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Texas Workforce Commission scrambles to respond to claims

Friday, April 3, 2020 by Tai Moses

The Texas Workforce Commission wants to assure people who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 that they do, indeed, feel your pain. According to an email from the commission yesterday, “to those who have been laid off, are unsure about your employment situation or are worried for your business: we see you, we hear you and we are working around the clock to provide the resources and help that you need.” The commission is scrambling to respond to calls from people desperate to access their unemployment benefits – last Thursday, March 26, the commission received an unprecedented 1.7 million calls in a single day. Since that peak, the number of calls has fallen to about 120,000 a day. In an interview with Spectrum News last week, Ed Serna, the commission’s executive director, acknowledged, “None of our plans prepared us for the intensity and magnitude of this emergency.” With the system flooded, the commission is begging Texans to “be patient with us. … We are expanding both our technological and staff capabilities to meet our current needs. We have extended our hours of operation and are open Saturdays. We are hiring new staff. We are committed to helping every single Texan in need.”

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