Here are the new changes for unemployment recipients

HOUSTON – Big changes are coming for the 5.6 million Texans who have filed unemployment claims since mid-March.

There are two new rules you’ll have to follow if you want to continue collecting the benefits.

When the pandemic started, and the government rushed to get help to families who lost their jobs, they waived some of the eligibility requirements. Now, the Texas Workforce Commission is bringing those requirements back beginning November 1st.

Work search requirement resumes

What are you doing to look for a job? That’s what the Texas Workforce Commission wants to know. It’s called the “work search” requirement. Depending on where you live, you need to be doing three things each week that show you’re looking for employment.

“They can certainly search for work,” explained James Bernsen of Texas Workforce Commission.

"They can make in-person visits to workforce development centers. They can create re-employment plans, uploading a resume to a job board, searching on Work in Texas or any other job search site. There are a number of activities they can use to fulfill this requirement.

You can find a list of all approved work search activities here.

Keep a log of all of your work search activities so you can show it to the state when asked. It can be as simple as writing it down on a piece of paper or typing it into a word document. TWC also has this work search form online that you can fill out.

While the work search requirement takes effect Nov. 1, the earliest you’ll be asked to show the record of your efforts will be Nov. 15.

Subsidized childcare

If you are receiving subsidized child care from the state, the TWC says you must be employed beginning Nov. 1. If your child is one of 114,000 getting this benefit, you are most likely grandfathered in through Nov. 27.

New applicants will have to prove they are working at least 25 hours a week for a single parent or 50 hours a week for a two-parent household.

There are currently 39,000 children on the waiting list for subsidized childcare. When the new work requirement takes effect, it will free up space for those children whose parents are working and need some help.