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Choosing not to return to work? Here's who can still receive unemployment benefits in Texas

If you or a household member are at high risk, you can still receive unemployment benefits.

AUSTIN, Texas — As the Texas economy prepares to begin its reopening process on Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Workforce Commission have announced new guidelines for the unemployed who are concerned about their eligibility for benefits should they choose not to return to work due to COVID-19.

The new guidance outlines certain reasons a person can still receive those unemployment benefits throughout the COVID-19 response:

  • The person or a household member is at high risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • The person is diagnosed with COVID-19: The individual has tested positive by a source authorized by the State of Texas and has not recovered.
  • A family member has COVID-19: Anybody in the household has tested positive by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed.
  • The person is quarantined: The individual is currently in 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure to COVID-19.
  • Child care: Child’s school or daycare is closed and no alternatives are available.

Each unemployment insurance claim is being evaluated on an individual basis. Any other situation will be subject to a case-by-case review from the Texas Workforce Commission.

"As the Lone Star State begins the process of safely and strategically opening the economy, our top priority is protecting the health and safety of all Texans —especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19," said Gov. Abbott. "This flexibility in the unemployment benefit process will help ensure that Texans with certain health and safety concerns will not be penalized for choosing not to return to work."


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