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TWC Phasing Out Emergency Child Care Programs

TWC Phasing Out Emergency Child Care Programs

Child care centers across Texas re-open, funding returns to pre-pandemic levels

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has begun phasing out the emergency program to subsidize childcare for Texas’ essential workers.

This move comes the day after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that child care providers across the state could re-open. Subsidies were put in place to assist both essential workers and child care centers during limited enrollment. With Texas re-opening, those essential workers who are already on the subsidized plan will continue to receive child care for the three month period they were initially approved for under this program. Essential workers who have yet to apply for subsidized care have until Wednesday, May 20, 2020, to do so. Essential workers may also apply at any time for TWC’s regular subsidized child care program for low-income families if they meet eligibility requirements.

 

In March, TWC commissioners authorized $200 million to Local Workforce Development Boards to subsidize three months of child care for essential workers, and to support the higher costs of child care during COVID as a result of smaller class sizes. This effort aimed to help ensure that essential workers, who hadn’t planned for child care needs during regular public school days, had access to this critical support service to ensure that they could continue to work and support the COVID recovery needs. And it was aimed at supporting child care providers whose cost of care increased as a result of smaller class sized in effect during COVID. In March, TWC commissioners also authorized payments to child care providers to continue even when subsidized children were absent. And effective April 1, TWC waived the Parents’ Share of Cost (PSOC) for At-Risk Child Care. By doing so, TWC effectively paid 100 percent of the cost to providers even while children were absent. This short-term measure was put into place to ensure child care centers continued to receive full reimbursement, as parents would not pay their portion while their children were absent. 

 

Effective June 1, TWC will reinstate the requirement for parents receiving financial assistance to pay for a portion of their costs. As children return to their centers, parents will resume paying their share of child care costs.TWC also continues to pay providers when children are absent and is paying a 25% enhanced reimbursement rate over and above what they regularly receive. If parents are unable to meet this financial obligation, costs may be waived.

 

In May, TWC also approved funding to help closed child care providers who were previously serving subsidized children.  TWC is offering Stabilization Grants for closed providers to help defray some of their ongoing fixed costs in order to help them remain viable so they may eventually reopen.

 

Those in need of assistance should contact their local Workforce Board for more information on child care options in their area as well as to find information on financial assistance. Please visit the TWC Child Care webpage or contact your local Workforce Board.

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Workforce Solutions Launches “Jobs Now” Page

Workforce Solutions Launches “Jobs Now” Page

Workforce Solutions of Central Texas has launched a new page that helps connect job seekers directly to employers.

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

Because of the need for essential workers across many industry sectors and the large volume of traffic on the State’s WorkInTexas.com job site, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas is posting jobs that are hiring now in Central Texas.

“We began to hear from job seekers that they have had trouble registering on the state web site. Our priority is to connect people with jobs so we decide to provide an alternative to view those opportunities. It is certainly a unique and critical time for the workers in Central Texas” said Susan Kamas the Executive Director of the Central Texas Workforce Board. “Families are being impacted by job loss while at the same time many employers are trying to connect with new talent”.

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From April 4 to April 10, there were more than 2,300 unique job postings for the Central Texas region that spanned multiple industry sectors with the leader being healthcare. Louis LeDoux, Chief Operating Officer wants job seekers to know that Workforce Solutions is there to assist customers. “The facilities may be closed but we are still operating to serve the needs of Central Texas. We have the infrastructure in place for staff to assist the needs of our customers remotely and we are still focused on meeting their needs”.

 

The Jobs Now! page helps job seekers to easily identify the jobs and the employers in our area. The page can be found at https://workforcesolutionsctx.com/jobs-now/.

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COVID-19 Update -Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Available for Eligible Workers

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Available for Eligible Workers

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

AUSTIN –The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages those who have not yet applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as a result of COVID-19 to apply now. Individuals affected by COVID-19 can apply for PUA benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or by calling a TWC Tele-Center any day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 800-939-6631.When applying, individuals affected by the pandemic should indicate that as the reason they lost their job.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits for persons impacted by COVID-19 and covers individuals who are self-employed, who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation, or who have exhausted state benefits.

 

Additionally, TWC has begun rolling out the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), adding an additional $600 per week for claimants. Individuals receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) or federal extended benefits qualify for the additional $600.

 

If you have already applied for traditional UI benefits, you do not need to take any further action to quality for PUA. Do not apply for benefits again. TWC will review eligibility for PUA for all existing applicants automatically and notify claimants by mail or electronic correspondence of their eligibility. 

 

If you are an independent contractor, self-employed or a 1099 worker, you have until December 26, 2020 to provide your 2019 Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 and Schedule C, F, or SE.

 

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dated March 27, 2020, individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Extended Benefits (EB) under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) under section 2107 may be eligible for assistance under PUA. Coverage may also include individuals who have exhausted their benefits under regular UC or EB claims under state or federal law, or PEUC.

 

Click HERE to learn more and apply for benefits on the TWC website.

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COVID-19 Update – What has Changed in the Unemployment Process?

What has Changed in the Unemployment Process?

A before and after comparison of changes in the unemployment process.

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

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COVID-19 Update – Gov. Abbott Waives Waiting Period, Work Search Requirements for UI

COVID-19 Update from Gov. Abbott

Governor Abbott has waived the one-week waiting period for benefits and work search requirements for Unemployment Insurance. 

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

AUSTIN – In light of the rising number of unemployed due to the coronavirus outbreak Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made changes to the current Unemployment Insurance system to remove barriers to eligibility and receive benefits sooner.

Gov. Abbott and the Texas Workforce Commission have waived the one-week waiting period to qualify for benefits and the work-search requirement. 

For more information on how the State of Texas is handling the pandemic, see Governor Greg Abbott’s website at: https://gov.texas.gov/

 

For more information on the status of COVID-19 in Texas, see the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/

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COVID-19 Child Care & Early Learning Information for Essential Workers

COVID-19 Child Care + Early Learning Information for Essential Workers

f you are an essential worker and you need emergency child care during the COVID-19 Pandemic public health crisis, we can help you!

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

If you are an essential worker or employed with an essential business and child care is absolutely necessary, please review and complete the eligibility form below to determine if you are potentially eligible for financial assistance.

Many families and child care programs in our community have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time many essential workers are required to continue working and essential businesses remain open.

Essential workers and businesses include the following:

  • Pharmacy and health care workers
  • First responders
  • Critical local and state government staff
  • Mail and delivery service staff
  • Nursing home, child care, home health care, and other direct care providers
  • Grocery store staff
  • Gas station staff
  • Bank staff
  • Restaurant (with drive-through and delivery) staff
  • Military personnel
  • Any other workers deemed essential by the Texas Workforce Commission or Local Workforce Development Boards

Please complete this form to apply for Emergency Child Care:

Submit your form here. You may also include any attachments that would help us to process your application more quickly.

Once we have received your completed form you will be contacted by an eligibility specialist to determine if you qualify for financial assistance, and if funds are currently available.

 

If you need help locating a provider that is open and accepting new children, you can visit the Frontline Child Care Availability Portal at find.frontlinechildcare.texas.gov. This website will allow essential workers to search for available child care near their home or work, and it will display a map of licensed child care centers, licensed homes, and registered homesalong with each facility’s operating hours and the number of open seats for each age group at the facility.

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COVID-19 Update from Texas Workforce Commission

COVID-19 Update from the Texas Workforce Commission

Recommendations Will Ease Backlog of Texans Unable to Access Unemployment System

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

AUSTIN- Over half a million Texans have filed unemployment claims in the last 18 days as a result of COVID-19. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will soon outpace the total number of claims received in all of 2019. This unprecedented increase has led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal.

TWC staff is working around the clock to expand the capacity to take claims but needs your support. Effective immediately, TWC recommends that Texans stagger their calls and access to the online portal based on the applicant’s area codes.

 

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded each of us the importance of acting with others in mind,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “Just as with the virus, we can treat this problem far more effectively if we work together and space out the demand rather than having everyone call at the same time. I know there are Texans worried about being out of work and missing their paychecks. We keep working until every Texan that needs help gets help. We are asking for you to join the effort.”

 

The link to the entire article is: https://bit.ly/3aXoXWd We also want to post all press releases on social media.

  • Parents are receiving or transitioning off of public assistance
  • Are receiving or needing protective services
  • Families are low-income

In some cases the workforce development board may have a waiting list for child care services.

For more information, visit our child care page for parents or contact your local office.

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TWC Cautions Claimants Regarding Fraudulent Calls

TWC Cautions Claimants Regarding Fraudulent Calls

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) advises those applying for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits that individuals misrepresenting TWC may capitalize on the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and attempt to secure sensitive, personal information through deceit.  

WC is reminding all UI claimants and unemployed workers to practice caution when providing people with personally identifiable information. Unfortunately, in situations such as the one we are experiencing because of COVID-19, there can be unemployment insurance scams and fraudulent phone calls.

Below are some indications that you may be a victim of an attempted scam by someone pretending to be a TWC Specialist:

  • The individual asks for a credit card number.
  • The individual says there is a fee for processing the claim.
  • The individual asks for more than the last four digits of your bank account and routing number.

When you are contacted by a legitimate TWC Specialist they will need to confirm your identity and will ask for your Social Security Number and date of birth. However, a TWC Specialist will never ask for a credit card number or state that there is any kind of fee associated with your claim. There is no fee for filing for UI and a TWC Specialist cannot change banking information, so the full number is unnecessary.  

If you sent TWC an email, left a message, or reached out using social media, you should expect a phone call from a TWC Specialist. You may receive calls from TWC on other issues concerning your claim, but always be vigilant when providing personal information. When in doubt, hang up.

If you encounter anyone who’s identity you are not sure of, do not give out your:

  • Phone Number
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Impersonating a public servant and identity theft are crimes punishable by law. If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/.

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COVID-19 Update – How does the CARES Act Affect Your Benefits?

How does the CARES Act Affect Your Benefits?

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By WEBSITE ADMIN

This flow chart represents the options for individuals in search of assistance. If you’ve already been approved for benefits you do not need to do anything. If you are eligible or newly eligible, apply online. If you are a non-traditional applicant, apply online and then wait for a notification about pandemic unemployment assistance. If you have exhausted your benefits, wait for a notification via mail or email, you may then be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The additional $600 in benefits allies to all who qualify, no additional action is needed.

Already Approved for Benefits?
Sit tight. You may be eligible for potential Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits for up to 39 weeks AND you are possibly eligible for an additional $600/wk until July 31, 2020.

 

Are you Self-Employed, a Contract Worker or Someone Without Significant Wages?
CARES provides assistance for Non-Traditional Applicants. Apply for benefits at ui.texasworkforce.org.

 

Already Applied for Benefits or Exhausted Your Unemployment Insurance? We will contact you. You do not need to follow up with us. And once you apply you will not need to take any additional steps to apply for PUA or other additional benefits. Once you submit your application we will automatically review if for any additional benefits you may be eligible for.

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