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Defenders Q&A: Do you get an extra $600 a week if you filed for unemployment?

If you have a question you'd like for KVUE to answer, text 512-459-9442.

AUSTIN, Texas — Many viewers have reached out to KVUE with questions regarding coronavirus, so our KVUE Defenders decided to take a look at some of them.

Here are the answers to some of your questions.

Question: What do you know about the extra $600 a week that we are supposed to get if we got unemployment and when do we get it?

Answer: The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages those who have not yet applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as a result of COVID-19 to apply now. Individuals affected by COVID-19 can apply for PUA benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or by calling a TWC Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 any day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.


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Question: Is the added $600 stimulus dollars to unemployment benefits added taxable income?  

Answer: The Texas Workforce Commission confirms unemployment benefits are taxable income. Individuals can sign up for withholding and the Texas Workforce Commission will deduct 10% for income tax withholding.

Question: Who is ultimately responsible for enforcing capacity limits and social distancing in restaurants and bars?

Answer: Both the governor's orders and the Austin mayor's orders are at play, but local agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance

Question: Will the stimulus check be addressed as added income?

Answer: The IRS says no. The stimulus payment is not income and you will not owe taxes on it. The payment will also not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.

Question: When will Austin Public Libraries reopen?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no clear answer on this. KVUE called the main library and a few branches, but no one was there to take the calls. When KVUE sent the library an online message, they responded with the following statement:

"APL is developing its reopening plans with your health and safety in mind. Stay tuned for updates – we greatly appreciate your patience at this time."

If you have a question you'd like for KVUE to answer, text us at 512-459-9442.

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