The Texas Workforce Commission announced earlier this week it plans to reinstate its work search requirement for unemployment benefits. The program restarts November 1.
Across the Lone Star State, hundred of thousands are still out of work as a result of COVID-19. Two weeks ago, more than 5,000 people in Central Texas filed for unemployment for the first time.
Bell and McLennan County are among the 20 counties with the most unemployment claims.
"Right now, time's a little bit tough and people don't have the same budget they did previously," said Nathaniel Muir of the Texas Workforce Commission.
Now, the state is reinstating a previously lifted requirement.
Under the requirement, those filing for unemployment must participate in at least three work search activities per week to receive benefits. Those activities include filling out job applications, taking specialized classes and attending job fairs.
"Texas businesses are reopening. Texas is reopening, and this is the time that has been set forward to reinstate work search requirements," Cisco Gamez, a spokesperson for the TWC said.
According to Gamez, applicants will not be required to turn in their logs on a week-to-week basis. Instead, they will be asked to simply click a button certifying they have completed them.
"In general, really, you're just certifying every time you make a payment request that you have done those three work search activities per week," Gamez said.
Applicants will still be required to keep logs in case the TWC decides to audit their progress. You can find a sample log on the TWC web site.
The first certification will be due with alongside payment requests on November 15.