ORCHARD, Texas - Hurricane Harvey pushed a lot of people out of work and applying for unemployment, like most benefits, is a process. But for John Millar, the frustration got to be too much.
During and after the storm, there was no way in and no way out of his Fort Bend county street, where he lives and works.
Millar fixes and restores motorcycles.
“It took a good eight days before UPS showed up with parts for me to finish jobs I’m working on,” Millar said. During this time, there was no way for customers to get their bikes and no way for John to make money. “I probably could have made five grand.”
So Millar went online to apply for unemployment with the Texas Workforce Commission.
“I was just trying to get disaster relief - some kind of unemployment compensation for one week,” Millar said. “Because I was down for a week.”
Millar started that process last week. He had issues setting his PIN online so he tried calling the tele-center.
He said he did that more than 15 times. He even went to their office in Rosenberg - but no pin, no application so he reached out to KHOU 11 News for help.
“It’s just frustrating when the help is there but you can’t get to it,” said Millar. “It’s really frustrating and I can’t be the only one having this issue.”
KHOU 11 News reached out to the Texas Workforce Commission, which then helped him reset his pin and get his application into the system.
“I’m not expecting a wealth of money or anything like that, but any little bit would help when there’s no income coming in,” Millar said.
The commission suggests applying online and opting for direct deposit. They also tell us they’ve expanded hours and are even open this weekend to take claims.
Millar told KHOU 11 News he still has to wait for forms in the mail and send documentation back - but this is standard.
The workforce commission said they’re also adding more call center staff to help process claims more quickly.
The application deadline for Millar and others in our area counties is September 27, 2017.