Digital Exclusive: Midland man frustrated with lack of unemployment offices in the Basin

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PERMIAN BASIN (YourBasin) – Though many Texans have gone back to work over the course of reopening in phases there are still some people struggling to claim unemployment benefits.

“Us that’s applying for unemployment is taking us hours to get to get through to them and if you response by mail, since there is so much mail, it’s taking them five to six days to get to Austin and then they are backlogged,” says Kenneth Brown.

Brown was laid off at the end of April and says he has been calling the office only to be left on hold and operators disconnecting the call.

“It’s a public service they need to provide for this community,” says Brown.

District 81 Representative Brooks Landgraf agrees with Brown in how the government should provide those services to Texans with no delay.

“Any Texan who needs assistance from the Texas Workforce Commission, when it comes to unemployment claims, they ought to be able to get it and they ought to be able to get it without to much trouble,” says Landgraf. “Especially now, we are not at the peak of the unemployment claims filing.”

Landgraf says he will be working to establishing an office here in the Basin come January when they are back in legislative session.

Here in the Basin, the area is prominent of low unemployment numbers in the state. But, for Brown he says that those low numbers are not an excuse not to have an office here.

“That’s no excuse at all,” says Brown. “The biggest workforce in West Texas and we don’t have a workforce office.”

Landgraf states if you are still struggling to make your claim or receive payments and live within the counties he serves (Ector, Andrews, Ward, and Winkler) to give his staff a call for additional assistance at (512) 463-0546.

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