A guide to unemployment benefits for Texans laid off during coronavirus pandemic

What to do if you lost your job in Texas due to COVID-19

How to apply for unemployment amid coronavirus concerns
How to apply for unemployment amid coronavirus concerns

SAN ANTONIO – After one year, the coronavirus pandemic has still left many Texans out of work.

The state of Texas is now open “100%,” but many businesses had to shutter permanently due to the economic slowdowns caused by the pandemic.

The economy is not expected to fully open until enough people are vaccinated, but with the passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, unemployment benefits related to the pandemic have been extended until Sept. 4.

Here’s what you need to know about how the American Rescue Plan affects unemployment benefits:

What does the bill do?

The legislation extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through September 4, 2021.

What if I already receive these benefits?

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, you don’t need to reapply for those benefits. But you do need to keep requesting payments on your scheduled filing days and searching for work as required by the department.

“TWC will automatically update your claim and inform you of your potential eligibility. If we need any information from you, we will contact you,” according to the commission’s blog post.

What should I do if my job was affected by the pandemic?

People who live in the San Antonio area should call Workforce Solutions Alamo at 210-224-HELP. The organization provides services for employees and employers, helping connect them with each other.

Visit www.workforcesolutionsalamo.org for updates as well or contact the offices below:

  • Walzem 210-822-7640
  • Marbach 210-436-0670
  • E. Houston 210-581-0190
  • S. Flores 210-928-3985
  • Datapoint 210-438-0581
  • Pleasanton 830-569-4702
  • Bandera 830-569-4702
  • New Braunfels 830-629-2010
  • Pearsall 830-334-4244
  • Fredericksburg 830-481-0088
  • Seguin 830-379-4244
  • Kenedy 830-583-3332
  • Boerne 830-249-9229
  • Kerrville 830-257-3171
  • Hondo 830-426-8111
  • Floresville 830-393-040

The organization recommends calling to set up an appointment and receive help.

Besides trying to get people employed again, Workforce Solutions Alamo can also assist people in applying for unemployment insurance through the Texas Workforce Commission.

How to apply for unemployment insurance

The Texas Workforce Commission website has been updated for the latest information related to relief efforts during the pandemic.

Unemployment claims can be filed online or by calling 800-939-6631. Employees are operating the phones from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays.


About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.