The Texas Workforce Commission has applied for an additional federal unemployment benefit that would give qualifying Texans an additional $300 per week.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement Thursday morning, saying the TWC had requested funds being made available through President Donald Trump's Lost Wage Assistance Executive Order.
Trump's Executive Order provides $300 a week in additional unemployment payments to claimants eligible for more than $100 of certain state unemployment benefits who are experiencing unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"The Lost Wage Assistance program will provide crucial financial support to Texans who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Abbott said in a statement. "Texas is grateful to President Trump for making these funds available to individuals and asks that our federal partners quickly grant this request so that TWC can swiftly administer this funding to Texans."
The request has not yet been granted and it's not clear when that decision will be made. However, Abbott's office said eligible claimants should expect to receive the additional benefits on their first payment request on or after Aug. 23.
The funds will be backdated to the benefit week ending Aug. 1.
Following Abbott's announcement, Texas Democrats were quick to point out the $300 per week is half of what people unemployed due to the pandemic were receiving earlier this summer and is $100 less than it could be if the state added a $100 per week match outlined in Trump's order.
“Over 170,000 Americans have died. Millions are out of work. Now, Abbott is shortchanging Texas families by halving our unemployment benefits for absolutely no reason," said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman. "Three hundred dollars a week is not enough. Rent is due in 10 days. Families are worried about putting food on the table. Folks can’t afford medicine. It is time for Trump and Abbott to stop nickel and diming our families. We need real relief right now. Texans can’t take this president and this governor’s incompetence anymore.”
To apply for unemployment benefits or to request payment visit ui.texasworkforce.org.