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Texas unemployment benefits extended another 13 weeks

Out-of-work Texans about to lose unemployment may be eligible to continue receiving money.

AUSTIN, Texas —

Texas paid more than $9.5 billion to unemployed workers so far this year. Many of them are set to run out of benefits soon, but help is on the way.

“The Department of Labor is reimbursing states 100% for state extended benefits paid. The state extended benefits is an additional 50% of the regular UI entitlement, up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment insurance,” said Clay Cole, director of Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Insurance Division.

Regular unemployment can last up to 26 weeks. In March, the federal government allowed another 13 weeks under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) fund.

“The weekly benefit amount of PEUC is equal to the regular compensation payable to such individual under state law, plus an additional $600 under the Emergency Increase,” TWC explains on its website.

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When those extended benefits run out, the Department of Labor approved another 13-week round starting in July. The money does not include another round of the $600 CARES Act money.

"UI and IT completed notifying all of our potential PEUC ... individuals today. Today we've processed over 50,000 PEUC claims," said Cole.

Not everyone will qualify for the 13-week extension. Self-employed and contract workers who are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will not get the extension. 

"[PUA] provides up to 39 weeks of benefits and is available starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020. This program covers individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or whom otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) under section 2107,” shows TWC’s website.

TWC paid out $459 million in PUA benefits so far. As of now, the $600 on top of unemployment ends on July 25.

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