Federal funds let TWC offer unemployed workers more financial help

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 21:35:12-04

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Aug. 8 which will provide additional funds to those who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Workforce Commission to apply for those Federal Lost Wage Assistance funds to help unemployed Texans.

The application submitted to FEMA would provide an additional $300 per week.

If approved, Texans who qualify could expect to see the additional money after Aug. 23.

Texas Workforce Commission spokesman Francisco Gamez said the funds will be available until the program expires or new legislation is passed.

“If you are receiving benefits greater than, or equal to, $100 per week, and you have certified that your claim is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should be eligible for the $300 weekly benefits,” he said.

Can those benefits be retroactive? Gamez said yes, but only until a certain date.

“The president’s executive order allows for an additional $300 a week to be back dated to the week of August 1st, 2020,” he said.

One woman, who only wanted to be identified as Maria, has received benefits.

She said although $300 might not be enough, any amount helps.

“There’s no way you can survive on unemployment," she said. "The $600 helped: I mean, the 300 is not gonna be enough, but it’s something,” she said.

Those already receiving benefits because of COVID-19 related job loss won't need to do anything extra to become eligible for the extra money.