Texas unemployment money will keep coming, TWC director says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The head of the unemployment office in Texas made a promise and said if you qualify for unemployment, the money will get to you.

A new Tax Foundation study shows Texas is less than three weeks away from running out of benefits money. Last week alone, Texas Workforce Commission paid nearly $600 million in benefits.

ABC13 asked executive director Ed Serna if the money will continue coming.

"I can make an absolute promise that if they get unemployment, the checks won't bounce," Serna said. "The debit cards will be good. Direct deposits will occur no matter when you file your unemployment."

Serna said they're going to tap into the trust fund, and apply for federal loans.

"We'll do that as often as we need to in order to make sure we have the money to pay out the benefits," Serna said.

The question now is, who pays for the loans?

Serna said his team started to look at this on Monday. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he wouldn't increase taxes, but Serna couldn't make that promise because he isn't sure where the money will come from.

"I don't know yet, and it wouldn't be very prudent of me to try and guess something right now," Serna said.

Serna does know they're increasing staff and technology each day to help Texans file for unemployment benefits.

TWC went from being equipped with five servers to 20, and there are hundreds of more lines and workers taking calls with even more expected to start next week.

Serna understands people's anger, and he said he's committed to help Texans get help.

"We're going to do everything we can, but it seems like everything we do, the sand just fills the hole again," Serna explained.

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