Resources in Houston and Texas you can use if you lost your job

Recently laid off workers attend an information session in Roanoke about a new workforce initiative. (WSLS)

As many non-essential businesses have been forced to close indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, some employers have laid-off their staff.

If you’re currently unemployed, here are some resources:

Work opportunities

As concerns over the coronavirus pandemic increase, many are rushing to grocery stores and pharmacies to stock up on essential items. Due to the influx of shoppers who are emptying shelves, many stores around Houston are in need of more staff to keep business running soundly.

H-E-B announced it is offering a short-term opportunity with positions ranging from $9.50 - $15 an hour.

Kroger and Walmart are also among stores looking for new employees to start immediately.

Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy are hiring thousands of full-time, part-time and temporary workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon announced it is looking to fill 100,000 new full-time and part-time positions in order to keep up with orders. Most positions start at $17 an hour.

Applying for unemployment

Jobless workers can apply for unemployment benefits online or by calling the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits evaluated by TWC based on the following criteria:

Past wages

“Your past wages are one of the eligibility requirements and the basis of your potential unemployment benefit amounts. We use the taxable wages, earned in Texas, your employer(s) have reported paying you during your base period to calculate your benefits. If you worked in more than one state, see If You Earned Wages in More than One State.”

Job separation(s)

“To be eligible for benefits based on your job separation, you must be either unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of your own. Examples include layoff, reduction in hours or wages not related to misconduct, being fired for reasons other than misconduct, or quitting with good cause related to work.”

Ongoing eligibility requirements

“In addition to the past wages and job separation eligibility requirements, there are requirements you must continue to meet to stay eligible. See Ongoing Eligibility Requirements for Receiving Unemployment Benefits.”

Government assistance

On March 25, the U.S. Senate approved a historic $2 trillion stimulus deal that will aid individuals amid the coronavirus crisis which has caused economic setbacks.

Under the deal, qualifying single Americans would receive a check for $1,200, married couples will receive $2,400, and parents receive $500 for each child under 17 years old.

Additionally, those unemployed will an extra $600 a week along with their state benefits for four months as part of the $2 trillion stimulus deal.

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