AUSTIN, Texas — As the U.S. government begins rolling out COVID-19 relief payments, Gov. Greg Abbott said the State of Texas has already made thousands of payments to people who are unemployed.
"As of today, there are now 1,130,000 claims that have been paid," Gov. Abbott said during a press conference Monday. "The total amount paid out now amounts to well over $400 million."
Many claims have yet to be processed, but the governor said the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is adding more resources to help people.
- Gov. Abbott announces $50M in small business loans in Texas from Goldman Sachs, LiftFund
- TWC call centers to open seven days a week to handle unemployment claims
- Here’s what you need to know about requesting your unemployment payment
- Texas spent at least $11 million to handle unemployment claim calls, with more spending to come. Here’s where the money went so far
Last week, the TWC announced it will be opening its six call centers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. And, starting Monday, April 13, they will begin opening seven days a week. A seventh call center is also set to open soon.
TWC also said Monday that it has added 15 extra servers to handle internet traffic to help avoid crashes that blocked the processing of claims. TWC has also said it's shifting 1,000 workers from other departments to handle unemployment claims and hiring 100 more.
Also on Monday, Gov. Abbott announced $50 million in small in loans was on its way to small businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a partnership between Goldman Sachs and LiftFund.
Numbers are way up from this time last year. In the week of March 28, 2020, Travis County residents filed 14,539 claims for unemployment benefits. That same week last year, there were 503 filed claims. Williamson County residents filed 5,725 claims compared to 173 the same week a year ago.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: