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Texans Fight Fentanyl

TWC Receives DOL Grant to Continue Implementing Planned Unemployment Benefits Services

Date: June 06, 2022

Media Contact: Angela Woellner
Phone: 512-463-8556

AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will utilize a U.S. Department of Labor $9.1 million award to enhance access to TWC’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) services. TWC is dedicated to providing Texans with equitable and timely services that alleviate the financial hardships of becoming unemployed through no fault of their own.

In line with that goal, the agency began developing a new UI system a few years ago, but the effort was temporarily placed on hold due to the pressing needs of Texans during the pandemic. The DOL funds will now be used to finalize and augment the previously planned system upgrades. Projects will include data gathering, multilingual system upgrades, in-person identity verification services, and mobile access technology upgrades for UI benefits services.

 “TWC is replacing its legacy unemployment benefits system to provide the best customer service possible,” said TWC Executive Director Ed Serna. “We started this process in 2019, and this DOL grant — the largest awarded to a single state this year — is a recognition of our existing efforts to innovate on behalf of our customers and ensure all Texans have access to the many services we provide.”

One project supported by these funds is an identity verification upgrade. TWC uses identify verification measures to help prevent identity fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. The agency will allocate the funds to enhance in-person identity verification, so our customers have more options when completing this process.

Additionally, in 2021, TWC launched a callback option, so customers would not have to wait on hold. These new funds will provide upgrades, including additional multilingual staff for callbacks and caller ID services so customers can identify when TWC is calling. This will supplement the agency’s current practice of providing all UI documents in English and Spanish to ensure access by all Texans. It actively reviews documents to ensure forms are viewer-friendly and understandable at a sixth grade reading level in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

As TWC continues to modernize its UI system, the funds will help the interactive voice response and chat feature upgrades to provide services to people with hearing disabilities, limited English proficiency, and other challenges.

As the new UI system launches in the coming two years, the funds will address the portion of the population that uses phones and tablets instead of computers to ensure seamless interaction. Also, this project works to expand customer knowledge on how to obtain additional services in the customer’s preferred language. Upgrades will include language packages so that customers who need a translator will have access to one throughout the UI process.

For more information on TWC Unemployment Benefit Services, visit our website.

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Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers, and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and its services in coordination with its network of local workforce development boards, call 512-463-8942 or visit www.texasworkforce.org. Subscribe to email updates to receive notifications about TWC programs and services. 

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