Q What Is Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment Insurance is an employer-paid insurance program that helps workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It provides temporary financial help to qualified individuals, based on their previous earnings, while they are looking for other work. Employer taxes and reimbursements support the Unemployment Trust Fund. Employers cannot deduct any money from employees’ paychecks to pay for this program. Individuals can apply for UI benefits anytime online or by calling the TWC Tele-Center nearest their location.
The law governing UI benefits in Texas is the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, which is Title 4, Subtitle A of the Texas Labor Code. The Act is available online at www.texasworkforce.org , and it is in the Vernon’s law book series found in most public libraries.
If I Was Fired Or Quit My Job Can I Collect Benefits
Once your application for Unemployment Benefits is submitted, TWC will investigate the reason you are no longer working. If TWC determines that you were not fired for misconduct connected with your work or you quit your job for a work-related or medical reason, you may be eligible for Unemployment Benefits. TWC will notify you by mail of any decisions.
My Boss Told Me I Needed To Come Back To Work But I Am Considered High
The TWC has said that workers can refuse an offer to return to work and still receive unemployment benefits in the following situations:
They or someone they live with is 65 years or older.
They have a medical issue, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, or are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID19 .
They live with someone who is at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 .
They have tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and have not recovered.
They live with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and that person has not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed.
They were exposed to COVID-19 through close contact and are quarantining for 14 days.
They are the primary caregiver for a child they live with, and that childs school or daycare has closed and there are no alternatives.
The TWC has said that any other situation would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. If you have a question about your particular situation affecting your eligibility for unemployment, please call TRLA. We can help you try to figure out whether you may be able to stay on unemployment, and also whether you have the right to paid or unpaid leave. For more information about paid or unpaid leave that might be available to you, please visit our website.
Recommended Reading: How To Sign Up For Unemployment In Ms
How Do I Apply For Federal Unemployment Benefits
You donÃ¢t. Even though new federal statutes affect unemployment benefits, each state still manages and administers unemployment benefits, including the $300 in supplemental relief. Find your state unemployment office here.
Be Patient and PersistentBecause so many people are filing, and this is a new program, new unemployment claims across the country are coming in at an unusually high volume. For the first round of stimulus in March 2020, direct deposits began arriving around 2 weeks after the program began, but due to outdated and backed up computer systems, some states were slower to pay them, and even slower to pay through other means. State websites may be slow and phone lines may be tied up. DonÃ¢t give up! You may have to try refreshing the web page or continue to call back in order to file your claim.
Texas Unemployment Benefits To Increase
AUSTIN, Texas Those who lose their job after Oct. 4 may get more money than those out of work now.
Texas Workforce Commission announced on Tuesday the maximum benefit rate will rise from $521 to $535 per week next month. The minimum benefit rate will rise from $69 to $70.
This will not impact any claim filed before Oct. 4.
The adjustments are made each year based on the average weekly wage for those employed.
In addition to the states benefits, the $600 weekly federal benefit expired July 25. It was replaced by a weekly $300 federal payment under the Lost Wages Assistance program, which was made possible by executive order after Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration balked at Democratic legislation to continue the $600 per week benefit through January of 2021.
About one in five Texans drawing unemployment are not eligible for the $300 federal benefit, because to get the federal $300 each week, a recipient must first qualify for at least $100 per week in state unemployment benefits.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Unemployment And Disability
How Can I Qualify For Texas Unemployment Benefits
Each state sets its own eligibility requirements, but federal guidelines say you generally qualify if youre unemployed through no fault of your own and you meet certain work and wage requirements. Texas will determine if you qualify for unemployment benefits based on your past wages and the reason why youre unemployed. Generally, you may qualify for Texas unemployment benefits if
- Youve been laid off or had your hours reduced due to lack of work.
- You were fired for reasons other than misconduct.
- You quit for a good reason, such as unsafe working conditions, not getting paid, or to care for yourself or a family member due to illness.
But if you were fired for misconduct or quit without a good reason, you generally wont qualify for unemployment benefits.
The state also has requirements for what you must do in order to continue receiving benefits. Generally, heres what youll need to do to continue receiving benefits after youve qualified for them.
- Register for work in Texas and document your search for a new job, unless youre exempt
- Recertify your unemployment benefit claims on a regular basis
- Respond to requests from unemployment administrators
Texas Unemployment Claims For 2020 So Far Have Already Surpassed The Total Number Of Claims Filed In All Of 2019 According To Texas Workforce Commission Data
The state government is moving to address fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, in part by loosening requirements for out-of-work Texans to get unemployment insurance benefits.
Unemployment benefits provide emergency cash to eligible people who are out of work. Although its a partnership between federal and state governments, each state generally decides how much individuals get with each check and determines the duration of the program. Employers pay unemployment insurance to help fund those benefits.
You may be eligible for unemployment compensation if you were recently laid off or furloughed and even self-employed and gig workers can qualify for benefits. Heres some information about Texas unemployment benefits to get you started.
Also Check: How To Check My Unemployment Status
Important Contacts For Texas Unemployment Claims
For more information on unemployment benefits in Texas, use the following contact information.
- Job search registration via WorkinTexas. This is also a good source of information for job postings for employers who are interested in hiring veterans.
- Employment Benefits Services FAQs
- To request payment for weeks of unemployment, get payment information, or check on the status of your claim, call the Texas unemployment automated telephone system at 800-558-8321. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- To speak to a customer service representative, call 800-939-6631.
- You can also contact the Texas Workforce Commission at its main office: 512-463-2222.
- For complaint resolution, contact the TWC ombudsman at 800-628-5115.
Why Was My Texas Unemployment Claim Denied
You may not be able to collect unemployment insurance benefits in Texas if any of the following apply:
- You were fired for job-related misconduct that includes violating company policies, violating the law, or failing to do your job when you were able to do so.
- You quit your job. To remain eligible, you need to have a good reason for doing so. This may be due to employer misconduct, engaging in illegal activities, or being asked to do something that is morally or ethically wrong. You may also use domestic violence or stalking as a reason that you left your job, and still be able to collect benefits.
- You do not have adequate documentation that explicitly spells out your reason for not continuing with your employer. To help justify your claim, you may need to produce a doctors note, a restraining order, or other similar documentation that supports your claim for not continuing to work.
- You quit because of a spouses job transfer, unless your spouse is in the military, in which case you may be eligible for benefits immediately.
Were you denied for Texas unemployment? Contact a Texas unemployment office for more information about how to appeal or to find out how to reinstate your benefits.
You May Like: Can You Overdraft Unemployment Debit Card
Texas State Unemployment Benefits With The End Of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Programs
The Texas Workforce Commission manages the states unemployment compensation program. This includes payments under many of the federally funded enhanced benefit programs which have been extended several times after enactment last year.
See more on the relevant extensions/ unemployment stimulus programs, including an early end to these programs, in the relevant sections below. Please refer to the TWC website for the latest program details.
Covered in this Article:
How Do You Request Payment
Request payment on the day you file your application and then the date provided by communication from the Texas Workforce Commission. You will need to request payment every two weeks after that by logging on to Unemployment Benefits Services and select Request a Payment, or by calling 800-558-8321 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Select Option 1.
Don’t Miss: Can Independent Contractors Get Unemployment
How To Request A Payment
If you have an active UI claim, you can request a benefits payment by phone or online. You will need:
- Your earnings amount for each week
- Your work search activities for each week
To Request Unemployment Benefits Payments Online: Log on to Unemployment Benefits Services. To Request a Payment by Phone: After your unemployment claim is on file, call Tele-Serv toll free at 1-800-558-8321.
- WHEN TO CALL: Sunday 8 a.m. 6 p.m. and Monday Wednesday 7 a.m. 6 p.m.
- If you miss your assigned day, call Thursday or Friday 7 a.m. 6 p.m.
Individuals needing telecommunications devices for the deaf can communicate with TWC-UI offices by using Relay Texas. Those numbers are 1-800-735-2989 or 1-800-735-2988 Dont wait for a determination to request your payment. You should request payment one to two weeks after you first apply for benefits and every two weeks after that. You can find the date you are scheduled to request payment on your Unemployment Benefits Services account or by calling Tele-Serv.
How to Manage and Review Your Claim
Texas Ended All Pandemic Unemployment Programs Early
The TWC has stopped paying enhanced unemployment benefits, including the $300 supplementary payment, following Governor Greg Abbotts directive ending Texas participation in these programs. These extra benefits ended as of the week ending This is approximately 10 weeks earlier than the planned end date of Sep 4th, 2021.
Texas joins several other states in ending payment of the supplementary $300 weekly benefit for unemployed workers with active claims and processing of new claims under the PUA and PEUC programs. The argument for ending enhanced benefits early was that the payments discouraged unemployed workers from returning to work due to the normal wage differential.
What if I have a balance remaining after week ending June 26th?
Many claimants TWC portal is still showing Temporary Unemployment Benefits with a certain balance remaining. Unfortunately from June 27th, 2021 this wont mean anything as the balances would only be valid if the programs were active.
The TWC has to keep providing claim balances due to several lawsuits trying to reinstate benefits and reverse Gov. Abbots termination directive. However this does not mean that future pandemic claims will be paid by the TWC.
Traditional state unemployment benefits and retroactive benefit payments however will continue to be processed and paid for eligible claimants.
Return to Work Bonus For Texan Workers
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Unemployment If You Get Fired
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft
If you are a victim of ID theft on an unemployment claim, you can report fraud online on the Texas Workforce Commissions website. Once you access the online fraud portal, you will need to submit your name, Social Security number, contact info, a copy of your drivers license, and copies of any TWC claim documents you received. Keep in mind that you may not receive a letter, call or email back from TWC unless they need additional information from you.
If you received a tax form in the mail for unemployment benefits that you did not receive, you also need to contact the IRS to report fraud. You are also advised to report the identity theft to your local police station and contact a credit reporting agency like Experian, Equifax, or Transunion to request a fraud alert to be put on your credit report for free. If your bank or credit account information was also stolen, you should also get a hold of them to report the theft and possibly freeze your account.
Identity theft can affect anyone, but there are some measures you can take to prevent it from happening to you. Use common sense and never click suspicious links you find in unsolicited emails or text messages. Identity theft relies upon stealing your Social Security number, so only enter personal information after you have made sure a website has a secure URL and encrypted connection.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance In Texas
If a disaster causes you to lose your job, you may be eligible to apply for this federal government assistance program. To receive Texas Disaster Unemployment Assistance , you must be unemployed because of a disaster, have legal authorization to work in the US, be able and available to work, be actively looking for work unless injured or sick because of a disaster, have not turned down an offer or referral for work, and request DUA payments in a timely manner.
Weekly DUA benefits are calculated using your past wages from the previous calendar year. The quarter during which you earned the highest wages is taken, divided by 25, then rounded to the nearest dollar to determine how much money you will receive per week. The minimum amount is 50% of the state average weekly benefit amount . Your WBA may be reduced if you only worked part time before the disaster or if you receive other benefits or insurance payments for loss of salary due to the disaster.
To apply for DUA, you must first apply for regular unemployment benefits online or by calling a Tele-Center. If you are eligible for regular benefits, then those will be paid first before you can apply for DUA. You will be mailed information on how to apply for DUA in addition to regular benefits. If you are not eligible to get regular benefits, you can still apply for DUA online or by calling a Tele-Center.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Unemployed Person
Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work
To maintain your eligibility for unemployment, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for work. If you are offered a suitable position, you must accept it.
You must register for work with a state workforce center, either online or in person. You must make at least a minimum number of job contacts each week and record your efforts in a work search log, which the agency may ask you to produce at any time.
How Likely Is A Fourth Stimulus Check
Dont hold your breath, according to Wall Street analysts. I think its unlikely at this time, Raymond James analyst Ed Mills told CNBC. One reason is that the Biden administration is focused on advancing its infrastructure plan, which would reshape the economy by rebuilding aging schools, roads and airports, as well as investing in projects ranging from affordable housing to broadband.
The proposal, which the White House says would be funded by boosting the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, will likely consume lawmakers this fall, said Stifels Brian Gardner in an August 11 research note.
The fall is shaping up to be a busy time in Washington as Congress tries to finish two infrastructure bills , approve the annual spending bills, and raise the debt ceiling, he noted.
Read Also: Apply For Washington State Unemployment
Also Check: Do You Have To Do Taxes For Unemployment
Are You Out Of Work Through No Fault Of Your Own
You must be out of work through no fault of your own to qualify for unemployment benefits in Texas. If you are laid off, lose your job in a reduction-in-force , or get “downsized” for economic reasons, you will meet this requirement. In Texas, employees who are fired for work-related misconduct may not qualify for unemployment benefits. Examples of work-related misconduct include violating company policy, violating the law, or failing to perform your job if you are able to do so.
If you quit your job, you won’t be eligible for unemployment unless you had a good reason for doing so, relating to your work or a medical condition. If someone who truly wanted a job would have left their position in the circumstances you faced, you will still be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you left the job because of domestic violence or stalking, you may also be eligible for benefits. Whenever you quit, you will be expected to have documentation of your reasons .
If you quit to move with your spouse, you will be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for a period of time. However, if you are moving with a spouse who is in the military, you may be eligible right away, depending on the circumstances.