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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

830,000 Texans will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas

Even those working will be impacted when the pandemic unemployment programs expire.

AUSTIN, Texas — The next year may leave more than 830,000 Texans without a job and without any money from the government to help.

Unemployment money under the CARES Act will stop the day after Christmas unless Congress intervenes.

This will hit more than half of everyone getting unemployment benefits right now.

The CARES Act has two remaining programs for the unemployed.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance expanded who could receive some unemployment benefits. It allocated money for gig workers, part-time workers and those who wouldn’t qualify for regular unemployment.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation continued regular unemployment benefits by an additional 13 weeks for those who were impacted by COVID-19.

Texas Workforce Commission Executive Director Ed Serna said more than 830,000 people will lose their benefits.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most of those out of work get by using credit cards or borrow from friends and family.

Plus, most of those racking up debt do not have a college degree and still have a family to feed. 

“We know that we are a lifeline to our neighbors, our fellow Texans. But in this case, there's nothing we can do. Those were federal programs authorized by Congress and the president. And there's been no action to do anything so far,” Serna said. 

We all will be impacted.

If everyone receiving PUA or PEUC now got the bare minimum, when the CARES Act expires, Texas will lose at least $45 million each week. However, if someone is waiting on an appeal and they win that appeal, TWC will give backpay. 

“We will pay you all of that that we owed you back in 2020, whether they are regular unemployment insurance, or whether it is money from the CARES Act,” Serna said.

The CARES Act funding ends Dec. 31, but the unemployment CARES Act money stops Dec. 26.

By Texas law, the state won’t pay for a partial week of unemployment.

So, the five days from Dec. 26 to when the CARES Act expires, no Texan will receive pandemic unemployment money.

The state will continue to offer free training, job fairs and other career resources.

You can find those through your local workforce solutions office.

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