Texans to receive $300 per week in additional unemployment benefits

Gov. Greg Abbott thanked the Trump administration for swiftly granting the funds

FILE - In this March 17, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas. President Donald Trumps plan to offer a stripped-down boost in unemployment benefits to millions of Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak has thus far found little traction among the states, which would be required to pick up a quarter of the cost to deliver the maximum benefit. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) (John Locher, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Gov. Greg Abbott shared some good news Friday revealing that Texans who receive unemployment benefits will be provided an additional $300 per week.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the Texas Workforce Commission applied for additional unemployment benefit funds via Trump’s Lost Wage Assistance Executive Order.

“I thank the Trump administration for swiftly granting these funds to help Texans who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Abbott. “These funds will help Texans in need support their families as we work to revitalize the economy and get Texans back to work.”

Many unemployed Texans had been left wondering when extra weekly benefits would kick in after the previous benefit boost from the CARES Act expired July 25.

An extra $300 a week in additional unemployment payments is expected to be given to anyone who is eligible to receive more than $100 of certain state unemployment benefits, according to a press release from Abbott’s office.

Eligible claimants should expect to receive the additional benefits on their first payment request on or after August 23, 2020. These funds will be backdated to the benefit week ending August 1, 2020.

The Lost Wages Program is part of an executive action signed by Trump that circumvented Congress in an effort to provide financial relief to people who are still out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s effort to bypass Congress is expected to face legal challenges, according to the Texas Tribune, because the money is expected to be diverted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is meant for hurricane and other disaster relief.

FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor approved Texas for a FEMA grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program, according to officials with the disaster relief agency.

The Lost Wages Program could end earlier than Dec. 27 if FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund decreases to $25 billion or if legislation is enacted that provides federal monetary compensation to unemployed individuals as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials with the Department of Labor.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides an extra 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust traditional unemployment benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides up to 46 weeks of benefits to persons who are self-employed or who would not otherwise qualify for state benefits, will not expire until Dec. 26, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.