Suspicious unemployment claims explode during pandemic
Karl Wanke was stunned to open a letter from the Texas Workforce Commission to learn he'd not only filed for unemployment, but had been paid. Turns out, he's one of a surging number of people whose identities were used to fraudulently pocket payouts.
3 ways to handle unemployment benefits when it comes to income taxes
For those who turned to unemployment benefits last year, with tax season upon us, you might be wondering how it’s all going to shake out when it comes to filing your income taxes. But here’s the thing: You still have to pay federal taxes on said unemployment benefits. It ensures you won’t have that burden later, giving you a head start when tax season approaches. Pay quarterlyIf you didn’t have your taxes withheld, another option is to send quarterly estimated taxes on that money to the IRS. When quarterly taxes are due:When you get paid Tax due date Jan. 1–March 31 April 15 April 1–May 31 June 15 June 1–Aug.
More people are switching professions because of pandemic
A new poll shows two out of three people who lost their jobs last year are switching professions. Add on coronavirus, and millions of people are doing the pandemic pivot, re-evaluating their career choice and changing it. Two big questions to ask yourself first —do you really want to change careers or do you not like working during a pandemic? If you still want to change careers, know why? On average, it takes four years to successfully change careers and regain your credibility at your job.
Study shows racial disparities among food insecure families
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 11 million children lived in food insecure homes, meaning there was not enough food, or the right kind of food, to live a healthy lifestyle. Now a study reveals one factor may increase a household’s risk of being food insufficient. In fact, one in five black and Latino households with children are food insufficient. In the summer of 2020, about one in seven Black and Latino workers were unemployed compared to one in 10 white workers. Latino and Black households were also more likely to have no access to healthcare, fewer savings assets, and faced housing hardships.
Do you have to pay taxes on unemployment compensation? Yes, you do.
All unemployment compensation received in 2019 must be reported on 2020 federal tax returns. Haywood also told KSAT that people who received unemployment benefits will not be eligible for the child credit. “Your state will send you Form 1099-G, which will show the amount of unemployment compensation paid to you during the year. If you repaid a portion of the benefits received, you can reduce the benefits received by the amount repaid,” according to H&R Block. While unemployment income is subject to federal and state taxes, Texas is one of 15 states that does not tax unemployment income because Texas does not have a state income tax.
Are your unemployment benefits or stimulus checks taxable income?
SAN ANTONIO - – The coronavirus pandemic has triggered record unemployment levels, meaning many people are receiving government assistance for the first time. Several KSAT viewers have sent in questions recently, asking if unemployment benefits and stimulus checks are taxed. He wants people to know unemployment benefits are taxable income. The good news is that the government stimulus checks and direct deposits will not be taxed. Rucker is pointing people to the IRS website, where they can find information about those tax credit programs and incentives.
Millions of families facing food insecurity because of pandemic
Now, researchers are looking at how COVID stressors, including food insecurity, are affecting families. Georgetown University developmental psychologist Anna Johnson and her colleagues are examining how the pandemic is affecting low-income families and teachers. They found widespread food insecurity, which was linked to worse mental health. “Relatively high rates of depression and for parents, the depression and food insecurity associated with each other. So higher rates of depression went along with high rates of food insecurity,” explained Johnson.
State mistakenly tells San Antonio man to pay back $4,000 in overpaid unemployment benefits
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio resident Kelvin Taylor lost his job in May when the coronavirus pandemic forced his company to lay off workers. Taylor did what hundreds of thousands of Texans have done this year: he applied for and got unemployment benefits. Taylor thought he had done everything right when he applied for benefits the day after his company laid him off. The company would continue to pay Taylor his full salary until that money ran out. “And then when (the checks) stopped, I started reporting zero earnings because I was looking for work,” Taylor said.
Nearly 350,000 unemployed Texans don’t qualify for extra $300 weekly benefit
Approximately 347,700 Texans currently receiving unemployment benefits do not qualify for the additional $300 weekly payments issued by the Trump administration, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Those Texans could change their status when filling out future payment requests, Gamez said, and could then qualify for the extra $300 payments. In total, about 1.7 million Texans are currently receiving unemployment benefits, Gamez said, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend businesses across the state. Greg Abbott closed bars in June, which contributed to the largest group of Texans claiming unemployment benefits — workers in the accommodation and food services sector. But for the approximately 347,700 Texans who do not qualify, they will continue to see the same unemployment payments they’ve been receiving in August, after the extra $600 weekly payments expired.
Unemployment rate in Bexar County dropped in July, report shows
SAN ANTOIO – The unemployment rate decreased in July in Bexar County, according to Workforce Solutions Alamo. The organization’s monthly report shows the rate in Bexar County is now at 8.3%, which is down by 0.3% from June. Bexar County had the lowest unemployment rate compared to the other 12 counties covered by Workforce Solution Alamo, the report shows. The overall Texas rate of unemployment also decreased by 0.4%. To learn more about unemployment rate in Bexar County, click here.
As Congress feuds over unemployment payments, many jobless Texans are about to lose a $600 weekly benefit
If Congress doesn’t extend the $600 benefit, that will leave many Texans getting anywhere from $69 to $521 per week in unemployment benefits. Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz opposes extending the weekly $600 payments. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office said the Texas senator supports extending unemployment assistance but did not specify whether he supports extending the weekly $600 payments. Allie Goulding/The Texas TribuneEconomists say the end of the weekly $600 payments will lead to Texans with less spending money to fuel an economic recovery. Mason fears what will happen if the weekly $600 payments end Saturday and he is still working reduced hours.
New workforce program will help Bexar County residents unemployed due to COVID-19
SAN ANTONIO Bexar County is launching an $18 million program to help unemployed residents find a new job. The Bexar County Strong Workforce Program was approved on July 16 by the Bexar County Commissioners Court. The program partners with Project Quest and Workforce Solutions Alamo to help connect residents to jobs, training programs and work experience opportunities. It can really make a difference for people who need a new career opportunity because of COVID-19, said Bexar County Workforce Development Manager Pooja Tripathi. For further information or to see if they qualify for this program, residents should contact Workforce Solutions Alamo at 210-224-HELP (210-224-4357) or https://www.workforcesolutionsalamo.org/.
Photographers offer free headshots for unemployed people in San Antonio area
SAN ANTONIO – Some San Antonio photographers are offering free headshots for dozens of unemployed people in the San Antonio area. The photographers are joining a larger effort involving more than 200 photographers from across the country aiming to create 10,000 headshots for unemployed Americans in a single day. The headshots will be taken from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 22 at North Star Mall. Photographers will be following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks. Read more on KSAT.com:San Antonio mayor creates team to provide guidance on long-term educational, training opportunitiesTexas’ June unemployment rate falls to 8.6%, but experts warn unemployment could worsen next month
San Antonio man loses job, starts new family business
SAN ANTONIO – Sunday marked day one for the Cabrales family’s new chapter — a shaved ice business to fight back against the impact of COVID-19. Days after the shutdown began in mid-March due to the growing concerns surrounding the pandemic, Ismael Cabrales said he received a call from his supervisor. The couple's children help make the strawberry drizzle that tops the Berry Fun shaved ice option. RELATED: Only in San Antonio: Mangonada with hot cheetos, pickles & chamoyThe Cabrales family is eager for the San Antonio community to try their cool treats. Businesses interested in renting out an area for the food truck can contact the family at email@example.com.
Humana hiring for 200 work-from-home jobs in San Antonio area
SAN ANTONIO – Humana is looking to hire 200 people in the San Antonio area to work from home. The healthcare company announced the hiring initiative Tuesday in a news release. The openings seek applicants for seasonal enrollment representatives. While the jobs are home-based, the company is seeking applicants who live within a 50-mile radius of the company’s San Antonio location at 8119 Datapoint Drive. There may be opportunities for some of those jobs to transition into full-time employment, according to the company.
Whataburger confirms more layoffs in San Antonio corporate office
After announcing layoffs and furloughs in April, the fast food giant confirmed a second round of work reductions on Tuesday. During COVID-19, the structure of the teams who work at Whataburger corporate headquarters has evolved, Whataburger officials said in a statement. We are grateful to have many of our furloughed Family Members coming back to work. At the same time, its difficult to say goodbye to some of our other talented Family Members, said Ed Nelson, president of Whataburger. Were continuing to hire restaurant Family Members at every level as our dining rooms start to open again.
America’s unemployment rate falls to 13.3% as economy posts surprise job gains
CNN – The US unemployment rate surprisingly fell to 13.3% in May, as the economy gained 2.5 million jobs. The labor market rebounded from April's drastic losses, when a revised 20.7 million jobs vanished. The unemployment rate last month soared to 14.7% as businesses shut during the coronavirus lockdown. Economists expected the unemployment rate to be even worse in May, rising to nearly 20%. But the gradual reopening of the economy actually added new jobs rather than eliminating further positions.
33 million have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit
That is the equivalent of one in five Americans who had been employed back in February, when the unemployment rate had reached a 50-year low of just 3.5%. Initial claims for unemployment aid have now fallen for five straight weeks, from a peak of nearly 6.9 million during the week that ended March 28. The report showed that 22.7 million people are now receiving unemployment aid — a rough measure of job losses since the shutdowns began. The unemployment rate is forecast to reach 16%, the highest rate since the Great Depression, and economists estimate that 21 million jobs were lost last month. By contrast, the total jobless claims are a cumulative figure; they include applications for unemployment aid that began in mid-March.
TWC: Some Texans can still receive unemployment if they don’t return to work right away
SAN ANTONIO – Some local health experts have said reopening San Antonio businesses right now may be a bit premature. This has led to some concerns among workers that don’t feel comfortable going back to work just yet. Governor Greg Abbott addressed these concerns and announced the Texas Workforce Commission has issued new guidance to unemployment claimants concerned about their eligibility for benefits, should they choose not to return to work right away. Greg Abbott has released his plans to reopen Texas. Report: Texas sees one of the largest increases in unemployment in the U.S. amid COVID-19 outbreak
Unemployment eligibility unclear for employees afraid to return work because of coronavirus
SAN ANTONIO – Businesses are beginning to reopen all throughout the state, but many people may not want to return to work while COVID-19 is still prevalent throughout San Antonio. “Am I basically telling everyone to go back on unemployment?” Garcia asked. A guide to unemployment benefits for Texans laid off during coronavirus pandemicThe bigger question is will his employees still be eligible? Persons returning to work with reduced hours may still qualify for unemployment insurance. Depending on amount of wages earned, claimant may or may not continue to qualify for unemployment insurance.
90 calls in single day, 6 weeks of trying, still no benefits: One Texan’s experience with unemployment office
Ibarra said he followed all the necessary steps to collect state unemployment benefits, including submitting an application online and receiving a notification indicating what he would receive. Records shared with us show that the commission is still reviewing Ibarra’s claim to determine if he is eligible to receive benefits. Texas is running out of money to pay unemployment benefits. Reached for comment Monday, a TWC spokeswoman released the following statement:I do know that there is a waiting period but if you have been told you are eligible you will receive benefits. Ibarra said with his rent due at the end of the week, it is becoming more difficult to be patient.
Mnuchin says ‘we are very close to a deal today’ on small business package
I'm hopeful that we can get that done," Mnuchin told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." Mnuchin told Tapper he is hopeful that if a deal is reached, the Senate could pass the bill on Monday and the House could pass one Tuesday. The funding is needed to continue the Payroll Protection Program, a program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis that ran out of funding last week. On Thursday, the Small Business Administration officially ran out of money for the PPP, its $349 billion emergency lending program for small businesses. "The President has heard from the governors and he's prepared to discuss that in the next bill," Mnuchin told CNN.
Restaurant workers could receive $500 grant for coronavirus relief
For employees in the restaurant industry who have been furloughed during the pandemic, there is a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund that offers $500 grants to help during times of hardship. Emergency rental assistance program to help unemployed San Antonians pay rent amid coronavirus pandemicThe grant is a one-time payout for workers who meet certain requirements. “Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been impacted by COVID-19, including a decrease in wages or loss of employment,” according to the fund’s website. Additionally, your primary source of income for the last year must have come from the restaurant industry. Grants are only given to restaurant workers who live in the United States, an overseas U.S. military base, or any U.S. territory, according to the website.
Texans filing for unemployment increase 1,600% over two weeks ago
The number of Texans applying for unemployment relief continues to climb as more workers are laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, 275,597 Texans applied — a 1,604% increase over the 16,176 Texans who filed in the week ending March 14. Meanwhile many Texans who have been trying to apply for unemployment relief for days or weeks say they can't get through. Both the commission and Abbott have assured worried Texans that all who need relief will get it. Nationally, the employment situation is just as dire: 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, doubling the previous week when 3.3 million Americans filed.
Resources for hospitality workers hit hard by coronavirus around San Antonio
Guide to unemployment benefits for Texans laid off during coronavirus pandemicWhile many businesses are giving free food and products to health care workers, KSAT started looking into what services and benefits are available for hospitality industry workers. Here’s what we found:HospitALLity House is providing free meals for hospitality workers, including those in the restaurant industry who are facing financial hardship. Smokey Mo’s BBQ is offering 40 meals per store at the San Antonio, Boerne, Spring Branch and New Braunfels locations for hospitality industry workers. The Winechester in Alamo Heights is offering a free meal and a produce bag to hospitality workers every week on Tuesday. How Texas renters can get answers to housing, payment questions amid coronavirus pandemicCOVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
Watch: Texas Workforce Commission answer your unemployment questions on Facebook
SAN ANTONIO – As unemployment claims soar throughout Texas amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Texas Workforce Commission will held a Facebook livestream to answer frequently asked questions. #COVID19 #StayHomeTexas #unemployment Posted by Texas Workforce Commission on Wednesday, March 25, 2020Since COVID-19 began spreading throughout communities in Texas, city and county emergency declarations and stay-at-home orders have shut down several businesses. In a recent interview, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said that the unemployment rate in Texas is around 9%. Texas unemployment rate headed toward double digits, comptroller warnsMore than 16,000 claims have already been filed with the commission between March 8 through March 14. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019.
A guide to unemployment benefits for Texans laid off during coronavirus pandemic
How to apply for unemployment amid coronavirus concernsSAN ANTONIO – After one year, the coronavirus pandemic has still left many Texans out of work. The legislation extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through September 4, 2021. People who live in the San Antonio area should call Workforce Solutions Alamo at 210-224-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 insuranceThe Texas Workforce Commission website has been updated for the latest information related to relief efforts during the pandemic.
Employers finding ways to keep their staff amid coronavirus crisis
SAN ANTONIO – As officials close restaurants, bars and other businesses to help slow the spread of coronavirus, many people are now out of a job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 281,000 thousand unemployment claims were reported, a one-third increase from the previous week. Local restaurants here are trying to figure out how to save their employees from being out of a job. Some managers are having servers now deliver curbside orders to help keep them employed. MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: