Texas Workforce Commission Receives a Record 1.7 Million Calls in One Day

03 April 2020 Coronavirus Resource Center:Back to Business Blog
Authors: Amy Beard Craig P. Chick Kimberly A. Yelkin

On March 27, 2020, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) received more claims than they did in the entire month of February as a result of COVID-19. The previous daily record was 60,000.

Individuals seeking to file unemployment claims are asked to first begin their claim process through the unemployment benefit services online portal. To assist in answering common questions about the unemployment insurance (UI) process, the TWC launched a virtual assistant named “Larry the Chat Bot.” The program is expected to provide relief to the TWC’s call centers. Using its artificial intelligence matrix, “Larry” will learn more questions and more ways to assist Texans over time.

Per Governor Abbott’s instructions, the TWC has waived the waiting week for Unemployment Benefits. Under normal circumstances, the first week of a claim would not be paid by TWC until an individual receives two times their weekly benefit amount and returns to work full-time or has exhausted their benefits. This measure seeks to provide immediate relief to Texans who need it.

Additionally, the TWC has waived the UI search requirements. To be eligible previously, individual applicants were required to register for work search on www.WorkinTexas.com and meet weekly minimum work search activities. The TWC is temporarily waiving this requirement to ensure Texans have access to urgently needed resources.

For employers facing temporary or permanent layoffs, TWC’s Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process. By submitting basic information, employers can initiate claims on behalf of their employees prior to the layoff, which will ensure employees receive their benefits as quickly as possible.

Employers who have not yet laid off employees can log on to Employer Benefits Services to submit their Mass Claim Request.

Businesses that have already initiated layoffs for 10 or more employees cannot use Employer Benefit Services to submit a claim. If the layoff date has already passed, the employer must fill out the Mass Claims document manually by completing the Mass Claims Spreadsheet and Agreement Letter. Completed documents need to be emailed to the Mass Claims Coordinator at ui.massclaims@twc.state.tx.us along with following information:

  • Company name, address, phone number, and TWC Tax Account Number
  • The layoff date and how many employees were affected
  • Contact person’s name, email address, and phone number

All Resources made available by the TWC for both employers and job seekers can be reviewed at twc.texas.gov.

For more information about recommended steps, please contact your Foley relationship partner. For additional web-based resources available to assist you in monitoring the spread of the coronavirus on a global basis, you may wish to visit the CDC and the World Health Organization

Foley has created a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional team which has prepared a wealth of topical client resources and is prepared to help our clients meet the legal and business challenges that the coronavirus outbreak is creating for stakeholders across a range of industries. Click here for Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center to stay apprised of relevant developments, insights, and resources to support your business during this challenging time. To receive this content directly in your inbox, click here and submit the form. 

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services