Out of Work

Texas’ Unemployment Fund

According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, the Texas unemployment compensation fund is out of money and relying on loans from the federal government to survive. New taxation for businesses is probably the only way to get out of the red; but officials are hesitant to hit businesses with higher taxes during this recession.

The article said:

“No decision has been made, but commissioners could suspend for two years an assessment that makes up for shortfalls in the fund, which has been tapped out and living on federal loans since July. They’d also issue $2 billion in bonds at the end of next year, to pay off the feds before any interest kicks in, triggering bond repayment taxes that could last until 2019. Even with the extended delay of taxes, most employers would pay about 50 percent more next year than this year…”

The bottom-line is that more than 500,000 Texans rely on unemployment insurance benefits and initial claims in Texas are higher than they’ve ever been.  With an insolvent fund and poor economy, the unemployment benefits system can only support claimants for a limited amount of time.  Although this may see unthinkable, it is not improbable that the emergency extension granted by the government could end and be rolled back to initial 26 weeks.  Or, that it could become more difficult to file unemployment and get benefits even if you think you qualify. Be prepared for anything.

If you are facing a job loss, be aware that currently you can receive about 79 weeks of unemployment benefits and that’s including the emergency extensions.  However, this is not guaranteed.  Before exhausting your 26 weeks of unemployment make plans for the possibility that you will be unable to get an extension. Assess your financial situation, debt obligations and daily expenses.  You may discover that you simply cannot survive much longer without finding a job, discharging your debts in bankruptcy or both.  Whatever decision you make, don’t wait until the last moment.