The $300 additional weekly unemployment benefits are set to expire here in Texas on June 26.

As reported by The Texas Tribune, the Texas Workforce Commission announced earlier this week that those who refuse to work because of "fear of coronavirus" will not be able to collect unemployment benefits.

This move comes as COVID related programs are winding down. TWC  spokesman, James Bernsen says, “The COVID-related programs are ending, so we’re ending the COVID-related exceptions. The number this would apply to is continually decreasing. We're not in the height of the pandemic, which is what [the guidelines] were designed for."

The changes come after a unprecedented year which saw unemployment claims skyrocket throughout Texas and across the country. Special guidelines were put in place for those who declined job opportunities because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear of contracting the coronavirus.

A press release form the Texas Workforce Coalition said, “The decline in COVID cases in Texas, widespread availability of vaccines, and greater availability of services such as child care renders such guidance out of date.” 

Although Congress extended the additional weekly unemployment aid, states have the right to refuse the benefit. That's what Gov. Abbott chose to do starting on June 26 after pressure from business owners that said the program discouraged people from going back to work.

Hopefully the move works as a recent report shows that Texas is in the top 20 for Best States for Jobs. The jobs are available but many people are choosing to collect unemployment rather that work.

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