Some Texans who chose not to work may still claim jobless benefits

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 4:49 PM CDT
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Some Texans who chose not to return to work as retail businesses, restaurants, malls and theaters reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic may still claim jobless benefits under guidelines that Gov. Greg Abbott released Thursday afternoon.

Most Texas workers who refuse “suitable work” will no longer be eligible for benefits.

But under the guidelines Abbott released, benefits will be granted to workers 65 or older who are at higher risk from the virus; workers who have household members 65 or older; workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the state and who have not recovered; workers in whose households anyone has tested positive for the virus by an authorized source and has not recovered; workers who are currently quarantined because of close contact exposure to someone with the virus, and workers whose children’s daycares or schools or closed and who have no alternatives available.

"As the Lone Star State begins the process of safely and strategically opening the economy, our top priority is protecting the health and safety of all Texans, especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19," Abbott said.

"This flexibility in the unemployment benefit process will help ensure that Texans with certain health and safety concerns will not be penalized for choosing not to return to work."

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