Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order for Unemployment Insurance as a Result of Harvey

September 13, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Proclamation

WHEREAS, a disaster proclamation was issued on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, certifying that Tropical Depression Harvey posed a threat of imminent disaster in certain counties in Texas; and

WHEREAS, Tropical Depression Harvey was upgraded to a hurricane that struck the Texas coast on Friday, August 25, 2017, causing a natural catastrophe that destroyed crucial infrastructure, threatened physical harm, and endangered the public welfare; and 

WHEREAS, the disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey has resulted in loss of life and widespread human suffering, loss of income, and property loss and damage including the interruption in the operation and delivery of essential services and supplies; and

WHEREAS, many places of employment have sustained extensive damage or been completely destroyed or are physically inaccessible creating a lack of work and loss of salaries and revenues; and

WHEREAS, workers and employees totally or partially unemployed by the disaster have found the current seven-day waiting period for certain state unemployment insurance claims a hardship to receiving benefits; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States issued a major disaster declaration (FEMA 4332-DR) on August 25, 2017, under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 5121 et seq.;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by Section 207.0212 of the Texas Labor Code, do hereby order the suspension of the seven-day waiting period requirement imposed under Section 207.021(a)(8) of the Texas Labor Code to authorize an individual to receive benefits for that waiting period if the individual is:

(1)     unemployed as a direct result of a natural disaster that resulted in the major disaster declaration issued by the President of the United States (FEMA 4332-DR) under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 5121 et seq.; and

(2)     otherwise eligible for unemployment compensation benefits under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act; and

(3)     not receiving disaster unemployment assistance benefits for the period included in that waiting period.

This executive order supersedes all previous orders in conflict or inconsistent with its terms and shall remain in effect and in full force until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.



View a PDF of the Executive Order