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How To File For Unemployment In Texas

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How to apply for unemployment benefits in Texas

Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment compensation. . In Texas, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your claim for benefits. For example, if you filed your claim in October 2020, the base period would be from June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020.

If you have been out of work for a long time because of disability, pregnancy, illness, or injury, you may have low or even insufficient earnings during the regular base period to qualify for benefits. In this situation, you may be able to use an alternate base period that looks at your earnings history before you became unable to work.

During the base period, your work history and earnings must meet both of these requirements:

  • You must have earned wages in at least two of the four calendar quarters that make up the base period.
  • Your earnings during the entire base period must be at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount. Your weekly benefit amount is the total you earned in your highest paid quarter divided by 25, up to a current maximum of $535.

Example Of Multiple Determinations

John was fired from his job after he was a no-call, no-show at work for six days. His truck broke down so he didnt have a way to get to work. After a week, he fixed his car and reported to work and was fired for job abandonment.

To receive benefits, John must meet the requirements for past wages, job separation and ongoing eligibility requirements.

Although he received two determination letters saying we could pay him benefits based on his past wages and transportation issue, he also received one letter explaining that we could not pay him benefits because he is disqualified on his job separation. Therefore, John will not receive benefits.

Find Out The Unemployment Eligibility Rules Benefit Amounts And More For Texas

By Lisa Guerin, J.D.

In Texasas in every other stateemployees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own may qualify to collect unemployment benefits. The eligibility rules, prior earnings requirements, benefit amounts, and other details vary from state to state, however. Here are the basic rules for collecting unemployment in Texas.

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Work Search Requirements In Texas

To remain eligible for benefits in Texas, you must be able and available to work, and you must be actively seeking work. Within three business days of applying for benefits, you will need to register for WorkInTexas, the states work search program. After you apply, the TWC will tell you how many work search activities you must complete each week to keep getting benefits. Although you dont necessarily have to hand in documentation of your job search, the TWC can require you to provide the information at any timeand if you dont have it, you will lose your benefits. The TWCs website has detailed information about the states work search rules.

Once you file your initial claim, you will have to request benefits every two weeks, either online or by phone. You will have to provide information regarding your availability to work, your job search, and any work you did during the two-week period covered by the claim.

How Do I Do A Work Search If Im Self

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If you intend to reopen your business, you do not need to search for new employment. Instead, you should take steps to reopen and report to the TWC how many hours per week youve spent trying to rebuild your business. The TWC has not specified a minimum number of required hours.

Steps to reopen that are accepted by the TWC include activities like contacting past clients, submitting a bid on a contract or posting on social media about your reopening plans. Read more about this on TWCs website.

If you do not plan to reopen your business, you must perform work searches as outlined here.

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How Much Do Texas Unemployment Benefits Per Per Week

You will receive between $70 and $535 per week if you are approved for unemployment in Texas. The amount you receive will be determined by how much money you made at your past job.

The Texas Workforce Commission offers an unemployment benefits calculator to help you determine how much money you may receive if you are approved.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation :

Texas provided additional benefits through June 26 to people who have exhausted their regular state benefits. This is a new program under the CARES Act that was extended by Congress. If you were already receiving unemployment assistance and used up your 26 weeks of benefits before the coronavirus pandemic, you may have been eligible for more assistance under this program.

According to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, you should havequalified for PEUC if:

  • Your original unemployment claim was dated on or after July 8, 2018.
  • You exhausted all regularunemployment benefits you were entitled to.
  • You are not eligible for benefits in any other state or territory.
  • You will run out of your current benefits at any point before Dec. 20, 2020.
  • You are not receiving compensation under the unemployment laws of Canada.
  • You are able to work and available for work.

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I Was Already Receiving Benefits Before Covid

Yes. The federal stimulus bill will give you 13 additional weeks of unemployment. This is called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation . You do not need to reapply if you ran out of benefits on or after July 1, 2019. Just keep requesting payments every two weeks. You are probably eligible if:

  • Your original claim was dated on or after July 8, 2018

  • You exhausted all entitlement to regularUIbenefits

  • You are not eligible for benefits in any other state or territory

  • You will run out of your current benefits at any point before December 20, 2020

  • You are not receiving compensation under the UC laws of Canada and

  • You are able to work and available for work.

If you meet the above criteria, the TWC will notify you by mail or electronic correspondence, and you should not attempt to apply for benefits again. If you submit another application, you may delay TWCs processing of your application.

After you exhaust those 13 weeks under the federal stimulus bill, you may then qualify for another 13 weeks under Texas law. This is called Extended Benefits. You do not need to reapply. Just keep requesting payments very two weeks. The TWC should automatically review your claim to see if you are eligible for additional weeks of benefits. But if they do not or say you cannot keep receiving benefits, you may need to call them to ask them to review your claim for Extended Benefits.

On December 27, 2020, a new pandemic relief bill was signed into law.

How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits

How to File For Unemployment in Texas Online – Tutorial

The best and fastest way to apply for benefits in Texas is by filing online. You can also call 800-939-6631 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but be aware that you are likely to experience very long hold times

Be prepared to supply the following:

  • Name, address, phone number, and Social Security number
  • Employment history, including:
  • Your last employer’s business name, address, and phone number
  • Dates of employment

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When Do W2s Come Out

Employers typically send a wave of W-2 forms out by the end of January. Countless envelopes with Form W-2 pass through post offices nationwide. The Internal Revenue Service deadline for employers to send out the form is January 31.

On this form, employers record the income earned by the individual employee and the taxes already paid. Also recorded are wages, commissions, tips, and other withholdings such as federal, state, or social security taxes.

This is the information required on personal income tax forms. It is used to derive how much each citizen owes the IRS and their state department of revenue.

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Unemployment Benefits Identity Theft

If you are not claiming unemployment benefits and have information that a claim was filed using your identity, you should report the ID theft claim on TWCs online portal. Go to Unemployment Benefits ID Theft for more information.

Verify Your Claim

If you are claiming unemployment benefits, TWC may ask you to verify your identity through If you are claiming unemployment benefits and received a letter from TWC advising you to verify your identity using, go to to verify your identity on a claim you filed.

If you have an active claim, request a benefits payment.

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Before You Call The Texas Unemployment Phone Number

As we mentioned above, the Texas Unemployment hotline gets a large volume of calls, especially at the beginning of the week when people are claiming their weeks.

Also, due to problems with the Texas Unemployment website and issues with benefits in general, more applicants for unemployment are turning to customer service for help.

Therefore, hold times are long when you call the phone number.

We have answered the top questions people call the Texas Unemployment phone number for.

Scroll down below to see if your question has been answered below.

Additionally, you can review our complete list of Texas Unemployment FAQs here.

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How to Apply for Unemployment in Texas: 10 Steps (with ...

Unemployment compensation is a benefit available to most workers when they separate from their jobs due to circumstances beyond their control. Claiming it can be a process, however, and its not without its challenges.

You must have enough earned income during prescribed time periods to qualify, and some workers can fall through the cracks and be denied even when they do technically qualify. States have appeal systems in place to give them recourse.

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How Do Unemployment Benefits Work In Texas

If you need to file for unemployment benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission, or TWC, is your go-to place for getting information, filing claims and receiving benefits.

You can apply either online or by calling 1-800-939-6631, and applications are available in both English and Spanish.

Typically, eligible workers can claim money for up to 26 weeks. However, states may choose to revise their benefits in times of economic crisis, and the federal government may help fund extended state benefits during such times.

If You Are On Extended Benefits :

  • You are required to look for work on multiple days per week using different methods and completing different activities.
  • You must document your work search activities using the TWCs EB Search Log and submit it within seven days of each payment request you make. The workforce commission should send a blank EB Search Log to your correspondence inbox the online mail portal tied to your TWC account or to your physical mailbox. You can submit the documentation online or by mail or fax using the address or fax number listed on the form.

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How Can I Apply

It takes about four weeks from the date you apply to know if youre eligible for Texas unemployment benefits, so its probably a good idea to apply as soon as you become unemployed or underemployed. You can check your claim status on the TWC website or by phone. TWC will notify you by mail to let you know if youre eligible and your potential benefit amount.

Heres an overview of the process when filing for Texas unemployment benefits.

What Can I Do If My Unemployment Claim Is Denied

How to apply for unemployment in Texas if you’re affected by coronavirus

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.

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Preparing To File Your Texas Unemployment Application

In order to file for Texas unemployment assistance, all applicants will need to gather the necessary documents.

In order to verify your Texas unemployment claim, the documents submit must match the Texas database. If you fail to fill out your Texas unemployment application correctly you can be denied benefits.


To fill out the Texas unemployment application you should have the below documents ready.

  • Identification ( Can be a driver’s license, Government issued ID, Social Security Card, birth certificate or Passport.
  • Employer contact information.
  • The dates that you worked for that employer and how much you earned in wages during that period.
  • Bank information. ( Can be a voided check or a deposit slip.

Texas residents who use the online system should plan on the process taking roughly 45 minutes to complete all forms. Legal Texas immigrants can file for unemployment benefits if all eligibility requirements are met.

How To Appeal A Denial Of Unemployment Benefits In Texas

If your unemployment claim is denied, you may appeal the decision by requesting a hearing, in writing, within 14 days after the date the Determination Notice was mailed to you. After receiving your appeal request, the TWC will schedule a hearing and mail you a packet of information to help you prepare. Your hearing will probably be by phone. Following the hearing, the hearing officer will decide on your case and mail the decision to you.

If you disagree with the decision after the hearing, you may appeal it to three commissioners of the TWC. The commissioners will review the evidence from your original hearing and issue a written decision. If you disagree with this decision, you may request a rehearing from the TWC or file an appeal in court.

The TWC provides comprehensive information on every aspect of the unemployment process at its website, select “Unemployment Insurance Information” to apply for benefits online, find out current eligibility requirements and benefit amounts, learn about the appeals process, and much more.

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I Still Have More Questions About How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits Where Can I Find More Answers

You can find more answers on the Texas Workforce Commissions website, Unemployment Benefits Handbook, or virtual assistant. The virtual assistant is available on any Texas Workforce Commission webpageat the bottom of the page under the CHAT WITH US tab. You can also contact Texas RioGrande Legal Aid at 888-988-9996.

Repayment If Requesting Benefits

How To File An Unemployment Claim In Texas

If you are requesting benefits, TWC will apply each eligible weekly benefit payment toward repaying your overpayment until it is repaid.

NOTE: As of May 30, 2021, TWC will use only 50 percent of a claimants weekly benefit amount to repay their overpayment, unless otherwise required by law. For example: if a claimants weekly benefit is $324, they will receive $162 per week and $162 will be applied to the overpayment, until paid in full.

If you previously established a repayment schedule, we will cancel the repayment arrangements you made before beginning your claim if we are offsetting all or part of your weekly benefit amount to repay the overpayment. If desired, you can make additional payments directly to TWC to repay your overpayment debt sooner. We are not able to change the amount that is offset from your benefits.

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Is Texas Giving Extra Unemployment Benefits

Jobless Texans will soon lose access to all additional federal unemployment aid including a $300-per-week supplemental benefit that was extended as a result of the pandemic after Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday said Texas will opt out of the federal assistance.

Keeping this in consideration, Is Texas waiving the waiting week for unemployment?

Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Workforce Commission to waive the waiting week, for Unemployment Benefits. TWC is temporarily waiving these requirements to ensure all Texans can have access to resources when in need. Those seeking to apply for Unemployment Benefits will need to submit an application.

Secondly Is Texas paying the extra $300 for unemployment 2021? 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 June 26, 2021.

Is Texas paying the extra $300 for unemployment?

Abbott halts extra $300 in federal unemployment pay for jobless Texans. The push from business groups comes as at least 16 other Republican-led states have announced theyll rescind the additional unemployment benefits in hopes of forcing workers back into jobs.

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Are Gig Workers Considered Self

Gig work Uber driving, Instacart shopping, Amazon Flex delivery and so on is on-demand, freelance work thats typically taxed as self-employment. Instead of having an employer withhold money from your paycheck, youre an independent contractor who is expected to pay taxes on your gig income as you earn it.

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Your Unemployment Benefit Services Password

When you sign up for online services, you will select a User ID and password. Your password protects your identity and privacy. It has the same legal authority as your signature on a paper document. Do not give your password to anyone, not even to a family member or TWC employee. You are responsible for any payment request made using your User ID and password.

If you have a User ID and password from, use that User ID and password to logon to Unemployment Benefit Services. For more about the password requirements, go to Managing Your Benefits Password & PIN.

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