As we witness the destruction and suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey, we are united in our concern and determination to support our fellow Texans during this trying time. Hurricane Harvey has brought great devastation to our state, and many of our Texas employers are among the thousands adversely affected by the storm. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is working to provide available resources and services to displaced and other affected Texans, and will continue to monitor the effects of the storm to determine what additional steps we need to take to provide assistance.
Below is a list of resources available for those who have been affected as well as a link to frequently asked questions that will assist you as an employer.
Individuals affected by the recent severe storms in the following counties can apply for benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, and Wharton Counties. Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The work search requirement is waived for disaster-related regular unemployment claims and employer tax accounts are protected from any charge for such claims.
TWC is accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) as a result of severe weather due to Hurricane Harvey. Under Presidential Disaster Declaration (FEMA 4332-DR) dated August 25, 2017, workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey may be eligible for relief. Applications for DUA must be submitted by September 27, 2017. TWC’s website contains more information about Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Individuals can apply for disaster unemployment benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center Mondaythrough Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631.
DUA is available to individuals who:
- have applied for and used all regular unemployment benefits from any state, or do not qualify for unemployment benefits; many individuals could go straight to regular UI before switching over to DUA.
- worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment in the disaster area;
- can no longer work or perform services because of physical damage or destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
- establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their primary source of income;
- cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
- became the breadwinner or major support of a household because of the death of the head of household.
To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed. Required documentation includes Social Security number, a copy of the most recent federal income tax form or check stubs, or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred.
Applicants must mail in or fax all required documentation within 21 days from the date of the DUA application. Send mailed documentation to: Texas Workforce Commission, UI Support Services Department, Attn: DUA, 101 E. 15th St., N. Lamar, Austin, TX, 78778-0001, or fax it to 512-936-3250.
Job seekers may visit local Workforce Solutions offices for access to job-search resources, job postings and training programs, as well as assistance with exploring career options, résumé and application preparation, career development and more. Customers also may connect with potential employers through TWC’s online job-search engine, by visiting WorkinTexas.com.
Frequently Asked Questions From Employers: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/new
These and other employment law-related questions may be directed to the toll-free hotline for employers at 1-800-832-9394, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
Other Government Resources Available to Employers:
INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE (Assistance to individuals and households):
Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton Counties. These are the presidential declared counties
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Bee, Goliad, Kleberg, Nueces, San Patricio, and Refugio Counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards):
All counties in the State of Texas are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
As your Commissioner Representing Employers, I am dedicated to ensuring our state resources and services are provided to impacted employers, individuals, and communities. I know Texans will face this challenge with the same resilience and perseverance that makes us all proud to live in the Lone Star state.
May God bless you and may God forever bless the great State of Texas!
Commissioner Representing Employers
Texas Workforce Commission