Texas Workforce Commission tries to work through backlog of unemployment claims

The Texas Workforce Commission continues to be overwhelmed by a record number of people filing for unemployment.

Texans who are having trouble submitting an application online are finding themselves unable to get a hold of anyone over the phone either. TWC offices are closed to the public in order to adhere to social distancing requirements.

FOX4 spoke with one person who has been calling every day for 3 weeks now and still can't reach a person.

“Every morning for last three weeks started calling 7:58, says closed. Dial right back, dial right back, rings and rings at 8:01 automatically, that message comes on,” said Ronnie Earls.

He can't submit his application online because he is getting an error message about his social security number.

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A spokesman for the commission admitted that some issues, like Earl's, can only be handled over the phone.

“On some of the days last week, we received a million and a half calls in a day. I think people calling multiple times. Over a million and a half calls coming thru. We are trying to accommodate, trying to answer all the calls, will follow through asking for people to be patient with us. I don’t know any call center that could answer that many calls in a day,” said spokesman Cisco Gamez.

Gamez said the TWC is working to resolve the backlog of people trying to get through by extending their hours and working weekends. They’re also looking to hire more workers.

“I’m trying to be patient,” Earls said. “But patience doesn’t pay rent put food in refrigerator, put gas in the car for interviews, my patience is wearing thin.”


Texas Workforce Commission working to improve system as unemployment claims spike

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