Resources for Individuals Financially Affected by COVID-19
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
Amid the spread of COVID-19, and the economic impact it is already having, the federal government has laid out new rules for who is eligible for unemployment compensation.
In its most recent stimulus package to provide economic relief for people who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the government opened up benefits to people who were self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers and others who did not qualify for regular unemployment but could no longer work.
The new program, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, is funded entirely through the federal government and implemented on the state level. But, in order to get those benefits, state governments have to rework unemployment systems to account for all sorts of different cases, according to the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.
Apply for assistance through The Texas Workforce Commission by clicking the link below:
- If your employment has been affected due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), apply for benefits either online by clicking the following link: Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631
- Effective immediately, TWC asks that Texans use their area code to find their proposed call and access times. See below chart designated times:
Area Code of Applicant
Suggested Call Time
Area Codes Beginning with 9
Mon-Wed-Fri 8:00 a.m.-Noon
Area Codes Beginning with 3, 4, 5,6
Mon-Wed-Fri 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Area codes Beginning with 7, 8
Tues -Thurs-Sat 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Area codes Beginning with 2
Tues-Thurs-Sat 1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.
- Texans will not be penalized for a delay due to call or user volume. Claims for individuals affected by COVID-19 are eligible to be backdated. Staggering claims will provide help to reduce frustrations for many Texans and provide better access to needed services.
- TWC will investigate why you lost your job and mail a decision explaining whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. *Extended Benefits (EB) are not available during this time
SELF-EMPLOYED- Self-Employed, Contract Labor, or Commission-Based Included
- If an individual has been working full-time and is self-employed, a contract worker, commission based or previously worked in a position that did not report wages, you MAY QUALIFY for unemployment and can apply online at ui.texasworkforce.org or, if unable to file online, then call 1-800-939-6631 to start the process.
- If you already applied, TWC will determine if you qualify under the [CARES Act] and notify you by mail or electronic correspondence of your eligibility.
- If you have not filed, please do so ASAP
- If you have trouble getting into the system, you may want to try very late at night.
*This info on self-employment benefits came from the KVUE web site
Disaster Financial Assistance for Individuals
The CARES ACT- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
- An extra $600 may LATER be added to benefits for up to six months if an application through the TWC was completed and approved
- Under this new act, individuals that applied for unemployment will be notified by mail or e-mail of eligibility
- The TWC is currently updating the system to the new legislation (do not try to access until notified for assistance)
Workforce Solutions Capital Area
Visit: http://www.wfscapitalarea.com/ or call 512-485-3792 for assistance in finding work.
- Workforce Solutions (WFS) has created a job board for jobs still hiring, job seekers can find this information here.
- Employers seeking resources to avoid layoffs, should visit the main page for contact information and other resources available by WFS.
- WFS has links to rapid response services and unemployment insurance through TWC.
Goodwill Central Texas
Goodwill is currently providing job help services virtually. Anyone interested in Goodwill services can call our intake line 512-637-7580.
Businesses Currently Hiring
New Paid Leave Requirements
- A new federal law enacted in response to the coronavirus crisis creates a temporary right to paid leave. However, not all employers are required to provide the leave and not all employees will be eligible for it. These fact sheets provide an overview of the rights and requirements in this new law.
- American Federation of State,County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO Fact Sheet
- Workers Defense Project
Sales Tax Collection
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- Assistance to businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February.
- Assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.
- We ask that you contact our Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due. We strongly encourage you to use our online tools, tutorials and other resources for tax services, and establish 24/7 account access on Webfile.
These new RENT regulations apply only to those unable to pay due to lost wages from the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Landlords may NOT give tenants a “Notice to Vacate” from now until May 8,2020. State law requires landlords to give a “Notice to Vacate” before they file for an eviction.
- Landlords may NOT remove a tenant’s property or change their locks for non-payment of rent from now until May 8, 2020.
Landlords may NOT take property from a residential tenant’s dwelling unit to hold for non-payment of rent from now until May 8, 2020.
- Austin Energy and Water are NOT disconnecting utilities due to non-payment during this crisis until further notice
- Payment centers are now closed until further notice
- For more information visit the link below or visit: https://austinenergy.com/
- AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all pledged to not disconnect phone/internet due to non-payment during this crisis
*Sourced From the City of Austin City Council Member Greg Casar: http://www.austintexas.gov/
Internet Access for Students ONLY
The list below provides a list of addresses in which buses will be available weekdays 8 am-2 pm for students to access free WIFI. Students MUST remain 6 feet apart, and may only utilize for educational purposes.
WIFI network: Kajeet SmartBus
- 8800 & 8900 N. IH35
- 5701 Johnny Moris Rd.
- 7000 Decker Ln.
- 1601 E. Anderson
- 1044 Norwood Plaza
- 10701 & 10505 IH35
- 1601 E. Slaughter Ln.
- 815 W. Slaughter Ln.
- 8405 Bee Caves Rd
- Metz Elementary
- Uphaus Early Childhood Elementary