Texas Unemployment – Know Your Rights Today

Filing for unemployment can be a somewhat confusing task. You have to make sure you know all of the eligibility requirements, important phone numbers, and much more. If you’re considering filing for unemployment in Texas, it is very important that you take note of all the information below to ensure that you can Seal of Texassuccessfully receive your benefits with little to no delay.


The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, Title 4, Subtitle A of the Texas Labor Code outlines the guidelines and rules for receiving Texas unemployment benefits. The requirements fall under three main categories (reason for unemployment, past wages, and your current search for employment). These requirements are as follows:

  • Reason for Unemployment: The reason for your unemployment must be through no fault of your own (i.e. laid off from lack of work hours, quit job for medical issues, etc.) If you were terminated for a non-work related violation you may still be eligible.
  • Past Wages:You must have documented proof of wages for at least two of your base calendar quarters. Also, your total base period wages must be 37 times your weekly benefit amount. If you have previously applied for benefits, you must have earned at least 6 times your new weekly benefit amount since the last time you qualified for benefits. For example:
    • You filed for unemployment in January 2013
    • You file for unemployment again in July 2013
    • You get approved for $300 a week
    • Between January 2013 and July 2013 you have to have earned at least $1800
    • Current Employment Search: To receive ongoing benefits you must actively search for work every week, be willing and able to work full time, accept suitable work, and be registered at http://workintexas.com.

You must meet all of the requirements above in order to qualify for benefits. If you have any questions regarding whether or not you meet the criteria, you may call Tele-Center toll free at 800-939-6631.

How to Apply

One of the biggest advantages you have in filing for unemployment in Texas is that you’re able to complete the application online with the Texas Workforce Commission by visiting http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/unemployment-benefits-services.html. Optionally, you may contact the Tele-Center office at 800-939-6631. The office hours are Monday-Friday from 7AM-6PM central time.

Prior to filling out the application it’s a great idea to have all of the necessary paperwork by your side because you will be required to provide a good deal of personal information to help verify your application. The information you will be asked for includes:

  • Name and address of your last place of employment
  • Beginning and ending date of your last employer
  • Information regarding you last payment wages
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked during the same week you’re applying for unemployment
  • Alien Registration Card (for non U.S. citizens)

In order to apply for benefits online, you will need to set up an online account. This is simple and can be done at http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/unemployment-benefits-services.html.

It’s important to note that after your application has been submitted you will not be able to edit anything. If for any reason you need to make a change you must call the Tele-Center the next business day at 1-800-939-6631 to see if anything can be done.

After the Application

Once you have completed your application, you must allow at least 2 business days for the TWC to review your application before you check on the status of your unemployment claim.

You must register for work online at www.workintexas.com or at a Texas Workforce Center within 3 days of filing for unemployment.


Receiving your benefits

Once you’ve been approved for your unemployment benefits, the next step will be to start receiving your payments. You have two options for getting your payments.

1: Direct Deposit into your Bank Account

2: TWC Visa Debit Card

By default, your payments will be made via the TWC Visa card. In order to receive direct deposit, you must request it at www.ui.texasworkforce.org. You will need your 9 digit routing number and your bank account number. This information can be found at the bottom of your checks or you can contact your bank. You have to wait 1 business day after you apply for unemployment in order to change your payment options.

How Much Can I get?

The amount of benefits you receive will depend upon a few factors. The TWC relies on your base salary mostly. Your weekly benefits will range from $61-$426 depending on the amount you earned at your previous employer. Once you’ve been granted your benefits you will receive a Statement of Benefits that outlines your potential payment amount. You can claim your benefits 10-26 weeks.

You can use the benefits estimator to see what your potential benefits will be:



If you’re ever in a situation where you disagree with the ruling of the Texas Workforce Commission, you have the ability to petition for an appeal. The TWC has a 3 step appeals process that includes:

1: Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal: Fax or mail your appeal letter to the TWC appeals office. You cannot email an appeal. If you have any questions in regards to appeals email [email protected].

  • Fax number: (512) 475-1135
  • Address:

AT Appeals Department
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E. 15th Street, Room 410
Austin, Texas 78778

2: Appeal to the TWC: If you’re not satisfied with the AT you may file an appeal with the TWC within 14 days of receiving the decision of the AT. You must fax/mail this letter as well. In your appeals letter you should include your name, SSN, address, date the TWC mailed you the decision letter (include a copy of the letter if possible), and must be signed and dated.

  • Fax number: (512) 475-2044
  • Address:

CA Appeals Department
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E. 15th Street, Room 678
Austin, Texas 78778

3: Motion for rehearing/Appeal to civil court: Your final option in the appeals process is to motion for a rehearing within 14 days of receiving the decision from the TWC. In order to get the rehearing, you must be able to show that you have new pertinent information about your case, explain why you did not submit this information before, and why you think this information will affect the decision. You may also appeal to your local civil court 15-28 days after receiving the TWC decision letter.

Useful Resources

If you have any questions regarding Texas unemployment benefits, you may contact the Texas Workforce Commission. Here are some links that should help you:

Texas Workforce Commission

Website: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/

State Phone Number: 512-463-2222

Email: fill out form here https://services.twc.state.tx.us/UBS/contactUs.do

WFC Offices: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/dirs/wdas/wfc_list.pdf

List of Workforce Development Boards: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/dirs/wdbs/wdbweb.html

Find the Nearest WFC office near you: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/dirs/wdas/directory-offices-services.html

Request payments, get payment info, get general information, or check on the status of a claim:

Tele-Serv: 800-558-8321

  • Live service available Monday-Friday from 7AM-6PM Central time
  • Automated message available 24/7

Customer service

Tele-Center: 800-939-6631

  • Monday-Friday 7AM-6PM Central Time



Benefits Chase Debit Card Support
Phone: 866-865-1273
Web: http://www.chase.com

Find Jobs in Texas

Unemployment Insurance

Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

36 Comments to “Texas Unemployment – Know Your Rights Today”

  1. The ‘flight’ option when forced to resign from a job entails
    trying to make this experience as seamless as possible, and trying to eke
    out the best from a bad situation. When you get injured on
    the job, some employers will do everything potential to evade having to pay for your lost
    earnings and medical bills. Title VII protects workers and employees in the aspects of hiring, firing, promotion, training,
    benefits and other employment areas from being discriminated based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

    • Lucy says:

      Hi im lucy what can i do if i was discriminated at work for not something at my fault only having to do with whom im related to ?

      • Visit your Equal Opportunity Employment Commission office in your area and file a discrimination suit. If you were discharged because of discrimination, just apply for benefits – do not cite that as a reason. The EEOC suit is separate and apart from unemployment benefits.

  2. bryan runya says:

    I have been denied for unemployement benefits what can I do now got pay for my house and be able to take care of my kids and put food on the the table Ineed help for now till I find me a job

    • Visit your county social services people for help. Your children should be eligible for CHIP medical insurance, you may be eligible for Medicaid. In addition, you may qualify for food stamps and other assistance.

  3. I was wondering if a 3 week full time employee can obtain benefits if they were fired for no fault of their own. Is there a minimum timeframe you must work before being eligible? Would three weeks qualify? Thank you and God Bless from the best Texas Christian Radio Network, SpiritLife Christian Radio!

    • What is your other work history? If you have earnings in two quarters prior to the job loss, apply for benefits. Those earnings should qualify you for a benefit – assuming this current separation is a discharge/layoff with no misconduct attached.

  4. Laura says:

    Over one month waiting on unemployment and no response and nobody answers the phone either!!! Any suggestions?

    • Nikki says:

      I went through that a month ago. I’d call to wait on hold forever then never speak to anyone. Online didn’t say anything either. TWC mailed me a request for additional information with only a few days to reply. Luckily my neighbor got the letter on accident and forgot to give it to me right away… denied! I would go to an office and try to speak to someone in person just in case. My appeal was denied due to “inconsistencies” in evidence. If they would just let me speak instead of only answering their questions, they might know what questions to ask! If I would have gotten that letter, I don’t think it would have ended up like this. On to appeal #2! Hopefully I’m not evicted or lose my car before then cause this is taking forever!

    • Email your TX state legislator on this lack of response.


  5. Juan Pacheco says:

    I have been denied benefits since December 2015. Is it because I am receive Social Security. That should not be a factor or determine your decision for no payment. If it is you are discriminating against the elderly.

  6. Jane says:

    I have been waiting a little over a month for benefits. I was hired through an out of state temp agency to work in the state of Texas, where I live. I was fired from my temp job because the customer would not verify her info for HIPPA, and the call while being placed on hold, waiting for help, was released. The employer was horrible. Talk about unfair. I qualified for the benefits, while looking for another job. I got a call for a review. The young lady was curt. I don’t think she recorded the basic facts, the truth. In the meantime, I am sitting on pins and needles, and feel victimized all over again.TWC don’t answer their phones. All you get are recordings. If you have no money for gas and rent, how can you get to job interviews. Is this the American way? I understand they have to review cases; but some things are black n white. I hope when it happens to them, they receive the same unjust treatment.

    • randall says:

      Jane: Your story sounds much like mine 6 years ago, Welcome to Texas! I ve been battaling employers ever since. The whole system is made to protect the employer. Forget that unemployment funds are actually Federal funds, but paid at discretion of employer/ TWC which have a mutual benefit to NOT pay a single cent. I feel the anger. I assume you are in health care ? You mentioned HIPPA. Good luck to you.

    • @jane – what Randall states is true. TX is one of the least-claimant friendly states in the country. If there is any question at all on your eligibility, you will get a denial. You need to be very articulate, detailed and persistent to prevail.

      Good luck.

  7. john c hinojosa says:

    i applied online for unemployment on monday but want to see if i can cancel the benefits until i stop receiving my servance pay. can i cancel today and file for unemployment oncei stop receiving my servance pay.

    • In TX, severance is not an offset to unemployment benefits. Severance merely DELAYS payment of benefits. You have 52 weeks to collect benefits under this claim.

      Per TX:

      “Anytime an employer is paying severance pay or wages in lieu of notice, that information should be provided to the Texas Workforce Commission local office on any response to an employee’s claim for benefits. Keep in mind that such additional pay will not stop receipt of unemployment benefits, but payments will be delayed until the until the payment’s period of coverage has expired.”


      Assuming your severance is not the equivalent of more than 26 weeks’ pay, you should not cancel your claim. You may have a very good LAG (unused earnings from the job you just lost) which will provide a basis for an excellent second-year claim – provided you have worked and earned six times your weekly benefit amount during the current benefit year.

      Do not cancel this claim until you have done the math.

  8. Nina says:

    I’m approved for unemployment benefits, but I’m not getting very much. I’m trying to find out if I can work part time and still draw unemployment if I don’t find anything fulltime?

    • This from the TX Handbook:

      “If you work part time, you can earn up to 25 percent of your weekly benefit amount (WBA) before TWC reduces your benefit payment. For example, if your WBA is $160, you may earn $40 without a reduction. If you earn $50, we reduce your WBA for the week to $150. In both cases your benefits plus your earnings equal $200. If you earn more than $200, we cannot pay you benefits for that week. If you are working the customary full-time hours for your occupation, we cannot pay you benefits, even if your earnings are below your allowed amount.”


      An easier way to say this is:
      $160 = Weekly benefit amount
      $200 = Partial Benefit Amount (if you work)
      -x50 = Earnings
      $150 = Net benefit paid

      So, gross up your weekly benefit by 25% and then deduct estimated GROSS (before deductions) earnings.

  9. Beth Holmes says:

    I applied for a day off 3 weeks in advance according to company policy handbook. I used the appropriate form and both managers signed their approval. Now it is 2 days before my requested day off and they say I must work. They want A/R balanced to zero (not currently possible). I do have 100 hours of personal time in the bank and I must enroll my 3 children in 3 different schools and this is the last day to do so. I guess they have the right to fire me, but would I be eligible for unemployment? I have worked there for 6 years. Thank you!

    • Matt says:

      Absolutely. You need to work only few months a year to receive full benefits!

    • @beth – you will have a hard time in TX receiving benefits under these circumstances – and will need to appeal all the way up to the Board of Review – and still be denied. Regardless if employer has approved the time off, they are now reneging and TX will stand by employer certainly at application, and through the appeal. Only at the BOR do you have a chance – and at that, not a good one. If you should be fortunate to win, know that you will receive no benefits until that time – which will take several months, or more, at the very least. You probably should consult an unemployment law atty in TX for this litigation.

  10. Matt says:

    I was laid off July 2015. I received the unemployment benefit las year with no problem. I applied for the 2nd year and it was denied. Anyone knows if this benefit is only for 12 months or more?

    • The “benefit year” lasts twelve months, which means you are given that year to collect your monetary award. TX does not pay more than 26 weeks’ benefits, but you have one year to collect them. That said, if you have not worked and earned new wages between July 2015 and July 2016, TX cannot grant a new claim. You may have had a good LAG (unused earnings) from your earlier employment, but if you have not shown an attachment to the workforce by working during your benefit year, TX cannot grant another claim.

      You probably should read this link.


  11. Angela says:

    Why is my claim for less than 26 weeks

    • Because your base period wages did not support 26 weeks’ benefits. In order to receive 26 weeks benefits, total wages in your base period must be at least 26xWBA. Otherwise multiply total wages by 27% and divide by WBA to arrive at the number of weeks paid. Your monetary award letter should list your base period wages. Here is how TX calculates benefits:

      Weekly Benefit Amount
      Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is the amount you receive for weeks you are eligible for benefits. Your WBA will be between $65 and $479 (minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts in Texas) depending on your past wages.

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

      Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is the lesser of 26 times your weekly amount or 27 percent of all your wages in the base period.


  12. Aprell Johnson says:

    I have been waiting since Aug. 8,2016 and still haven’t heard anything yet should I be worried?? O sorry this is for my appeal hearing.
    I was fired the manger said I closed the salon early and I didn’t me and another stylist was still cutting hair when she said the salon looked closed the doors where not locked still opened just the open sign was off but had been off that whole day the hearing judge asked the manger in the hearing call if the doors where locked and she said no
    So what do y’all think help plz

    • If it has taken this long for TX to arrive at a decision, it is unlikely the outcome will be favorable. He said/she said is usually reviewed at more length in the appeal. Know that TX is claimant-friendly, so be sure any evidence you present at appeal is clear, documented, and easily understood.

  13. Melissa says:

    I am a fee for service home health nurse. I have been at my current job for 11 & 1/2 years. This January I requested time off due too increasing stress at work. My employer stated that an office position may be a better fit for me and would let me know when one was available. She also stated that I would be stationed closer to my home and responsible for less visits when I returned to work.
    When I returned to work approximate 5 weeks later, nothing has changed. Same stress, same everything. Then an office position opened up last month so I applied. They had made the statement that they were hiring within. During the interview I felt as though my employer talked me out of the position, stating basically it wasn’t a right fit for me and giving examples like I wouldn’t get to take vacation as normal and that there were several personalities that may conflict with mine. I get along with all of my co-workers.
    I travel to patient’s homes and provide nursing care. Most days 6-8 visits, approx 100-160 miles per day. A few of these homes have been unsafe and we are told that we have to do these visits. One home, each nurse was nearly attacked by 5 dogs in the home and patient refused to remove the dogs during or visits. I was almost bitten on 2 separate occasions.
    I have finally had enough of this and gave my 2 week notice. Everyone I know says that I should file for unemployment. Is this a possibility?

    • Without a medical reason for the quit, especially in TX, it is unlikely TX will grant benefits. Before you quit, write a letter to your employer outlining your grievances, whatever they are, and ask your employer to address them. If you’re lucky, employer will discharge you. It is much easier – especially in TX – to get benefits if you’re fired/discharged, rather than quit. Good cause quits are medical reasons, hostile/unsafe work environment, etc. If you quit, for sure TX will deny the claim and you will need to appeal. Your chances of success at appeal in TX are small and will take months. So, work on getting a discharge.

  14. Mechelle says:

    I am still waiting on a decision from TWC. It’s been almost 4 weeks. I got laid off and my past employer didnt dispute and told me he replied back to them right away. How long do I have to wait to get my first check or even an email saying I am eligible? I’m am looking for work but I need to pay the mortgage!!

    • Sounds like there’s an issue with this separation. Call them. If TX had any questions on the separation, at the very least it should have scheduled an interview by now. If you can’t get through to TX, email your state representative to get TX off the mark. You’ll hear from him immediately. Find your legislator, here:


      Otherwise, if both you and employer indicate this was a clean separation – no firing for misconduct, no quit without cause – after four weeks TX should be able to approve. That said, TX does not like to approve unemployment benefit claims, so TX may be looking for a reason to deny at their level even though employer has no issues – meaning TX can deny even if employer does not “contest.”

  15. NelM says:

    What is considered suitable distance according to TWC? Will I lose my UI benefits if I refuse an offer that is 34 miles away?

    • Probably not, IF that distance is outside normal commuting patterns for your area and type of work. TX says this:

      The distance to work from your home and local commuting patterns

      Many states use 30 miles as the cutoff. TX, otoh, does not designate a set number of miles. In other words, if you are living on a ranch 30 miles away from anything, I would imagine TX would not consider a 34-mile commute excessive. If, on the other hand, you are in an urban area with readily available employment nearby, previously never traveled more than fifteen or twenty miles to work, more than 30 miles may be considered unsuitable for you and a good reason to refuse the work.

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