Texas Workforce Commission continues to process unemployment claims, but many Texans still having problems

The Texas Workforce Commission processed 365,000 unemployment claims this week.

Nearly half of those claims were from people who are self-employed.

They're getting what's called "pandemic unemployment assistance."

So far, $20 million have been paid out for people who are self-employed.

But thousands still say they can't get through the system to file for unemployment help.

In an effort to keep the public updated, the TWC has been streaming live updates on Facebook three times a week and adding resources to handle the increased amount of calls they're getting.

But many still haven't been able to get through.

“My record for one day is dialing 1,087 times. That was my daily record,” said Gloria Vader.

For more than a month, Vader has been trying to get through to the TWC to file for unemployment.

She was furloughed from her job as a paralegal on March 23.

“Well, I mean, obviously not knowing is probably the worst part,” she added.

Vader said she was able to get through the first week she tried to file for unemployment, but there was an error on her application – the wrong employer was listed.

“The attorney called me and said that I needed to call them back and get that corrected because they couldn't approve my claim,” Vader explained. “And for the past month, now I've been trying to call back, and call back, and call back. Still haven't been able to get through.”

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To handle the call load, the TWC has added additional call centers, pulled employees from other departments to help handle claims, and expanded call center hours.

Unemployed Texans normally receive a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, but under the Cares Act, they can get another 13 weeks of benefits.

TWC officials have said there's no need to file another claim for the extra weeks.

“We’re encouraging people not to try and file for unemployment insurance again if they’re trying to get this extension because that could cause an error. It wouldn’t affect your ability to get the additional 13 weeks of benefits, but it could delay the process,” TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez said.

TWC officials said those currently getting unemployment will automatically be notified if they qualify for the 13-week extension by mail or email.

And the TWC also has a list of jobs available

“Texas is hiring, we have nearly 500,000 jobs listed on our WorkInTexas.com website, so please visit us there,” Gamez said.

Meanwhile, Vader is trying to stay positive.

“Maintaining your peace is really important. Right. You know, in order not to just to get frustrated and lose hope so. So just day by day,” Vader added.

In addition to the Work In Texas website, the TWC is also hosting virtual job fairs to get more people back to work.

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