Date: June 16, 2020
Benefits will continue, but recipients must search for new jobs
AUSTIN –The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced today that the work search requirements for Unemployment Insurance (UI) in Texas, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis, will be reinstated for all Texans receiving unemployment insurance benefits on July 6. Work search is a federal requirement to receive unemployment benefits. Individuals will continue to receive benefits, but must document their efforts to find new employment, with the first report due to TWC on July 19. Keep good records and save your work search documentation. Your work search efforts do not need to be sent in unless it is requested by the Commission.
Texas businesses are hiring right now. There are over 530,000 jobs available in Texas on WorkInTexas.com, the state’s online jobs portal, in addition to jobs available elsewhere. As more and more businesses come back online, those numbers should increase.
“The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for everyone, creating new challenges for workers, employers and their families,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “Let me be clear: we are not over it. But we’re seeing employment opportunities begin to bounce back in Texas as our economy restarts. There are opportunities out there, and getting Texans back to work and businesses up and running again will create even more.”
Unemployment insurance benefits are not intended as a replacement for a job, but a temporary benefit to help workers until they can resume employment. The work search requirement does not mean workers must take the first job available. It means that they must show an active effort to obtain new employment to continue benefits. As long as they do this, their benefits will continue for up to 39 weeks, in accordance with state law and the federal CARES Act.
Furloughed workers with a definite return to work date that is within 12 weeks of the layoff are exempt from work search requirements. Return to work dates beyond 12 weeks can result in the waiver of work search at the discretion of TWC. While Self-employed individuals do not need to register on WorkinTexas.com nor complete work search requirements, they do however need to continue taking steps to reopen their business. If they do not plan to reopen their business, they must complete a work registration and seek work.
Job seekers are encourage to visit WorkInTexas.com, the state’s job portal, for access to hundreds of thousands of public and private sector jobs, as well as links to education and training opportunities, resume assistance and other resources. Guidelines for the work search process can be found here.
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.