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The Texas Workforce Commission has been slammed by huge numbers of callers as the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the state. 

The commission said more than 500,000 Texans have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days as a result of COVID-19. 

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will soon outpace the total number of claims received in all of 2019. 

This unprecedented increase has led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal. TWC staff is working around the clock to expand the capacity to take claims but needs your support. Effective immediately, TWC recommends that Texans stagger their calls and access to the online portal based on the applicant’s area codes.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded each of us the importance of acting with others in mind,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “Just as with the virus, we can treat this problem far more effectively if we work together and space out the demand rather than having everyone call at the same time. I know there are Texans worried about being out of work and missing their paychecks. We keep working until every Texan that needs help gets help. We are asking for you to join the effort.”

Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times listed below. 

For those in Kerr County, your designated days are from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Those with a San Antonio-area area code will call on the same days as Kerr County but between 1-5 p.m. 

Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. Staggering claims will provide help to reduce frustrations for many Texans and provide better access to needed services.

For more information on COVID-19 and unemployment benefits, visit: https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers

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