If You Are On Regular Unemployment Or Were On Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation :
- Your search activities can include registering on an online job board such as workintexas.com a job interview, attending a virtual networking event or other activities.
- The TWC will not ask you for documentation of your work search activities every time you request payment. Instead, you will check a box that confirms you performed a search. Someone may, however, randomly ask you to prove your work search activities. Keeping a log of your searches for your own records is a good idea. Here is a log template from the TWC.
Ive Been Told I Owe Money To The State What Do I Do
Overpayments happen when the workforce commission pays you unemployment benefits that you were not actually entitled to.
In some circumstances, you may be overpaid if you underreport your earnings or fail to include income like severance or time-off payouts. In others, you may be overpaid if you gave incorrect information about your job loss that results in your eligibility for a certain program being overturned. Read more about reasons for overpayment here.
If you disagree that you were overpaid, as many Texans have, you can submit an appeal with the TWC. The new coronavirus relief package says the TWC may waive a repayment if the overpayments the agency sent to you were not your fault, or if the repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience. It is unclear how the agency determines equity and good conscience. The Texas Tribune has requested clarification.
How Do I File For Unemployment Benefits
Apply to the Texas Workforce Commission online at Applying for Unemployment Benefits, or by calling 939-6631 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You will need:
- Your last employers business name, address and phone number.
- The first and last dates you worked for your last employer. If you worked for that employer on more than one occasion, give the most recent dates.
- The number of hours worked and your pay rate if you worked the same week you are applying for benefits.
- Information about the normal wage for the job you are seeking.
- Alien Registration number .
Be prepared to explain how you became unemployed. The TWC will contact your last employer and ask about your job separation. If you and your employer disagree on why you lost your job, you will have a chance to explain your side of the story. An initial decision to grant or deny benefits will be mailed to you and your former employer.
Are There Any Reasons I Shouldnt Apply For Unemployment Benefits
If you believe that you qualify for unemployment, it is a very important lifeline and is here to help people through this crisis.
But please be aware: If you receive benefits and then later the Texas Workforce Commission decides you did not qualify you will have to pay back all the benefits you received. If you did qualify for some benefits but were given more benefits than you are eligible to receive, you will still have to pay back the extra benefits. The TWC cannot forgive or dismiss overpayment, and there are no exceptions for hardship. Make sure to be truthful and accurate. Inaccurate information, even if you were being honest, can still result in being made to pay back the money you received. Causes of overpayment that would require you to return some or all of your received benefits include:
Not reporting your earnings or reporting incorrect earnings when requesting benefit payments
The TWC correcting a wage error that results in a lower benefit amount than initially determined
Providing incorrect or false information about your job loss or work search when applying for benefits or requesting payment
An appeal judgment reversing your eligibility after the TWC paid you benefits or
If the TWC determines that you committed unemployment fraud, you must pay a 15% penalty on the benefits you incorrectly received as well as repay the benefits for which you were not eligible.
Do You Have To Pay Back Unemployment In Texas
State law requires TWC to recover all unemployment benefits overpayments. If we determine that the overpayment is unemployment fraud, you must repay the benefits you were not eligible for, plus a 15 percent penalty on the benefits you incorrectly received. For more information, see Unemployment Benefits Fraud.
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Continuing Payment Requests During The Appeal Process
You are responsible for meeting all of your unemployment benefits requirements during the entire appeal process.
It is very important that you continue submitting your payment requests on schedule. We can pay you only for the weeks in which you submitted timely payment requests and met all the other requirements. Continue submitting payment requests until you return to work full-time.
How To Apply For Unemployment
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Unemployment Insurance is being administered by the Texas Workforce Commission , whose mission is to help unemployed individuals while they’re searching for a new job. This help isn’t only of financial assistance, since it also provides skills training or training for a newly opened job position, so you can continue working as soon as you can.
It’s important to emphasize that UI benefits can be used by workers who are currently unemployed through no fault on their own. This means in case you quit job or in case you’re fired because of your actions or negative performance, you are automatically ineligible. The Texas Workforce Commission will review you case very closely, so it will be clear why your employer decided to let you go. On the other hand, the state of Texas considers using UI benefits illegal in case you’re not eligible and you’ll be asked to return all of the money you previously received and you’ll need to pay a criminal fine.
After you’ve been approved you’ll be introduced with a set of rules you’ll need to follow in order to be able to continuously collect UI benefits. These are so-called Ongoing Eligibility Requirements which are created so the Texas Workforce Commission can keep track on your effort to find a new employments. There are a total of 7 rules you’ll need to follow:
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Commission Appeal: If You Disagree With The Appeal Tribunal Decision
If you participated in the Appeal hearing and disagree with the decision, your appeal will be to the Commission.
A reviewing attorney in Commission Appeals will review the tape-recording of your hearing. The attorney will also review all other evidence accepted at your first appeal hearing. The reviewing attorney will make a recommendation to the Commission regarding the decision in the case.
The Commissioners will review the recommendation separately and will decide whether or not to follow it. Then the Commission will vote on the case and issue a written decision. They may order an additional hearing to gather more evidence, but they usually do not.
We will mail you the decision from the Commission.
If you disagree with the Commission decision, you have two options: a Motion for Rehearing, or an appeal to a civil court.
Do I Need To Have A Certain Amount Of Work History Or Past Earnings To Qualify
No. Normally you would, but the new stimulus package lets workers who dont have enough work history get benefits if they cant work because of COVID-19. If you have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits under traditional unemployment insurance, you should be prepared to provide verification of your earnings to help the TWC with figuring out whether you are eligible for unemployment. You will need to provide self-certification that you are partially or fully unemployed, or unable and unavailable to work due to COVID-19.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment Benefits During The Covid
In response to response to COVID-19, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, commonly referred to as CARES or the federal stimulus bill. Under this law, many workers who lost their jobs or income because of COVID-19 will qualify for unemployment benefits, including many types of workers who do not usually qualify for unemployment benefits under Texas law. In addition, the Texas Workforce Commission has extended the number of weeks of benefits that some workers can receive.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about eligibility and how to apply. You should also check the Texas Workforce Commissions website here: for updates on how they are handling unemployment benefits under the federal stimulus bill. This information is not legal advice. For free, confidential advice and information, contact Texas RioGrande Legal Aid at 888-988-9996.
I Need Help To File My Claim
If you are disabled or unable to file the claim yourself, you may seek help from a trusted person. You do not have to file your claim yourself. However, no matter how much you trust the person you choose to aid you, we strongly recommend that you be present each time they help you and use your PIN.
Also, do keep in mind that you will be held responsible for the actions of your helper. Furthermore, you will be subject to penalties, and you may even forfeit your benefits if you are NOT PRESENT when a helper aids you.
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How Did The March 2021 Coronavirus Relief Package Affect My Benefits
A $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law March 11 extended two pandemic unemployment programs authorized by the CARES Act into the first week of September. Lawmakers also extended a federal benefit that added an extra $300 a week to all unemployment claims. But jobless Texans only had access to these benefits through June 26, after Gov. Greg Abbott said in mid-May that Texas would opt out of the federal assistance.
The legislative package also included a tax break for anybody who received $10,000 in unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
I Tried To Apply Online But It Says My Social Security Number Is Already In Use How Did This Happen And How Can I Fix It
This could have happened because:
You have an old claim you dont remember
Your identity has been stolen
You submitted a claim under a previous name and forgot or
Someone accidentally entered the wrong SSN and it was yours and the TWC hasnt caught the error.
This problem can only be fixed by calling the TWC at 939-6631 it cannot be fixed online.
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 Don’t 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
How To End A Disqualification
If your Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits says you are disqualified, you may be able to end the disqualification through work or earnings after you:
- Start a job after your disqualification begins
- Earn wages equal to six times your weekly benefit amount or work at least 30 hours a week for six weeks
- Either become unemployed through no fault of your own or continue working a part-time job
- Give us proof of your work or earnings and ask us to close the disqualification
We cannot pay you benefits for the time between the beginning of the disqualification and the time that you meet the requirements to close the disqualification.
You can use work or wages from most types of employment for this purpose. You cannot use types of work the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act excludes from its definition of employment. Examples of work you cannot use:
- Domestic service, if the employer pays less than $1,000 in wages during a calendar quarter for all domestic services
- Work performed for your son, daughter, or spouse
- Work for a church
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How Do I File Unemployment For Reduced Hours
If your hours have been reduced or youve lost your job through no fault of your own, you can file a claim for full or partial unemployment benefits with your states unemployment agency. Visit the website of your states unemployment agency for eligibility information, filing instructions, and more.
Find Out What To Provide During The Texas Unemployment Registration Process
After learning where to apply for unemployment in Texas, former state workers must review the documentation and information requirements in order to submit a valid TX unemployment EDD application. Note that the online application for unemployment does not allow you to save your progress and complete itat a later time, as the system logs you out after 30 minutes of inactivity and deletes your data. Therefore, unemployment claimants must collect all necessary information and documents before initiating the Texas unemployment registration procedure.
To successfully file for an unemployment claim in Texas, you must supply the following:
- Your Social Security Number
- Proof of military service Form DD-214, if applicable
- Your alien registration number, for non-U.S. citizens
- Your background information, such as contact information, citizenship information and information about any available pension payments
Extensive data about your last employment, such as your:
Employers full name and his or her contact information
Job duties and the dates of your employment
Salary, hours of work and the reason you are no longer employer
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What Happens If I Win My Appeal
If you win the appeal, you will be entitled to collect benefits in the future. You will also be entitled to collect any benefits that you certified for but were not paid following the initial determination of ineligibility. Therefore, it is critical that you continue to certify for benefits while you are awaiting your appeal. Your employer may still appeal the new decision to a higher level. Watch for any correspondence from the employer or the unemployment agency. You may be required to submit a written letter explaining why the appeal decision was correct.
I Did Not Apply For Unemployment Benefits Until A Week Or More After I Lost My Job Will I Get Benefits From The Date I Lost My Job Or The Date I Applied
Because of the unprecedented number of applications for unemployment benefits caused by COVID-19, the TWC will pay benefits starting on the date that a worker lost his or her job as far back as March 8, 2020, not the date the worker applied. It may be necessary to call the TWC to receive backdated benefits.
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What Can I Do If My Unemployment Claim Is Denied
If you disagree with a decision the TWC has made about your unemployment claim, you can file an appeal.
- Attorneys with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid recommend to their clients that they continue to request benefits while appealing a denial. That way, if they win, they get payments for the weeks they requested during that time.
You Can No Longer Claim Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
Self-employed workers, as well as traditional claimants who have exhausted their regular unemployment claims, had been eligible for benefits under the extensions.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the program that extends jobless assistance to gig workers, self-employed people and others who arent traditionally covered by unemployment insurance, as well as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a federal extension of jobless benefits for people who have exhausted their regular unemployment claims, were both available to eligible claimants through June 26. The federal legislation extended these benefits through Sept. 4, but Abbott hurried the cutoff date for Texas.
NOTE: The Texas Workforce Commission said that Texans who have been receiving unemployment payments should continue requesting payments. Most Texans will be automatically enrolled. For those who are not, TWC will send them instructions.
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After Im Approved For Unemployment Benefits Do I Need To Do Anything Else
Yes. You have to request a payment after you are approved and keep requesting payments every two weeks. You can request payment either by direct deposit to a checking or savings account or through a debit card the Texas Workforce Commission will send you. To request payment, you can:
Log on to Unemployment Benefits Services and select Request a Payment, OR
Can You Use Pto While On Furlough
If an employee is furloughed or quarantined, the employee may use paid leave or vacation time for any partial weeks not worked so long as the employee is paid the equivalent of their full weekly salary. The employee may also be entitled to paid sick leave under the employers policies or state or local law.
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Ive Started Working Again But Not Full Time Can I Continue Getting Unemployment Benefits
If you are working fewer hours than you were prior to losing employment and applying for benefits, you may still qualify for partial unemployment. Attorneys with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid tell clients in this situation to continue requesting payments like normal, including their income and hours worked.