AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Workforce Commission has been inundated with calls from thousands of Texans attempting to file for unemployment benefits.
Marylynne Seay is a retired nurse and her husband a plumber who was furloughed during the COVID-19 health crisis. She said the two have been calling the TWC service line for more than three weeks.
Seay’s husband created a user ID years ago and no longer has access to his account. “Both My husband and I are feeling very frustrated, both of us are calling all day,” Seay said.
Aside from tied up phone lines, Babbet Muhle who was recently laid off from her job said she hasn’t been able to file an unemployment claim online.
“Each day goes by, each day goes by and nothing is being resolved,” Muhle said. “We’ve been extremely patient but they have to put something different in place so the people who are trying to get through or at least being acknowledged.”
The single mother is concerned about the first of the month, her landlord still expects rent. Seay said she, fortunately, has her house paid off but without assistance she worries she may not be able to pay bills.
“This will ruin our credit, this can possibly get our car repossessed,” said Seay. “This is something that has never happened to us, we have been working individuals all our lives.”
The Texas Workforce Commission offices are closed to the public at this time.
TWC Spokesperson Francisco Gamez said the agency is aware of site issues and a high call volume and says the TWC is doing what they can to respond. “We are working extended hours over the weekend. It's all hands on deck we are working to help with the need,” said Gamez.“ We are just asking Texans to be patient with us, we are working to help them and we will.”
Gamez advises people to go online because access to the site is easier than calling in. Governor Greg Abbott weighed in on the issue during a press conference Tuesday saying help is on its way.
“Know that you’re not going to be denied your claim simply because you are having a hard time getting through,” said Abbott. “We understand your need and your need for speed, as a result we have hired more people on a temporary basis to help respond to these claims.”
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