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Federal law extends benefits for unemployed Texans TWC will notify all potentially eligible claimants by mail

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced last week that the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 signed into law by President George W. Bush on March 9, 2002 will temporarily provide up to 13 additional weeks of benefits for eligible, unemployed Texans who exhaust their regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.

The extension, referred to as Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) is scheduled to end December 28, 2002. While regular UI benefits are funded by employer taxes, the TEUC benefits are entirely federally funded, and employers will not be charged for any claims paid out on this extension.

To be eligible for this extension of UI benefits, claimants must have filed a claim since March 15, 2001 and have exhausted their benefits. They also must be currently unemployed, and the benefits are not retroactive. Claimants who meet the eligibility qualifications will receive under TEUC the same weekly benefit amount they received or the regular claim the extension is based upon. Claimants who meet the criteria for TEUC will be entitled to 50 percent of the total benefits they were entitled to receive on their exhausted claim, up to a maximum of 13 weeks of benefits.

As many as 200,000 Texans may be eligible for the extended benefits, TWC’s UI Support and Customer Service Department will be mailing letters to all potentially eligible claimants within the next week to tell them how to apply. Claimants do not need to contact TWC until they receive a letter, unless they need to submit a change of address.

Claimants may update their address information by contacting their local UL Tele-Center, Further information and updates also are available on the TWC web site at www.texasworkforceorg.