More Texans are filing for unemployment amid COVID-19 — but what about denials?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — State employment agencies across the country are grappling with an onslaught of unemployment claims amid COVID-19. Some states, such as Florida, are even publishing how many claims have been denied/are ineligible for benefits:

Elsewhere, in Ohio, more than 182,000 claims have been denied. In Arizona, that number is about 150,000.

“However, many of the individuals who do not meet the monetary eligibility of traditional Unemployment Insurance Benefits may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as created by the CARES Act,” Brett Bezio, a spokesman with Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, said.

Meanwhile, California’s Employment Development Department said their system “cannot provide those figures through query.”

A tipster, who wished to remain anonymous, reached out to KXAN about her denied claim. She worked in an after-school program before the pandemic and made a mistake on her application, which led to the ineligibility.

“I’m just confused,” she said. “I have the correct information to get approved, but there’s just no way to appeal or respond to get approved.”

Texas Workforce Commission spokesman Cisco Gamez said he couldn’t comment on why other states may publish ineligible claims data, but was checking on Texas’ ineligible claims numbers Thursday with the agency’s labor market and appeals departments.

As KXAN reported Wednesday, TWC has already started automatically enrolling people in the PUA program.

But those with denied claims such as the tipster, are frustrated.

“What they say and what they do seem to be two different things,” she said.

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