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Governor Abbott requests release of federal unemployment funds

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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced his request for access to interest-free federal loans (known as Title XII funds) to pay unemployment claims and the accelerated release of funds from the Texas account of the federal Unemployment Trust Fund. Title XII is a federal process that allows states to receives advances (loans) from the federal government to continue to cover Unemployment Benefit payments without disruption.

In a request letter to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, Governor Abbott authorized the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to officially request access to these additional funds.

“As job loss and other economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic grow, we are committed to drawing upon all available resources to help Texas hardest hit by the crisis,” said Governor Abbott. “With claims on the rise, our current balance of unemployment funds is projected to run out by the end of next month, so we must accelerate the delivery of necessary dollars.”

Department of Labor approval would allow Texas to apply for federal loans that would be  interest-free through the end of the current calendar year. In the past, TWC has taken such loans then issued bonds to pay them off. In every case, the agency has never missed making a payment to an eligible claimant.

“The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is committed to ensuring all Texans who are eligible receive unemployment funds,” said Bryan Daniel, chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. “This approach, which has served Texas well during hurricane recovery and the recession of 2008, should do so again.”

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