AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials with the Texas Workforce Commission say they have had an unprecedented amount of claims and inquiries from people whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On their website the agency says the increase has, “… led to long wait times, overwhelmed call centers and [resulted in] technical issues with the Unemployment Benefit Services portal.”

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To deal with the influx the commission has added more staff — ultimately bringing on more than 150 emergency hires — and is and now operating seven days a week.

The agency has reportedly moved some staff members from other departments to help during the coronavirus crisis, but those workers will need training.

For those trying to file claims, TWC is advising that while the Unemployment Benefit System online portal is available 24 hours a day, the system experiences it’s lowest volume between 10:00 p.m. and 8 a.m. each day — meaning it could be easier to file a claim or check the status of a  claim during those hours.

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With the move to 7 days a week operations, the TWC call center is now open everyday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The number to call is 800-939-6631.