AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) - Officials with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) say they've received the equivalent of 20 months of unemployment claims in just the last 30 days.
As it stands, even with a slew of clogged phone lines and website crashes, some 1.2 million Texans have at least started the process of getting financial assistance because of a recent job loss.
Last week alone nearly 275,000 people in the Lone Star State applied for unemployment insurance -- which is actually down from the more than 315,00 filing the week before. Last week's numbers from the Labor Department have some 5.2 million across the nation applying for benefits.
TWC has struggled to meet the demands of applicants. It's estimated that more than 80% of people calling to apply for unemployment can't get through. It's only been a few days since the commission started operating 7 days a week to deal with coronavirus-related claims -- so there's hope that percentage will go down.
Spokesman Cisco Gamez says the agency is opening four new call centers -- bringing the state total to eight -- and hiring hundreds of emergency workers to help with the rash of calls.
While the Unemployment Benefit System online portal is available 24 hours a day, the system experiences it's lowest volume between 10:00 p.m. and 8 a.m. each day -- so applicants are being urged to try to file a claim or check the status of a claim during those hours.
The TWC call center is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number to call is 800-939-6631.
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