Unemployment Benefits Abused in Texas

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.
Photo via kfor.com

The new Federal and State restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19 affected everyone. These restrictions caused changes to people and their lives due to what was inflicted by the government. Federal aid for displaced workers was initially offered with good intentions. However, for some, the changes were overly good. However, other parties found that the changes were destructively bad. The original idea of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was to assist those that Texas State benefits didn’t normally cover. 

There was a certain way to qualify for PUA, at the time of the epidemic. These were the people that were no longer employed and fit the profile of self-employed, those who did not qualify for statement benefits, independent contractors, or benefits already exhausted. In addition, the PUA extended regular state benefits and added an additional $300 a week payment. Yes, for some locations, careers, professions, and certain surroundings, additional funds were necessary to keep the residents afloat. 

When the PUA stopped, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continued the additional $300 a week payments to those that had qualified for and received PUA. However, that is when the qualifications for renewal should have been re-examined. Program features should have been looked at more closely to see if they were still necessary. 

This should have been looked into because program terms resulted in people with higher incomes on unemployment than they ever made working. In particular, the extra $300 weekly benefit provided low to moderate-income workers with a disincentive to seek new employment. In turn, businesses have trouble hiring employees while potential workers are getting public assistance for rent and food. 

This caused more issues to be discussed later. 

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