How To File For Unemployment In Texas

The state pays unemployment compensation to Texas unemployed workers who have lost their jobs because of layoffs or retrenchment. However, its purpose is to provide a source of income for unemployed people until they can find work.  

Specific criteria must be met to be eligible for unemployment benefits, such as working for a minimum amount of time and actively seeking work.

Furthermore, unemployment compensation, which is usually in the form of a check or a direct deposit, replaces a section of a worker’s income for a set period or until the worker finds work, whichever comes first.

It’s also known as “unemployment insurance” or “unemployment benefits.” 

Filing unemployment claims in Texas 

Texas employees who are temporarily out of work due to no fault of their own may be eligible for unemployment compensation in Texas, as in every other state.

However, qualifying restrictions, past earnings requirements, benefit levels, and other characteristics differ by state.  

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Eligibility Requirements for Texas Unemployment Benefits  

In Texas, there are three prerequisites for receiving unemployment benefits. The following are the basic guidelines for obtaining unemployment benefits in Texas. 

  • Minimum earnings requirements must be met in the past.  
  • Must be unemployed due to no fault of your own.  
  • Should be available to work at all times. 

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Minimum Requirements  

To evaluate your eligibility for Texas unemployment benefits, virtually every state looks at your recent job history and wages over a one-year “base period.” (For further detail, see the Nolo article Unemployment Compensation: Understanding the Base Period.)  

Furthermore, the base period in Texas, like in most other states, is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your benefits claim. The base period, for example, would be June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, if you filed your claim in October 2020. 

Additionally, if you’ve been out of work for a long time due to a disability, pregnancy, illness, or injury, your earnings during the standard base period may be low or perhaps insufficient to qualify for benefits. Furthermore, in this case, you may be allowed to choose a different base period that considers your earnings history before your inability to work. Your job history and earnings must meet both of these standards throughout the base period. 

At least two of the four calendar quarters that make up the base period must have yielded earnings. During the whole base period, your earnings must equal at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount. Also, the total you earned in your highest-paid quarter is divided by 25, up to a current limit of $535, to determine your weekly benefit amount.  

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Additionally, here’s an illustration of how it works. During the base period, Jonas worked three of the four calendar months. He was paid $5,000 in his highest-paid quarter and $2,000 in each of the other two. He qualifies for benefits since his total earnings for the base period ($9,000) exceed 37 times his weekly benefit amount ($5,000 divided by 25 equals $200, and $200 multiplied by 37 equals $7,400). 

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Texas, you must be jobless due to no fault of your own. You will meet this condition if you are laid off, lose your employment because of a reduction-in-force (RIF), or are “downsized” for financial reasons. Also, Employees fired for wrongdoing on the job may not be eligible for Texas unemployment benefits. Violating corporate policy, breaking the law, or failing to execute your job despite your ability to do so are all examples of work-related misbehavior. 

If you quit your job, you won’t be eligible for Texas unemployment benefits unless you have a valid cause for doing so, such as a medical issue or a work-related reason. You will still be eligible for unemployment benefits if someone who enjoyed a job would have left their work given the circumstances you faced. Additionally, you may be eligible for benefits if you leave your employment due to domestic abuse or stalking. Furthermore, you will be required to have proof of your reasons for quitting (such as a doctor’s note, a restraining order, or a record of your complaints about unsafe working conditions) whenever you do so. 

However, you will be ineligible for Texas unemployment benefits for a period if you quit moving with your spouse. However, depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible straight away if you are moving with a military spouse. 

Duration And Amount of Unemployment Texas Benefits

The Texas Workforce Commission calculates your weekly unemployment compensation by dividing your wages for the highest-paid quarter of the base period by 25, up to a maximum of $535 per week, as indicated above.  

However. the benefits can last up to 26 weeks. You may be eligible for extended benefits under state or federal law if you are still unemployed when your normal state benefits expire. (For more information, see Nolo’s article Unemployment Benefits: How Much and How Long Will You Get?)  

When you apply for benefits, contact the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to find out which programs are available. (Contact information is provided below.) 

How to File a Claim Texas Unemployment 

To be eligible for Texas Unemployment Insurance, a person must have been laid off due to no fault of their own. Be available for work, and be actively looking for work.  

To apply for benefits, you’ll need the following: 

· Name and address of your previous employer’s company  

· Dates you worked for your previous job for the first and last time (month, day, and year)  

· If you worked this week, how many hours did you work and what was your pay rate? (Including Sunday)  

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· Information about your regular pay  

· Number of Alien Registration (if not a U.S. citizen or national) 

Furthermore, you can file your claim either online or over the phone at  

contains a list of local offices and phone numbers. The Texas Workforce Commission will send you a Determination Notice after it has reviewed your application and determined whether your claim has been approved or refused. If your claim is approved, you must submit a payment request every two weeks, either online or over the phone, and continue to meet eligibility standards (for example, searching for work). 

In Texas, how can you appeal a denial of unemployment benefits?  

If your unemployment claim is denied, you have 14 days to appeal the decision by demanding a hearing in writing within 14 days after receiving the Determination Notice. The TWC will arrange a hearing after receiving your appeal request, and provide you with a bundle of information to support you, prepare. Your hearing will likely take place over the phone. After the hearing, the hearing officer will decide on your case and mail it to you. 

Furthermore, you can appeal the judgment to the three TWC commissioners if you disagree with it after the hearing. The commissioners will consider the facts presented at your initial hearing and make a written determination. If you disagree with the TWC’s decision, you can ask for a rehearing or pursue a judicial appeal.  

On its website,, the TWC provides comprehensive information on every element of the unemployment process; pick “Unemployment Insurance Information” to apply for benefits online. Read about current eligibility requirements and benefit amounts, and much more. 


To keep your Texas unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, willing to take a job, and actively looking for work. (For additional information on these conditions in general, see Nolo’s article Collecting Unemployment: Are You Able, Available, and Actively Seeking Work.) You must take an appropriate position if it is offered to you.  

You must apply for a job either online or in-person at a state workforce center. You must make a certain number of employment contacts each week (the number will be determined by the agency) and keep track of your efforts in a work search journal, which the agency may demand at any time. 

The Texas Workforce Commission offers the quickest and most convenient option to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits (TWC). You can submit your application at any time of day or night. If you’re eligible, your claim will start the following Sunday after you submit your application.  

To apply, go to Texas Unemployment Insurance and fill out the form. Instructions and applications are available in both English and Spanish.  

The user-friendly UI website includes an online glossary, a frequently asked questions page, and information in both English and Spanish., the state’s job bank, automatically launches as you submit your application, giving you the extra convenience of starting your job search right away. 

I’m a contractor, a self-employed worker, or a gig worker; am I entitled to unemployment benefits if I lose my job or have my work hours reduced because of COVID-19?
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The state of Texas is exiting federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs early, with the TWC’s final payment of federal pandemic unemployment benefits scheduled for the week of June 26th, 2021. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for self-employed and independent contractors who do not normally qualify for regular state benefits.

You may continue to demand payment for all weeks for which you are qualified until June 26, 2021, if you are currently receiving PUA, PEUC, or FPUC federal payments.

Regular unemployment benefits are still available. However, the additional $300 per week payment will expire on June 26, 2021. As long as you are qualified, TWC will continue to pay you regular payments after that date. 

If I stay at home to care for a sick family member, am I eligible for unemployment benefits?  

If you lose your work and the family member, you’re caring for is a sick child, you might be eligible. If a family member is an adult, you may not be eligible. 

To apply for benefits, what information do I need? 

To get started, you’ll need the following items:  

Number of the Social Security Administration 
Name, location, and phone number of your previous job
Dates you worked for your previous job for the first and last time
Military employment (service) start/end dates and a copy of your DD Form 214(s) if you served in the military within the last 18 months.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, your alien registration number 
Name, location, and phone number of your previous job 

When will my benefits begin if I am approved? 

TWC processes cases as rapidly as possible. However, determining whether you are qualified for benefits can take up to four weeks. Governor Abbott granted the Texas Workforce Commission’s request to postpone the one-week waiting period. After your unemployment benefits claim is approved, you will be able to start receiving benefits right away. 

How long must I wait before I can apply for assistance? 

If you lose your job owing to COVID-19, you should apply right away.  

A one-week waiting period is generally required, but the Texas Workforce Commission has exempted it for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.  

Due to COVID-19, I had to lay off people at my company. Will I be required to contribute to my employees’ unemployment benefits?

Employers are not charged for filing COVID-19 Texas unemployment claims. 



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