Texas Unemployment FAQs

We know our Texas readers have various questions regarding the Texas Unemployment Benefits program. We decided to set up this Texas Unemployment FAQs page to address the most common questions we get.

More questions will be added as and when we receive reader feedback.

Continue reading below to see our full list of the most frequently asked questions.

"Texas Unemployment FAQs"

Texas Unemployment FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

How do I file for Unemployment in Texas?

Here’s a summary of how the unemployment benefits process works in Texas.

Step 1 – Check for Eligibility

To be eligible for Texas Unemployment, you must qualify in the following four areas:

  1. Base-period wages
  2. Work search requirements
  3. Job separations
  4. Able and available requirements

1. Base-Period Wages

When you apply for unemployment, The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will send you a Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amounts (benefit statement) that shows whether you have enough wages during your base period to qualify for benefits.

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim.

If you worked for the federal government, the military, or in other states, your first
benefit statement will not include those wages.

The image below further explains how to determine your base period.

"How to calculate base period for Texas Unemployment"

2. Work Search Requirements

The next criteria you must meet to be eligible for Texas Unemployment benefits is the Work Search requirements.

Unless exempt, you must register as a job seeker within three business days of
applying for Texas Unemployment benefits.

Failure to do so may result in your claim being denied.

To register, visit WorkInTexas.com.

Additionally, you can register at a Texas Workforce Solutions office if you live in Texas or regularly commute to Texas for work from a border state.

To be paid unemployment benefits, you must meet your minimum work search requirements each week.

For details about your work search requirements, refer to the letter the TWC sent you in the mail, including the Texas Unemployment Handbook.

3. Job Separations

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Texas, you must be either unemployed or
working reduced hours through no fault of your own.

Quitting Your Job

Most people who quit their jobs are not eligible for unemployment benefits in Texas.

If you quit your job for a good work-related reason, such as
not being paid, you may be eligible for unemployment.

However, you must have proof of that reason and show that you tried to correct the problem with your employer before quitting.

Able and Available Requirements

To be eligible for Texas Unemployment benefits, you must be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work each week you request payment.

This means you:

  • are physically and mentally able to work the days and hours required of the
    job you are seeking
  • are available for suitable work, if offered
  • are not in jail
  • have transportation and child care
  • would accept the customary wages for your qualifications and experience
  • lowered your wage request to 75 percent of your normal wage by the 8th
    week of unemployment

Step 2 – Gather Your Information

Before you apply for Texas unemployment benefits, you will need to have the following information available to support your claim.

Generally, here’s a summary of what you need to apply for Texas Unemployment:

  • Your last employer’s business name, address, and phone number
  • First and last dates (month, day, and year) you worked for your last employer. If you worked for your last employer on more than one occasion, provide the most recent employment dates.
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked the week you apply for benefits (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Information about the normal wage for the job you are seeking
  • Alien Registration number (if not a U.S. citizen)
  • A valid Texas Driver License number or Texas Identification Card number

If one of the following criteria applies to you, have the following additional information available:

  • Not a U.S. Citizen: Alien Registration Number or other work authorization form.
  • Military employee: A copy of your DD-214 Member 4. If you do not have a Member 4, a copy of your Member 2-7 may be used.
  • Federal employee: SF-8 or SF-50.
  • Union member: Union name, hall number, and phone number.

Step 3 – Submit your Claim Online

There are two ways to apply to Unemployment Insurance benefits in Texas:

Option 1- Apply Online

Apply online at Unemployment Benefit Services by selecting Apply for Benefits.

Click here for the Unemployment Benefit Services website.

For detailed instructions on how to login to the Benefits Services site or to create an account, see our post on Texas Unemployment Website Login help.

Option 2 – Apply by Phone

The other option to apply for Texas Unemployment is to call the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 and speak to a customer service representative.

How do I calculate the amount I will get in Unemployment Benefits?

Here’s how to calculate how much you will receive in Texas Unemployment Benefits:

First, we will explain how to calculate your Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)

Weekly Benefit Amount

Your weekly benefit amount is the amount you receive for weeks you are eligible for unemployment benefits.

Your WBA will be between $70 and $535 depending on your past wages.

Also, it is important to note that the minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts in Texas are $70 and $535 respectively.

To calculate your WBA, divide your base period quarter with the highest wages by 25 and round to the nearest dollar.

Next, we will explain how to calculate your Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)

Maximum Benefit Amount

Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the total amount you can receive during your benefit year.

Your MBA is 26 times your weekly benefit amount or 27 percent of all your wages in the base period, whichever is less.

Your benefit year begins on the Sunday of the week in which you applied for benefits and remains in effect for 52 weeks.

Also, your benefit year stays in effect for those dates even if TWC disqualifies you from receiving benefits or you receive all of your benefits.

Additionally, it is important to note that there is a possibility that you may run out of benefits before your benefit year expires.

How do I figure out by Base Period?

Your base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of your initial unemployment insurance claim.

The TWC does not use the quarter in which you file or the quarter before that.

Instead, they use the one-year period before those two quarters. The effective date is the Sunday of the week in which you apply.

The chart below can help you determine your base period.

If you determine that you do not have enough wages from employment in the base period, then you are not eligible for unemployment benefits and TWC cannot pay you benefits.

"Base period chart for Texas Unemployment Benefits"

Can I get Texas Unemployment Benefits If I Quit my Job?

When you apply for unemployment benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission will investigate why you’re not working anymore.

Most people who quit their jobs are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

For example, if you quit your job for personal reasons, such as lack of transportation or stay home with your children, you are not eligible for unemployment.

However, there are exceptions.

If you quit your job for a work-related or medical reason, you might be eligible for unemployment benefits.

You may be eligible for benefits if you quit for one of the work-related or non-work-related reasons below:

Work-Related Reasons:

  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Significant changes in hiring agreement
  • Not getting paid or difficulty getting your agreed-upon pay

Non-Work-Related Reasons:

  • A personal medical illness or injury prevented you from working
  • You are caring for a minor child who has a medical illness
  • You are caring for a terminally ill spouse
  • You have documented cases of sexual assault, family violence, or stalking
  • You entered Commission-Approved Training and the job is not considered suitable under Section 20
  • You moved with your military spouse

How do I Request Payment for Unemployment in Texas?

Here’s an important piece of information about Unemployment benefits in Texas: You must request payment to receive benefits.

You should request benefit payment every two weeks on your scheduled day.

When you first file for unemployment benefits, TWC will send you instructions on how to request payment.

To find the first date you are scheduled to request benefit payment, look for the document titled: Instructions: Requesting Benefit Payments.

This form shows your First Filing Date and the Tele-Serv Filing Day.

How to request payment

There are two options available to request benefit payments.

Option 1 – Online

You can request payments online using the Unemployment Benefits Services at ui.texasworkforce.org.

Click on the “Request a Payment” link, then follow the instructions to log in.

Once you are logged in, Select Request a Payment.

You will need a User ID and password.

Use the same User ID and password that you use for WorkInTexas.com.

For more information on how to log in, see our post on Texas Unemployment Benefits login.

Option 2 – By Phone

The other option for requesting a payment is by Phone. Here’s how:

Call the TWC’s Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321.

Select Option 1.

You will need your Social Security number and the four-digit PIN you created when you first applied for benefits.

If I Owe Child Support, will it affect my Unemployment Benefit Payments?

Yes. If you owe court-ordered child support, the TWC will reduce your weekly unemployment benefit payment by up to 50 percent to pay your child support.

The Office of Attorney General (OAG) will notify TWC if you owe child support.

TWC will then deduct the amount directly from your payment and send the funds to OAG, who will then give the money to the custodial parent.

How Do I Stop My Texas Unemployment Claim?

To stop your Texas Unemployment claim, here’s what you need to do:

After your first week of full-time work, stop requesting unemployment payments.

Also, once you have returned to full-time work, you are no longer eligible for Texas unemployment benefits, even if you have a balance remaining on your claim.

Will my employer know if I file for Unemployment?

When an employee files for unemployment, the employer will receive a notification from the state unemployment commission.

The notification will be based on information provided by the employee supporting his or her application for benefits.

Once the employer receives the claim notice they need to take action.

The action the employer takes depends on whether they want to contest the claim or not.

Why does my application status in the TWC Benefit Service system say I am ineligible?

There are many reasons you may be deemed ineligible for Texas Unemployment benefits

This includes incomplete or inaccurate information.

If you have incomplete or inaccurate information, the TWC will reach out to assist you in completing your application.

Here are the most common reasons you may be denied unemployment benefits by the Texas Workforce Commission.

    • Work-related misconduct
    • Voluntary Resignation
    • Not looking for work
  • Being unable to work
  • Refusal to Accept Suitable Work
  • Not Meeting Earnings Requirements
  • Immigration Status
  • Attending School or Training
  • Committing Unemployment Fraud
  • Failure to File Appeal on Time
  • Receiving severance pay
  • Problems With the Texas Unemployment System

Texas Unemployment FAQs Summary

We hope this post on Texas Unemployment FAQs was helpful.

Still Have Questions?

To go to the main Texas Unemployment page, click here: Texas Unemployment.

If you need help with Texas Unemployment Website Login, click here: TX Unemployment Website Login.

To reach the TWC Customer Service and speak to a live person, click here: Texas Unemployment Phone Numbers.

To calculate how much you will get in Texas Unemployment, click here: Texas Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator.

For the Texas Unemployment Handbook, click here: Texas Unemployment Benefits Handbook.

If you have further questions about Texas Unemployment Benefits or Unemployment Debit Card, you can fill out the comment form below and we will answer your question ASAP.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Unemployment Benefits, including:
Whether Unemployment Benefits are Taxable
List of States Extending Unemployment Benefits
Massachusetts DUA Unemployment Debit Card
How to file for Unemployment (in all 50 States)
Unemployment office Phone Number (All 50 States)