AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The extension allows those who are unemployed due to COVID-19 to receive payments for an additional 11 weeks.
The Texas workforce commission says they have started procession over 1 million active claims.
For those who are under the pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and had already exhausted their benefits, the extension will renew for another 11 weeks.
For those who have not exhausted their benefits, the program will cover for a total of 50 weeks, whichever comes first.
Similarly, for those under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment compensation program, payment will be extended until that March 13th date or up to 24 total weeks, again whichever comes first.
Both programs close to new applicants on March 14, and stimulus payments do not have to be reported when requesting benefit payments.
“No one should have to re-apply for benefits. If you are currently receiving benefits, continue to request payments. If your benefits have been exhausted, we will automatically re-enroll you,” said Cisco Gamez, media and public relations specialist, Texas Workforce Commission.
The extension also includes an additional $300 per week under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment program.
“People who did not receive benefits for the week ending January 2nd, but were eligible will get those benefits backdated. There will be no backdating of federal benefits prior to week ending in January 2nd, 2021,” said Gamez.
Those receiving payments are still required to conduct work searches. Today the Texas Workforce Commission launched a new website called mytxcareer.com to help with the search.
At the moment there are a total of 700 thousand jobs across the state.
Here in the panhandle, the latest unemployment rate is at 5.5 percent, with Amarillo being at 5.4 percent.
That is compared to the state rate of 8.1 percent.
There are two thousand-272 claims in the area, with most of them being in the school and employee bus transportation and restaurant areas.
Some people may have to provide additional documentation of eligibility just to verify they have not returned to work.
In that case, the Texas Workforce Commission will contact you directly for the paperwork.
This could cause some delays, but the Texas Workforce hopes to have it all sorted in the coming weeks.