What happens if you choose not to go back to work in Texas?
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Another report of initial unemployment claims data will be released tomorrow morning. The number of first-time applications for unemployment benefits has been declining for the past six weeks, but state unemployment offices are incredibly busy.
Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Ed Serna, executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission, to see how things are going in Texas.
“It’s getting a little better, but not as good as we’d like it to be,” Serna said. “We still have a lot of people that we need to help.”
Texas’s shelter-in-place order ended this month, so restaurants, retail, and many other businesses are open again, with limited capacity. While many Texans have returned to work, some don’t feel comfortable going out.
“We are prepared to make some allowances,” Serna said, to allow people who are staying home to continue receiving unemployment benefits. “If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are at high risk or if you have childcare issues. The others, those are going to require us to look into the situation.”
Serna noted that the TWC’s default will be to continue to pay benefits until they can complete the investigation.
Click the audio player above to hear the interview.
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