgement. If you disagree with their decision, you can file an appeal in court or request a rehearing from the TWC.
What To Do If You Are Overpaid?
Sometimes you may receive more benefits than you are entitled to. In such a situation, TWC will send you a notice and ask you to repay the additional unemployment benefits. Overpayment may be due to various reasons. Some of them include:
- You haven’t submitted correct information about your wages
- Miscalculation of benefit amount
Make sure you repay the overpaid amount, failing to which the Commission may deduct the amount from your future amounts or even take a legal action.
Extended unemployment benefits can provide you with temporary financial support. If you have any queries regarding the extended benefits, reach out to authorities at Texas Workforce Commission.
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