AUSTIN – With Texas’ unemployment rate falling to 6.8 percent, Texas will no longer have access to additional unemployment insurance benefits that would have kicked in after benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are exhausted.
Provisions under the CARES Act will continue until Dec. 26, 2020.
The High Unemployment Period (HUP) is an extension for states with unemployment rates over 8 percent for over three months as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Texas became eligible for HUP benefits in June, but lost eligibility as the unemployment rate fell below that threshold in August.
For people currently receiving unemployment benefits, nothing changes.
Because extended benefits had not been exhausted, Texans were typically not receiving HUP. In special circumstances, some persons’ extended benefits may have been exhausted early, in which case HUP would apply.
For traditional benefits recipients (up to 52 weeks), the following benefits timelines still apply:
Regular unemployment – Up to 26 weeks.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – Up to 13 additional weeks.
Extended benefits – Up to 13 additional weeks.
Workers not elgible for traditional benefits (self employed, gig workers, etc.) can still receive up to 39 weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
For more information on eligibility requirements, available benefits and questions about the unemployment process, visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
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