Texas Workforce Commission answers your questions about unemployment benefits

Even though some businesses are starting to reopen, many people are still depending on unemployment benefits to make ends meet.

But we're still hearing from many of you having trouble collecting your benefits.

We had a chance to take your questions directly to the head of the Texas Workforce Commission. Here are his answers.

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"I'm worried about how I'm going to pay all this rent that's been not getting paid because of the disaster, or my car note, my light bill," said Betty Baldo.

Baldo says she received an approval letter for unemployment benefits, then a denial letter saying she didn't perform the required work search.

"I have emails from a lady that works at one of the TWC offices that I was in touch with about job training. So I can prove that I was actively looking," said Baldo.


But she actually shouldn't have to. The Texas Workforce Commission suspended the job search requirement in March. We asked Executive Director Ed Cerna about it.

"If you don't mind, send me that individual's contact information, because we suspended work search in March. So that should not be a reason for disqualification," Cerna responded.

We have forwarded the information to him at the TWC.

Cerna says the TWC won't reinstate the job search requirement for at least a few weeks and will alert applicants when it does well in advance.

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Other viewers contacted us saying they didn't receive the full benefits they were expecting. Cerna says to let them know if that happens.

"If you have a problem, you can reach out and contact us.  We have several, not just our Call Centers, but several other numbers that are available as well as email addresses," said Cerna.

And for those wondering whether to go back to work if they're only being offered partial hours or a partial salary, Cerna says they should. He says workers can still collect partial unemployment benefits to help make up the difference.

"You're getting benefits, plus you're getting a wage and you're getting set up to go back to work when things are back to closer to 100%," explained Cerna.

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Applicants tell us that day can't come fast enough as they try to collect the benefits they need.

"It's stressful, it's very, very stressful," said Baldo.

For those looking for work, Cerna points out there are more than 4,000 job openings posted right now in Texas. You can find them on www.WorkInTexas.com.