Unemployed Texans are getting a small break. The Texas Workforce Commission announced yesterday that it would be giving unemployed Texans another nine weeks of benefits.
The benefits come under the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act, and the extension was the result of high unemployment rates in Texas. Over the past three months, the Commission says that unemployment has been at 7 percent or higher.
According to the Workforce Commission, those currently receiving unemployment benefits will automatically get a nine-week extension. Most Texans who are entitled to these benefits will not need to contact the Commission to get the benefits.
Even some of those who have exhausted their benefits may be eligible for benefits through this extension.
Approximately 32,000 unemployment insurance recipients who have exhausted their benefits will be receiving letters from the Commission. The letters will explain what the recipients are entitled to, and how they can apply for the extension.
As a result of the extension, unemployed Texans can now benefit from 63 weeks of unemployment insurance.
Unemployment benefits are essential to helping those who are out of work get back on their feet. While benefits aren't permanent, they provide unemployed workers with a chance to gather their bearings and prepare themselves to once again enter the workforce.
Not everyone is entitled to unemployment benefits, however. In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must have been at your job for a certain period of time. Your departure must also meet certain criteria. For example, if you quit or were forced to leave because of your own misconduct, you might not be eligible for benefits.
In any event, the extension of Texas state unemployment benefits is great news for out-of-work Texans. While it may not necessarily help Texans find new jobs, it does provide some interim relief for those who are trying to make ends meet as their job search continues.