Have you been laid-off or recently fired from your job and need help figuring if you are eligible to collect unemployment, and how to file for Texas Workforce Commission unemployment benefits? Read on to find out if you are eligible, how much you are eligible to collect, as well as the requirements you will have to meet in order to maintain your unemployment benefits in good standing.
Are you still working, but wondering what will happen if you quit your job, or if you get laid-off or fired?
Will you qualify for TWC unemployment?
How do you make sure that you don’t get yourself disqualified from being able to collect unemployment?
In this detailed guide you’ll find answers to all of these questions and more.
What You Need to File Unemployment
- Last employer’s business name and address.
- First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer.
- Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week (including Sunday).
- Information related to your normal wage.
- Alien Registration Number (if not a U.S. citizen or national).
The Texas Workforce Commission will send you a Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amounts (known simply as a benefit statement) that let you know if you made enough money during your base period to make you eligible to collect unemployment benefits.
The benefit statement that you will receive has your weekly benefit amount (WBA) and your maximum benefit amount (MBA) which will apply to your benefit year.
Base Period – The first 4 of the last 5 complete calendar quarters before the start date of your unemployment claim.
Benefit Statement – TWC sends this statement to you to let you know how much your Weekly Benefit Amount and Maximum Benefit Amount is.
Weekly Benefit Amount – the amount of unemployment benefits you will receive every week.
Maximum Benefit Amount – the maximum amount you can receive during your benefit year.
Benefit Year – the 12 month period that your unemployment claim is in force.
Texas Workforce Commission – this is the Texas state government agency that administers the unemployment program.
TWC – abbreviation for Texas Workforce Commission.
WorkInTexas.com – Texas job search assistance website that all unemployment claimants must register in order to find a new job.
Workforce Solutions – Workforce Solutions is the what the local unemployment and job search assistance offices are called.
Weekly Benefits Amount
To determine your weekly benefit amount (WBA) by using the income listed on your benefit statement. First, choose the quarter in your base period that has the highest income. Next, divide this quarter’s total wages by 25, rounding to the nearest whole dollar, and you have just figured out how much your WBA is.
It is important to note that your WBA can’t be higher than the max WBA, which is determined by law. Your benefit statement will tell you what the maximum WBA is.
Your maximum benefit amount (MBA) is of 26 times your WBA or 27 percent of all your wages in the base period, whichever is the least of the two.
Texas law spells out the laws that govern unemployment requirements in three different ways: your previous income (also known as past wages), how you lost your most recent job (also known as your separation from your last job), and your availability and job search. You have to pass each of the requirements in these areas in order to be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.
- Past wages.
- Separation from your last job.
- Availability to work and job search requirements.
To collect unemployment benefits you have to have earned enough income during your base period. When TWC determines how much your benefits will be, they don’t use wages that you earned in the quarter in which you file your claim, or even the previous quarter before it. TWC calculates your weekly benefit amount based on your highest quarter wages in your base period, then they divide that quarter’s total income by 25 to determine your weekly benefit amount. The weekly benefit amount that you can qualify for can be as low as $61 or as high as $426, based on how much you made.
Past Wages Requirements
- Have earned income from a job in at least 2 out of 4 base-period calendar quarters; and
- You must have total base period wages that are at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount; and
- You have earned 6 times your new weekly benefit amount in the time since you qualified for unemployment benefits on a previous claim.
- In the event that you were out of work for an extended time period during your base period because of a medically verifiable illness, injury, disability, or pregnancy, you might qualify to use an alternate base period.
Separation From Your Last Job
In order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be unemployed (or partially unemployed) through no fault of your own.
Examples of job loss reasons that are eligible:
- You were laid off from your job because your employer didn’t have enough work for you to do.
- Your employer reduced your hours (but not because of conduct, performance or discipline reasons).
- You were fired for a reason that does not include work-related misconduct. Some examples of this include: you broke company policy; you broke the law; not doing your job well.
- You quit your job in order to protect your own safety from domestic violence or for being stalked, which you have proof of from a currently active protective order, police record that documents this violence against you, or medical records that show family violence that has been taken against you.
- You quit your job for a “good well-documented work-related or medical reason”. In this case you will have to prove that you fix the problem or work out the situation before you quit. TWC may determine that you quit for “good cause” if your situation at work would make someone who really wants to keep their job to actually quit it.
- Some examples of possible good cause are unsafe work conditions or a major change in your work contract or employment agreement, or not getting paid for the work that you do.
- Some examples of possible medical reasons include: your doctor advising you to quit your job, quitting your job to take care of a child that is a minor, or quitting your job to take care of a spouse that is terminally ill, if there is no one else that can take care of them or you can’t make other arrangements for their care.
- If you quit your job to relocate with your spouse, you might still be able to get benefits after being disqualified for a period of between 6 to 25 weeks (both in terms of time and money).
- If you quit your job to relocate with your spouse that is active duty military, TWC allows you to get benefits without the disqualification period if it is for a permanent change of station that is longer than 120 days, or for a tour of duty that lasts longer than one full year.
Availability to Work and Job Search Requirements
Every week that you claim unemployment benefits, you have to:
- Be actively looking for a full-time job, except if TWC specifically tells you that yuo are exempt from doing so.
- Be physically capable of working
- Have a schedule that makes you available for a full-time job
- Apply for jobs that fit with your line of work or capabilities
- Accept any suitable job that is offered to you
- Stay registered for job search at the WorkInTexas.com website.
- Call into TWC, or report in person or call into a Workforce Solutions office, as you are instructed to.
How To Apply For Unemployment
You can apply online at: ui.texasworkforce.org or apply by telephone by calling the closes TWC Tele-Center to where you live.
File Online Instructions
If you plan to apply online there are detailed, step-by-step instructions on applying for unemployment at:
Benefits Estimator – How Much Will You Get?
To find out your weekly benefit amount before you actually apply for benefits, go to:
For more information about having your weekly unemployment benefits added to your bank account through direct deposit, go to:
Work Search Log
You have to keep track of your work search efforts every week. Download this template to you to log all of your job search attempts:
TWC Unemployment Office Locations
To find the nearest Workforce Solutions unemployment office to you, go to http://www.twc.state.tx.us/dirs/wdas/directory-offices-services.html#workforceServices and enter your zip code.
The first step in applying for unemployment benefits is to get a TWC User ID.
To sign up for a TWC User ID, go to:
For detailed instructions on how to do this, go to:
If you already have a TWC User ID, you should login to your account here:
There are 2 phone services you can choose from: Tele-Center and Tele-Serv.
To talk with a customer service rep, call Tele-Center. Hours are Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Time.
Use Tele-Serv for:
- To request payment for weeks of unemployment.
- Get payment information.
- Find out the status of your claim.
- Get general information about unemployment benefits.
- Set up or change your PIN.
You can get general information anytime, but checking claim status and payment request options are only available Sunday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Central Time.
TWC Debit Card
Call Chase Bank: 866-865-1273
Report Unemployment Fraud
If you want to remain anonymous when you make your fraud report, you MUST use the phone number. DO NOT email your fraud report if you do not want your name associated with it.
IMPORTANT: Do not email your fraud report if you want to stay anonymous.
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