For one Georgetown woman, a denied COVID-19 unemployment claim has her seeking answers

Investigations

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Maya Lewis gets emotional when she talks about seeking answers from the Texas Workforce Commission.

A single mother with a daughter in college, Lewis was furloughed from Clinical Pathology Laboratories April 10 and has yet to recieve any unemployment benefits.

What furthers her frustration is that just about every one of the 14 co-workers in her department have already received their benefits. And she says her claim may have been denied because TWC used her 2018 tax information, when she worked two jobs.

“I don’t know why. What is going on?” Lewis said. “If there are any discrepancies, just let me know.”

Lewis has since appealed her claim, but says she received a notice saying she’d get paid $0.

TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez reiterated Tuesday that in most cases, a $0 balance means a claim is still under review.

“On average it takes around 21 days for someone to receive benefits through direct deposit or debit card in the mail from the time they apply and become eligible,” Gamez said. “For some people this process will be faster and for others it may take a little more time.”

As for the appeal process, it takes about three weeks for TWC’s Appeals Department to record the appeal and set a hearing date.

For Lewis though, the lack of answers is beyond stressful.

In her appeal letter to the TWC dated May 1, she states that “this denial is causing me extreme stress, especially since I may lose my house in July due to this layoff.”

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