Jobless Texans will soon lose access to all additional federal unemployment aid — including a $300-per-week supplementalbenefit — that was extended as a result of the pandemic after Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday said Texas will opt out of the federal assistance.
Following pressure from business groups, Abbott is withdrawing from the program that allowed Texans to receive a weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. Abbott also cut off another lifeline called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which extended jobless aid to gig workers, self-employed people and others who aren’t traditionally covered by unemployment insurance, the Texas Workforce Commission said. Congress extended those programs through September, but Abbott said they will end for Texans on June 26.
Approximately 344,000 Texans were receiving assistance through the PUA program as of April 30, according to data compiled by economist Julia Coronado, economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin. That number is down from the approximately 563,000 Texans receiving aid through the PUA program to start the year, a sign that Texans have steadily exited the program and returned to work even with the program still in place, Coronado said.