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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Extra $300 unemployment benefits for Texans to end this week, TWC announces

The normal state unemployment benefits will not be affected by the change, TWC said.

AUSTIN, Texas — The extra $300 a week payment for Texans collecting unemployment amid the COVID-19 pandemic will end this week, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced on Wednesday.

The money, which was provided by FEMA, was part of the Lost Wages Assistance Program, a temporary provision after the expiration of the $600 assistance program as part of the federal CARES Act.

FEMA informed TWC on Wednesday the funds will finish with the benefit week ending Sept. 5, 2020. TWC said it cannot extend payments beyond that date because the funds provided by FEMA were limited.

The extra FEMA money was previously approved for six benefit weeks:

  • Aug. 1, 2020
  • Aug. 8, 2020
  • Aug. 15, 2020
  • Aug. 22, 2020
  • Aug. 29, 2020
  • Sept. 5, 2020

TWC said it will continue to pay eligible claimants for the approved six weeks, as long as the existing FEMA funds deposited to the commission remain available.

The normal state unemployment benefits will not be affected by the change, TWC said.

RELATED: Texas unemployment benefits to increase

Other provisions of the federal CARES Act do not expire until Dec. 26, 2020, including an extra 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust the traditional benefits. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will also continue, providing up to 46 weeks of benefits to people who are self-employed or who would not otherwise qualify for state benefits.

The Lost Wage Assistance Program was established after an executive order by President Donald Trump on Aug. 8, after Congress failed to negotiate a second stimulus bill. But the money, which is drawn from the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund and not the Department of Labor, was limited to $44 billion.

In August, TWC said it hoped the funds would last until November.

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