AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Workforce Commission added a new avenue of communication as it works through thousands of applications for unemployment compensation amid the coronavirus pandemic in Texas.
TWC launched a new chat bot named “Larry” to help answer questions about the process as Texans apply for unemployment insurance.
TWC expects that the program will “greatly relieve the pressure on the TWC UI website and call centers, which have seen activity spike to unprecedented levels in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Last week, TWC was struggling to handle the volume of jobless claims it was receiving. TWC’s tele-centers’ record call volume in previous crises was around 60,000 calls a day. Calls during the COVID-19 crisis rose to the millions within a week, according to a release from the commission.
TWC says they have 200 additional people working on unemployment claims this week.
“Larry” is named for former TWC Executive Director Larry Temple, who passed away in 2019.
You can speak with the chat bot through TWC’s website.