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.

23 comments

  • justin

    I worked for a lawn company from April 1 thru July 29. Im reading that I need to have worked 20 weeks to get unemployment. when you are talking about quarters, is that the 20 weeks Im reading about.

    • TX doesn’t require 20 weeks that I’m aware of. Where are you reading that? Read this on seasonal workers:

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/ui_law_coverage_issues.html#seasonalees

      TX does require earnings appear in two quarters and that your total base period earnings must be at least 37 times the weekly benefit amount (WBA). In your case, this would be earnings in quarters ending 6/30/2016 (Apr-June) and 9/30/2017 (July-Sept). Since TX only uses the standard base period, you would need to apply for benefits in January 2018 at which time TX will consider earnings through Sept. 30, 2017. You may be able to apply earlier if you have other earnings prior to April going back to April 2016.

      • justin

        I googled “How Long do I have to work for a company to get UNEMPLOYMENT” It brings up this information.

        • General searches on state-specific unemployment matters usually provide inaccurate information. If you want information on TX, you must use TX in the search. Then, be sure you are on the OFFICIAL State of TX website, here: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/.

          Further, each state uses a different criteria – and the rules for claimants and employers are also different. For example, if your search found our page, there is mention of 20 weeks relative to employERS who were required to pay UI tax – nothing about employees.

          Finally, the information at the very top of this page on which you posted also provides the specific answer to your question.

  • Warren

    I left a job, after 6 years, in Illinois for one here in Texas. I only worked for 3 months here in Texas before my new job let me go, due to personality conflicts. Am I eligible for unemployment?

  • Scott Castillo

    I left a job after a year and ahalf ive been here almost 3 monthes and talking about layoffs how does unemployment work in this case

    • You’ve probably earned enough to purge the quit from the earlier job. TX requires you have 6 weeks of work or wages equal to 6 x WBA after the quit to be eligible for benefits from this layoff.

  • Steven

    I was at the job I was just laid off from for 4 months and the job prior to that for 4 months. My concern is that my previous job was as an independent contractor. In Texas will this provide what I need to be eligible?

  • Ann

    Would I qualify for unemployment if I was fired after a week because of inability to work with employer who verbally abuses employees in front of patients?

  • Tracy Davis

    I was fired for work performance. I wasn’t able to catch on to my job duties. Would that be considered misconduct.

  • 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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