Some Texans are struggling to get their unemployment benefits set up, having little luck getting through to the Texas Workforce Commission on the phone and online.
Dana Cash, of Fort Worth, is one of them.
Cash, who works for a company that does sleep studies, has not been at work since March 19 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I immediately got onto the website and tried to log in, and it kept crashing and crashing and crashing. I tried calling the numbers on there. Everything was always busy. Nothing happened. I would try in the middle of the night, since I’m not sleeping right. So l would try all hours, but the website, it just kept crashing," said Cash.
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Cash said after about two and half weeks of dealing with various issues she finally got everything filed on Monday.
“It is finally done and now [I'm] just hopeful it comes in next week so I can get some extra groceries and pay the electric bill,” said Cash.
We asked Cisco Gamez, the media public information officer for the Texas Workforce Commission, why it’s taking Texans so long to get through the website.
"So, we have about a year amount of people in a short amount of time. I am trying to put that in perspective, that in just the last few weeks we have helped the same number of Texans, over 700,000, more than that, in just a short amount of time. This is normally the type of work we do over a year’s time," said Gamez.
He estimated they have shifted 450 staffers to unemployment services and added two call centers.
The agency will also be able to provide relief backdated to the day you stopped working.
“If you stopped working on Monday, and it is now Friday and you are just getting through, or it is the following week, and you are just getting through, we are going to look at backdating that to the date you stopped working,” he added.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that about 200 senate staffers have volunteered to help the Workforce Commission take calls and will be undergoing training on Thursday.