How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Texas?

To qualify for UI in Texas, you must have worked during a minimum of two quarters in the base period. Your total base period earnings must be at least 37 times the weekly benefit amount (WBA).

The WBA is computed by multiplying your HQW by 1/25. The minimum WBA is $63, making the minimum HQW $1,575. The minimum total base period earnings is $2,331.

Texas offers an extended base period for those who file an UI claim within 24 months of being injured/disabled. For those who qualify, the base period is extended to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding the injury/disability/illness.

In Texas an employer or employing unit is covered under unemployment insurance if it paid at least $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter in the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.

9 comments

  • Tracey

    I recently left a job I have been at for 13 years, for a job closer to my house and have only been at this job for 1 yr, within this year I have been on medical leave twice due to unexpected surgery. I was out 7 weeks with the 1st surgery & 8 wks with the 2nd surgery. I have only been back to work for around 1 month, when I am told the department is having cut backs and my position is no longer available, they may have an opening but this job is over 45 minutes aways, do I still qualify for unemployment since I was on medical leave and will I be disqualified from unemployment if I am unable to make this commute?

    • Applying now, TX will look at all wages April 2016-March 2017, or because of your disability TX may use its extended base period if an initial claim is filed within 24 months from the date an individual’s illness or injury began or occurred, the BP will be the first 4 of the last 5 completed quarters preceding the illness or injury. The alternate base period would include your long history at the other employer. You should not have any trouble qualifying monetarily. If you are denied for monetary reason, appeal requesting TX use its alternate base period.

      That said, a 45 minute commute may be considered a material change to your employment contract and qualifying, depending on the prevailing distance for travel in your area. Generally, anything more than 30 minutes is considered unreasonable/impractical commute in most areas – with certain exceptions. TX being a vast state, may have different standards for your community. If your doctor can buttress your argument with medical reasons for you not undertaking this long commute twice a day, that, along with the change in location, should qualify you for benefits.

  • Carolina

    Hello I am in tx and currently on leave without pay at a job that I was able to work from May 8,2017 to June 16,2017. I had to leave because I am on bedrest for my pregnancy. Before that job I worked at an ambulance service and due to my pregnancy I was given a letter that I had to work in a office setting and do no heavy lifting. I was terminated from that job I worked from March 31,2016 to May 04,2017. When i file for unemployment benefits do I put the previous job before the most recent one? Because i am confused, I am still an employee but without pay or Enough time for FMLA in the most recent one

  • Gus

    I had worked for (x company) for over 15 years and I was ‘terminated’ because I had recently relocated from NY to TX. I’m currently collecting unemployment from the NYS Dept. of Labor. I’m being offered a 12 weeks ‘Contract’ position here in TX. Would I be eligible for unemployment after the contract is up?

    • Yes. You would call NY to reopen the claim when the contract job ends. If this job is through an agency, be sure to maintain contact with the temp agency after the job ends, or agency may say you quit – which will create problems when you attempt to reopen the NY claim.

  • jennifer johnson

    how do I qualify for more benefits I need more time to find a job. I’m. a single mother and august I will be running out . can I qualify ?

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