The recent escalation of COVID-19 in Texas is affecting everyone. Workforce Solutions South Plains is here to connect businesses like yours to new and existing resources. We have provided external links for information purposes only and do not promote any products or services.
At present, the federal and state government have not changed any laws or rules concerning unemployment benefits during the pandemic. However, U.S. Department of Labor guidance provides that federal law permits significant flexibility for states to provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) services related to COVID-19. Based on this, TWC will be waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. Also, Extended Benefits (EB) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are not available at this time.
The UI program pays benefits to those individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC determines benefit eligibility based on past wages, why someone lost their job and ongoing eligibility requirements.
Mass Claims Program
If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits. You can submit a mass claim request to Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To submit a Mass Claim, log on to Employer Benefits Services.
Shared Work Program
If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs. This voluntary program helps Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.
The Shared Work program allows employers to:
- Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits.
- Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent. The reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit.
Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.
Interested employers are required to submit a Shared Work Plan Application and Employee Participation List, which are available at www.twc.tx.us/ui/bnfts/sharedwork.html
Please note: There are specific requirements that an employer must comply with under a filed Shared Work Plan.
For more information, please see TWC’s Shared Work web page, or contact the Shared Work Department at
Rapid Response Services
Through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), WSA provides immediate on-site services for both employees and employers. Rapid Response Services and activities are early-intervention services designed to enable workers affected by closures or layoffs to transition to new employment as quickly as possible.
Rapid Response Services are tailored to each company and begin upon receipt of:
- A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice
- A public announcement (media, newspaper or radio station)
- A Trade Adjustment Assistance petition
- Other information that a permanent plant closure or mass layoff is planned (such as the employer voluntarily notifying the WSA Board or TWC of an impending layoff)
- Or in the wake of a natural or other disaster resulting in mass job dislocation
Workforce Solutions South Plains provides outplacement services to work closely with you to plan and coordinate for layoffs and closings. We provide immediate services to assist employees who are facing job loss. Services include the following:
- Assistance looking for a job through WorkInTexas.com, the state’s premier job search website
- Other services include job application and resume writing, interviewing skills and effective interviewing techniques
- How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance
- Stress & Financial Management Seminars
- Funding for skills training in targeting occupations in demand growing industries in the Texas Area *(subject to program eligibility)
Apply for Local Rapid Response Services
Submitting a WARN Notice
Any Texas employer laying off workers may request Rapid Response services for their employees. You can request Rapid Response services for your employees by either contacting the Texas Workforce Commission and/or by submitting a WARN Notice by mail, fax, or email:
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E. 15th St, Rm 212T
Austin, TX 78778-0001
For further assistance and information about Rapid Response Services, please visit https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/rapid-response