New guidance for Texans on unemployment benefits who can't return to work

If you or a member of your household are considered high-risk, you may be eligible.

Talk 1370 Newsroom
April 30, 2020 - 5:43 pm
Closed due to COVID-19 coronavirus

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Businesses across Texas may be re-opening as early as Friday, but that doesn't mean that everyone is ready - or able - to go back to work. Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Workforce Commission on Thursday announced new guidance on eligibility for unemployment benefits.

There are several situations where a person can choose not to return to work immediately, and still continue to receive unemployment benefits through the state's response to COVID-19. They are:

  • At High Risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
  • Household member at high risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19
  • Diagnosed with COVID: The individual has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not yet recovered
  • Family member with COVID: Anybody in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed
  • Quarantined: Individual is currently in 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure to COVID-19
  • Child care: Child’s school or daycare closed and no alternatives are available

Officials say each unemployment insurance claim is evaluated on an individual basis. Any other situation not listed above will be subject to a case-by-case review from the Texas Workforce Commission.

"As the Lone Star State begins the process of safely and strategically opening the economy, our top priority is protecting the health and safety of all Texans - especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19," Abbott said. "This flexibility in the unemployment benefit process will help ensure that Texans with certain health and safety concerns will not be penalized for choosing not to return to work."

 

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