With the reintroduction of statewide restrictions by Gov. Greg Abbott last week aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, many in North Texas again find themselves unemployed.
Abbott closed bars and reduced the capacities of restaurants after statewide cases surged.
Tracking COVID-19 Cases in North Texas Counties
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“I know a lot of people are trying to figure out, 'Do I keep trying to pull this out or do I look for something else?'" Dallas server Andrew Harvey said. "And myself, I’ve kind of been all over the board,."
Harvey is one of many who has navigated the unemployment system in recent months and hoped things would improve but is instead bracing for an even more uncertain future.
“Hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just right now there isn’t any light showing at the moment,” he said.
The Texas Work Force Commission said unemployment claim numbers have been declining, but recent data, since the new restrictions, were not yet available.
“We just have all hands on deck, we are looking for opportunities where we can help people,” said Cisco Gamez with the Texas Workforce Commission.
The TWC said that those who successfully filed for unemployment and then became employed only to lose their job a short time after would need to follow certain procedures, found below.
“If the job loss was within two weeks of their last payment request, and the job loss is with the same employer and the business is closed due to COVID-19, they can continue requesting payments. They would need to report hours worked and wages earned.
If the job loss is with a new employer and within two weeks of their last filing, they can request payment and report the job separation on the payment request. They would need to report hours worked and wages earned.
If it's been three or four weeks since they made their last payment request and have only worked part time with their previous employer, they can speak with a TWC representative at 1-800-939-6631, to assist them with filing back those weeks. They would need to report hours worked and wages earned.
If it's been three or four weeks since they made their last payment request, and they have been working full-time with the same employer or a new employer, they would need to reapply. From the time that they apply and become eligible, on average it takes around 21 days to receive benefits either by direct deposit or a debit card in the mail. For some people, it may be faster and for others, it may take more time. This will vary on a case by case basis.”