AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Workforce Commission says the equivalent of three years of unemployment insurance claims were filed in Texas in just the past two months.
Officials said there have been more than two million claims since the coronavirus pandemic began and $3.4 billion in state and federal money has been doled out in unemployment insurance benefits.
Now, people are going back to work, but some will be eligible for benefits if they don’t go back. Those people are considered high risk and would endanger their health by leaving home.
“That could be somebody who is 65 or older, could be someone who has heart disease, diabetes, cancer, weakened immune system,” said Cisco Gamez, Texas Workforce Commission. “Maybe someone in their household is at high risk or also if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 if they have a family member who has COVID-19, if you are quarantined, then certainly you won’t be able to return to work during that time.”
RELATED: Coronavirus coverage
Also, if a child can't go to daycare because it's closed and there are no other alternatives, Gamez says that would be a good case for refusing work and retaining eligibility for benefits.
Officials reiterated that each application is ultimately determined on a case-by-case basis.
Additional details can be found at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/