Thousands of Texans find themselves in unemployment limbo

FORT BEND COUNTY – A Fort Bend County man is one of possibly thousands of Texans caught in unemployment limbo. Some residents, who were working outside of the state before COVID-19, are struggling to apply for unemployment insurance in the state where they were employed.

“I’ve exhausted all means as an out of state applicant,” said the former Georgia high-risk security consultant, whose identity is being concealed due to safety reasons.

Since he was let go, effective April 1st, he said haven’t been unable to get through the Georgia Department of Labor’s website to complete his application or contact the agency via phone.

The dilemma is starting to weigh on his family.

"We're essentially living on savings that I've accrued through my time working," he said. "But, we're just about out now."

Since he’s been unable to file with Georgia, he also can’t apply for federal unemployment, which is predicated on enrolling in and receiving state unemployment.

Nearly 58,000 Texans have filed for out of state wages since March 1st, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The TWC said there likely are many others they don’t know about. The Fort Bend County resident, who is one of them, is continuing his efforts to reach Georgia officials to get relief for his family and others.

“The attorney general or the Secretary of Labor for the state of Georgia might see this and say, ‘Hey, we have an issue that needs to be fixed,’” he said. “This story is bigger than me.”

The Texas Workforce Commission said anyone who has worked out-of-state can contact them to inquire about their filing options. They can also refer people to that state if necessary.

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