AUSTIN – With Texas’ unemployment rate falling to 6.8 percent, Texas will no longer have access to additional unemployment insurance benefits that would have kicked in after traditional benefits and extended benefits (EB) under the CARES Act are exhausted. Provisions under that act will continue to remain in place until Dec. 26, 2020.
The High Unemployment Period (HUP) is an extension for states with unemployment rates over 8 percent for over three months as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Texas triggered on to HUP benefits in June, but since Texas’ unemployment rate fell below that threshold in August, the state lost eligibility. Traditional benefits as well as extended benefits (EB) will remain in place.
What changes? For people receiving unemployment benefits currently, nothing changes.
Who does this effect? Almost no Texans. Because extended benefits (EB) had not been exhausted, Texans were typically not receiving HUP. In special circumstances, some persons’ extended benefits may have been exhausted early, in which case HUP would apply.
What benefits do Texans have? The following benefits timelines still apply for Texans receiving unemployment insurance benefits:
Traditional recipients (Up to 52 weeks)
- Regular unemployment – Up to 26 weeks
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – Up to 13 weeks additional
- Extended benefits – Up to 13 weeks additional
Workers not eligible for traditional benefits (self employed, gig workers, etc.)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – Up to 39 weeks.
For more information on eligibility requirements, available benefits and questions about the unemployment process, visit TWC’s COVID-19 FAQ page.