Texas Unemployment – Know Your Rights Today

  Last Verified: January 2017  

In 2016, unemployment insurance benefits rose slightly, prompting the Texas legislature to increase employer taxes slightly for the next fiscal year. 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.

Eligibility for Unemployment in TX

The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, Title 4, Subtitle A of the Texas Labor Code outlines the guidelines and rules for receiving Texas unemployment benefits. To be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, you must earn enough wages from an employer covered by the Act within a 12-month period (the “base period) prior to the date you filed your initial claim for benefits. If you meet the wage requirement, you must also:

  • Have lost your job through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to work
  • Be a US citizen or allowed to work legally in the US

If you meet these requirements and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) approves your claim, you must continue to be able and available to work. You must also register for job search services and actively seek employment. You cannot refuse a reasonable job offer.

Eligibility Requirements Explained

Lost Your Job Through No Fault of Your Own

If you were laid off or the business that employed you shut down, you may be eligible to receive benefits.

Able and Available to Work

You must be physically and mentally able to work. You must be available to accept suitable employment offers. An offer of suitable employment is a job offer that leads to work you are trained to do with a salary similar to your previous work.

Citizenship

If you are working legally in the US, you are eligible to apply for benefits. You need to show proof of eligibility, like an alien registration card.

Wage Requirement and the Base Period

The state uses the wages from first four of the last five quarters prior to your filing a claim to determine whether you meet the wage earnings requirement.

base period

You must have documented proof of wages from an employer covered by the unemployment law 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.

If you do not meet the wage requirements in the base period, the state may use an alternate base period standard. You must meet certain criteria, such as experiencing a documented medical condition during the standard base period that forced you out of work. The alternate base period consists of the four quarters immediately prior to your filing a claim.

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.

Determining Your Benefit Amount

The state also uses the base period wages to determine how much you will receive each week.

 The state calculates your weekly benefit amount (WBA) by finding the base-period quarter with the highest total wages. Divide that number by 25 and round to the nearest dollar.
It cannot exceed the maximum allowed by law, which is on your benefit statement. 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.
The maximum WBA you can receive in Texas is $493 (as of 2017). The minimum amount is $66.
The TWC website offers users a widget to estimate your WBA.

How to Apply for Unemployment in TX

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. The TWC will send two documents regarding your eligibility. One will be a Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amount. This will address your wage eligibility and tell you how much you could receive. The second will be a Notice of Determination which will note whether the state approved your claim.

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

Maintaining Eligibility and Weekly Claims

The TWC requires that you maintain your eligibility status while you receive benefits. You must:

  • Remain able and available to work
  • Make a significant effort to find work
  • Accept any offer of suitable employment
  • Remain unemployed – You may work; however, your wages may not exceed your WBA

The state requires that you certify your eligibility every time you request a benefit payment. You will request a payment every two weeks. You request a payment online or by telephone by calling Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321.

When you request a payment through either venue, the system will ask questions designed to determine your eligibility for that two week period (e.g., are you able and available to work). The system will also ask:

  • Whether you started or quit a job
  • Whether you refused suitable employment
  • Whether you earned any wages or income during that period

You should begin requesting payments within a week of the date you filed your initial claim. If you don’t, you will not receive payments for those weeks even if the state ultimately approves your claim. You will not receive payments for ANY WEEK in which you have not requested a payment.

If for some reason you miss a payment, you must call the TWC to attempt to address the matter.

Work Search Requirement

Looking for work is a requirement. You will have already registered with WorkinTexas.com when you filed your initial claim. You have to continue looking for work while you are receiving benefits.

You will have to make a minimum number of job search activities during each week you receive benefits. The TWC may investigate whether you are actually looking for work at any time, so keep a record of your job search activities. The TWC lists what they consider acceptable job search activities on their website. Some acceptable activities include:

  • Looking for work at WorkinTexas.com, and following up on job openings you discover
  • Making personal contact with someone capable of making a hiring decision with an employer looking for workers
  • Use various online resources from .gov or .org sites that may help you find work
  • Visit a Texas Workforce Solutions location in person and conduct job search or training activities

The state also offers special reemployment activities for workers who may have additional difficulties finding work before their benefit weeks end. The TWC will notify you if they have selected you to participate in this program. If called to participate, you must attend or face loosing benefits.

Some workers are exempt from the work search requirement. Most often, these workers are seasonal workers with a reasonable expectation of returning to the same job after the lack of work period ends. If you are in state-approved training, the TWC may exempt you from the requirement.

The state will notify you if you are exempt.

Part-time Work and Benefits

You may work part-time and still receive benefits. If your wages exceed your WBA, the state will not consider you to be unemployed and you will not be eligible for benefits. The state will also consider you employed if you work full-time hours even if your wages do not exceed your WBA.

You must report gross wages earned during the week you earned them, not during the week you are paid.

If you earn more than 25% of your WBA, the state will reduce your benefit payment. You will still keep your earnings for those weeks.

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.

Reasons for Denial of Benefits

If you do not meet the wage requirements (you don’t make enough money during your base period), the state will deny benefits. The state will notify you of this decision in the Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amount.

If you qualify through the wage determination, the TWC can still deny benefits for other reasons. Most often, the state denies benefits because of separation issues. The state will notify you regarding a denial of your claim because of such issues.

If your actions or decisions cause your separation from work, the TWC will deny benefits. If:

  • you quit work without good cause, or for reasons not connected to your work
  • you were dismissed for “misconduct connected to work.”

If you quit to go back to school, decide to stay home with children or become self-employed, the state will deny benefits. They are “good” reasons to quit, but benefit you personally, not your employer.

If your employer dismisses you for cause, the state may consider the dismissal to be misconduct connected to the work. “Misconduct” is generally any activity that shows a complete disregard for the employers interest. This could be a repeated violation of a policy, or a one-time incident.

There are other non-separation issues that may cause the TWC to deny your claim. Some are:

  • Ability to work (became ill after leaving work and cannot work)
  • Available to work (incarcerated, out of town)
  • refusing suitable employment

Quit and Still Eligible

You may have quit for a good cause. You made a decision to leave like a reasonable person might in similar circumstances.

  • Escaping a domestic violence situation or stalking and had to leave the city
  • Your employer forced you to work in unsafe conditions
  • Had to quit because of an illness but attempted to return to work when able and found no work available

You will have to show that you made a good effort to work things out with your boss before quitting. You may have to provide evidence, such as if you claim an illness forced you to leave work.

Fired and Still Eligible

Your employer may dismiss you for violating a policy, even if you violate it only once (and their policy allows it). However, your actions in violating that policy may not be misconduct connected to work. For example, your employer may dismiss you if you don’t perform your job as required. However, you may not have been in fact qualified to perform the work. That would not be misconduct.

Your employer may dismiss you for something you did outside your job if their policy states. Employers may dismiss you because you got arrested for a minor offense. However, this may not be misconduct “connected to work.”

You will have to show the examiner these circumstances exist when you file your claim.

What Happens When TWC Denies Benefits: Appeals Process

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. You have 14 days from the date the TWC mailed the decision, not the date you received it, to file your appeal.

You may file your appeal online, fax or mail your appeal letter to the TWC appeals office. If you have any questions in regards to appeals email appeals@twc.state.tx.us.

If you are denied benefits, please visit our section on appealing benefits decision in Texas.

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

TWC FAQ

https://services.twc.state.tx.us/UBS/changeLocale.do?language=en&country=US&page=/portalfaq.do#whatdoesAFB

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

Find Jobs in Texas
http://www.texas.gov/en/discover/Pages/topic.aspx?topicid=/jobs

Unemployment Insurance
http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1822/

Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1679/

116 comments

  • Renee P.

    I was denied benefits for one week while getting the unemployment due to system error. I filed an appeal and won. I recently regained full time employment. Am I still eligible to receive that one week of benefits they denied me for and the waiting week check?

    • You are eligible for the week denied, but not the unpaid waiting week. No one gets paid for the unpaid waiting week.

      • I thought the waiting week can be paid if you returning to full-time job. But you have to call in to claim it, right??

        • I was laid off due to store closures. My last day at work was Sat. 3/25/17. So I called in on Mon. 3/27/17 to file a claim. My first payment request was Tues. 4/11/17, but did not get paid, because the employer responded to TWC that I was still Active(working). Very Frustrated! So I have to called the employer up today and complained and they said it was a mass laid off so we did not do all the paperwork. So the employer put my ‘termination’ date is today’s date 4/13/17. So what is your take on this(the employer is Wrong on the Termination date, right)? The correct ‘termination’ date should be 3/25/17, right, because that is my last day at work(and the store Closed 3/26/17)? I am so upset with this, so what should I need to do? Because, the claim that I opened on 3/27/17 will have a big difference on the payment that I will receive(and this is the date I want on my claim). Because April is another quarter and it will have an effect on my benefits payment. Logically and lawfully, I am correct right, not the employer regarding the last day work(termination date)?? Also the employer sent my employment status/verification(begin and end dates work/wages) to the Third party Equifax to handle it. Very, very upsetting!!

          • Normally, the state should be able to open the claim effective the Sunday of the week you filed for benefits. If there are unpaid wages, vacation time, etc. forthcoming, benefits wouldn’t be paid for the weeks affected, but your base period would be based on the date you filed, not what the employer says is the date of termination.

            Check your online claim data. Because you filed 3/27, claim info should say 3/26/2017-3/24/18. If so, your base period will be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016 – and your benefits will be based on wages in that timeframe.

            If employer is not paying you through 4/13, then that termination date is certainly wrong. If TX has indeed changed the byb date of your claim to April 9th, you will have to appeal the beginning date to get the proper quarters of wages in your base period and will need to provide evidence that, in fact, you performed no further work and that your last day of work was Mar. 25.

        • Yes, under certain circumstances.

          TX says this:

          Texas law requires us to hold your benefits for the first payable week as the “waiting week.” You will be paid for the waiting week after you have received two times your weekly benefit amount and returned to full-time work or exhausted your unemployment benefits.

          http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-handbook-twc.pdf

          • Yes, the claim stated from 3/26/17 to 3/24/18, because claim starts on a Sunday, therefore, is 3/26/17 is the opening of my claim. My last day worked is 3/25/17 Sat. is the last day I punched in my time. The paycheck I received is Friday, 3/31/2017 for the previous week that I worked from 3/19/17 to 3/25/17. I don’t get severance pay or vacation pay because I am a Seasonal employee(worked for 5 months). But the strange thing is that why do they pay me for ‘1 hour’ of work for the week of 4/2/17 to 4/8/17?? The store was closed down, the Logos of the store was taken down, no one was there physically and why does my employer put the 1 hour of work on my checkstub??? Really weird here. And I should keep on requesting payments and later TWC can back pay me on those weeks once they done investigating the separation date, correct? Thanks.

          • Yes. Your claim date is correct and what you wanted. Week ending 4/1 is your waiting week. No idea why employer said you worked one hour on 4/2. Probably another messup on their part. Yes, keep claiming. Tx will pay you after the investigation. TX is pretty competent, generally.

  • Gary

    I have been on unemployment for 6 months and have ran out of benefits at first i was just trying to find a good job again but at the end I was trying to get anything I could I am still unemployed is there any way to extend unemployment

    • You are given 26 weeks’ benefits and one year in which to exhaust those benefits. There are no extensions. Contact your TX social services people about your eligibility for assistance. Another number to call would be 2-1-1 – which is a great resource for all manner of programs in your area.

  • Cynthia

    I was fired from my employer due to no faults of my own. I was accused of something I never did. I was a hard worker, dependable and did everything I was asked to do. Some of these things were using my own cell phone to take picturee of patients drivers license (they didnt pay for my phone bill), never having a lunch break, having people sign documents in a language they can not read nor understand. I was fired on the day I complained about a racist patient but was told it was for other reasons. I never had a write up, I never was talked to about my performance. The week prior before I was fired I asked my supervisor about a new employee who told me he was not paid for working their due to the company sponsoring his visa from India, I asked was this right? Was this ok with Texas workforce commission? She told me she would get back with me on it. Is this something I should tell TWC about? I have a feeling my benifits will be denied and I will have to appeal. Should I inform TWC now?

    • If you’ve already applied and told TX you were discharged for something you didn’t do, you will be denied. What you should have done is apply, say you don’t know why you were fired and not take the interview with TWC. In other words, you tell TWC nothing. Nothing about why you were fired (anything you say will work against you) and you say nothing about what your former employer is doing with other employees, which has no relevance whatsoever to whether or not YOU will get benefits.

      All that matters is if your employer accuses you of misconduct – but let them do that. If they do, you will be automatically be denied and need to appeal. Your words mean nothing in the early stages. The employer rules. NOTHING you say will help you and can only work against you. Therefore, do NOT talk to TWC or give a reason for the discharge.

      If you’re lucky, employer won’t respond or, if they do, won’t say anything negative. If that occurs, you are automatically granted benefits – even if you don’t take the interview.

      The appeal, if you are denied, is your only chance at getting a fair review of the facts of the case if your employer lies. Employer needs to prove its allegations, but the interviewer will not make that determination. A denial is automatic in TX if employer says misconduct – true or not.

      If you’ve already told TX about the bogus misconduct allegation, by your very own words you will get an automatic denial.

  • JB

    I submitted a resignation notice for an April end date in January of this year. I was informed today that in march they will be ending my working relationship with them because of the new hire to replace me. I have the email stating why accepted my initial notice of resignation in April a sign acceptable. Will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • Possibly. Most states pay benefits until at least the date of your notice to quit. Some states grant an entire 26-week claim. TX is murky on this area in that because you have given notice, you are deemed to have set “the ball rolling” toward a voluntary quit. Nonetheless, apply anyway. You are being discharged far enough in advance of your actual notice date that TX should at least pay you for the weeks between your notice to quit and date of discharge.

  • Beth

    I have been wrongfully accused of theft at my workplace. My office has cameras at every angle and there was no evidence that I stole anything on tape; only suspension. The incident took place 4 months ago and I was asked to take a polygraph last week and I declined, as within my rights set forth by the EPPA. There has been no formal written dispute against me by my employer, there have been no criminal charges and the police have not been involved at all. The amount was $110.00. My employer did not make a written complaint to me for any of the involvement.

    My employer has talked openly of his mistrust of me to every employee in the office. This has made for an uncomfortable and hostile environment for me. I live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to quit. I have been looking for other employment. This is making me physically ill and I don’t know what to do.

  • Autumn Tutt

    I was terminated from job in September 2016. I didn’t file for unemployment, I thought I’d find something quickly. In November I finally was offered a position with a new company but they asked me if I would be okay if they brought me on through a temp agency, as their hiring process could take two or more weeks and they needed me now. I agreed, since the pay would be what was offered to me for the position they were hiring me for and they would cancel the temp agency as soon as I was hired with their company. The temp agency offers this service to their clients, it’s called””Fast Tracking.”” The company I was going to be working for sent the agency my information and had them contact me to set up the paperwork.

    The job was 36 miles away and the few times I visited the site was not during normal traffic time. I really was not worried but should have been. Two weeks in, I came to the realization that my previous job was 8am to 5pm, 58 miles from home but took an hour at most each way… so 2 hours to work 8 is reasonable in Dallas. This new location was 36 miles but I was driving on average 2 1/2 to 3 hours each way, or 6 hours for an 8 hour job. I have two elementary aged kids and a senior in HS at home. I was leaving at 5:30-5:45 am and getting home around 9 pm. That’s not an exaggeration. I ended up declining the position before I was actually hired on.

    I filed for unemployment and was denied benefits because a commute I was aware of was not good. I have two problems with this. Upon the interview, the case worker made it very clear I was employed by the Agency, not the client, which is correct. I also explained when I declined the position, the agency asked if was still available for work, and I said yes just not in Uptown. The commute time is the issue and I gave her 8 other places that would work for me, Frisco, Plano, North Dallas, Prosper, Wylie, Sachce, Allen or Garland.

    My question is if I was an employee of the temp agency, not the client, why would I denied benefits? I didn’t quit the agency, I declined the position their client offered. The temp agency thing seems sticky with UB but the added issue of how I became employed with the agency seems to make it more difficult in determining benefits. The agency hasn’t and probably won’t send me to a new client given the situation. Bottom line, I didn’t seek out the agency, they did’t seek me out. We were only connected at their clients request to fast track me so I could work immediately while they completed the hiring process. According to my case worker, I’m the agency’s employee and if that’s the case, then I declined an offer from their client, that happens often. I didn’t quit the agency, they just aren’t giving me any work. Should my claim have been denied?

    • Relative to the temp agency, you are the employee of whomever writes your checks. The agency is being paid a fee for your services, they employ you and send you to its client. You are being denied because you “refused” a job offer from this agency for which they would receive a fee. You don’t need to quit without cause to be denied benefits. A job refusal without good cause is also disqualifying.

      You will need to appeal to prove this offer was not suitable as to commute time relative to what is prevailing in your area for similar work and your past experience and financially for you because of travel expense and time in relation to pay. You can win benefits on the basis of unsuitability if you handle this correctly – whether TX chooses to call this a “quit” or a “job refusal.”

      Most states will automatically deny and hope you don’t appeal. You cannot accept a denial as final. The denial is just a starting point. Absolutely appeal this decision.

      In future, when you’ve lost a good long-term position, file for benefits immediately – whether or not you ultimately claim benefits. You’ve already lost two quarters of wages in your base period which, since you did work after the job loss, would have gone a long way to provide an excellent second year claim.

      You would still have had to litigate resumption of benefits when reopening this existing claim because of the job refusal, however.

      You should also read this on temp agencies – and continue to maintain contact with them if you do decide to appeal:

      http://archive.boston.com/jobs/news/jobdoc/2010/05/losing_umeployment_insurance_b.html

  • Needing Advice

    I requested a payment from TWC on the 17th of January 2017 but still have not received payment. How long does it typically take to receive your first payment? I am unemployed due to a company lay-off. My next request date is 29th of January 2017. Is it a two week waiting period for each request or what? My rent payment is due and I am needing some advice. Thank you.

    • Your claim needs to be approved first. TX needs to conduct an investigation. TX would not be in a position to pay benefits for at least four weeks after application. If your claim has been approved, you should be receiving monies soon. If there are unresolved issues, it could take much longer.

      Call TX and ask if you’ve been approved.

  • Jesus varela

    I worked fron Jan 2015 to July of 2016 because i got laid off and would receive pay for 6 months, I’ve been applying but have not gotten call backs would I be able to get an extension?

  • Jordan

    So I filed for unemployment spent 1st 2016. I was eventually approved in November and got retro paid for those months. My question is your suppose to get unemployment for 6 months correct? So will I have it through Feb 2017?

    • If your earnings qualify you, yes, you will get 26 weeks. Check your claim award – it shows the exact $$ you are to be paid under that claim. Divide your weekly benefeit into that amount. The result is number of weeks you will be paid.

  • Amie

    Hi, I worked in Texas from October 10, 2016 to January 12, 2017. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Filing now, your base period is Oct. 2015-Sept. 2016. If you have no other quarters of earnings in your base period other than Oct-Dec 2016, then the answer is NO.

      TX says this:

      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.

      • Amie

        Ok, let me explain the whole year… I worked 20 hours a week for one job since January 1, 2016….then business slowed in August and I had to get an additional job which started October 10, 2016 until January 12, 2017. What are my options? Do I have any?

        • Your option is to apply for benefits. You clearly have three quarters of earnings in 2016 and you only need two. Further, in TX your base period will be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016. So, if you had earnings the last quarter of 2015, those are included in the base period, as well.

          All that matters is earnings appear in two quarters. Full-time/part time doesn’t matter. Here is how TX calculates your benefit:

          http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/eligibility-benefit-amounts

          • Amie

            Does it matter that I still work for my original job between 5 to 10 hours a month?

          • Yes. TX will establish the claim because of the most recent job loss. Whatever weekly benefit is established will be offset by your part-time earnings. If your part-time earnings are equal to your weekly unemployment benefit, TX won’t pay you. As a general rule, part-time earnings offset substantially – sometimes all – of the unemployment benefit.

            Here’s a partial benefit calculator you can use when you’ve determined your WBA:

            http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/tbcapp/partialui.html

            You should still apply.

  • Kelli Davis

    I am being laid off Jan 31, 2017. I started in May 2016. Because it’s as will not calculate wages earned current quarter or previous quarter, the estimator is showing I am not eligible. I have been employed over 8 months and the layoff is due to slow business. Not eligible doesn’t seem right to me. Can I wait and file for unemployment April 1, 2017 (if I haven’t found another job) so they will calculate income for this past quarter? When I enter wages from past 3 quarters, it does show me eligible but not when I enter wages from the base period they use when filing February 2017? Is there is time limit in when you have to file a claim after being laid off? Just curious in case I don’t find another job soon

    • TX discusses wage eligibility parameters, here:

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/eligibility-benefit-amounts

      TX uses only one base period, unless you have been disabled. Therefore, filing now, only earnings through September 30, 2016 will appear in your base period – effectively five months. Normally, five months and two quarters of wages should create eligibility unless you do not meet the 37xWBA requirement.

      File the application anyway. If you are denied, check the quarters and earnings listed in the denial letter to be sure all your wages appear in the TX database.

      If you are denied now, assuming you are still unemployed, yes, you can refile in April, if necessary, to capture earnings through December 31, 2016.

  • Freaking out

    I was fired dec 12 2016 filed the next day .. they say on the website they are still determining if I qualify. I can’t get an answer from anyone on the phone they all say they don’t know. No one has called me and no letters or emails sent to me.. my question is how can I find out what’s going on. It’s been almost a month and I’m about to be evicted while I wait and search for new employment.

  • J. P.

    Is a severance payment included in the wage total for the base period? I am filing about 9 months after being laid off and have wages in 2 of the base period quarters

    • So, you were laid off in April 2016. I can’t answer the severance question for certain. From its statutes and website, it appears TX defines severance as “wages in lieu of notice.” PA also considers severance as wages. Most states do not.

      That said, you only need two quarters of earnings in TX to qualify. If you apply now, TX will use earnings October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016 as your base period which would still provide two quarters of wages – 4Q2015, 1Q2016. TX says this:

      We calculate your weekly benefit amount (WBA) by finding the base-period quarter with the highest total wages. Divide that number by 25 and round to the nearest dollar. It cannot exceed the maximum allowed by law, which is on your benefit statement. 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. To qualify:

      ■ Your total base-period wages must equal 37 times your WBA.
      ■ You must have wages in at least two of the four quarters.
      ■ If you qualified on a prior claim, you must have earned six times your new WBA since your last claim.

      When doing the foregoing calculations, know that maximum weekly benefit in TX is $490.

  • Natalie Thomas

    I was working at a job that expected me to forge the doctors signature on his orders, not only was the nurse training me doing it she sent his signature vial email for me to use. I disagreed because it is illegal so I continued my training at the corporate office and it was nothing but a complete fraud operation there. The nurse they had me to sit with had every physician signature that covered the page with 2 entire columns. She would just click on the signature of the dr & attach the electronic signature onto the dr.’S order where it states “physician signature.” Everyone in that office was brainwashed in thinking forgery is ok, including the representative who denied my unemployment eligibility saying I walked off the job when work was available. I worked the rest of the shift and decided to give them my resignation letter afterwards because I love my freedom. It seems as if TWC thinks it’s ok to commit fraudulent acts. I’m confused because on there website it says that Fraud,Waste,Abuse should be reported. I would still have a job if I played this corrupt game of Medicare Fraud, but my character will never allow me to do anything so unjust. I feel sorry for the patients who are caught up in this scheme. People are signing the doctors signatures on orders for the patients & the doctors haven’t looked twice at any of the orders! These people are not doctors so how can they determine and ok any orders & use the doctors signatures to sign for him? This entire thing seems like dejavue with the Dr. Roy incident in which he had all of his staff signing his signature on his orders. Google his name & see how that played out for him and others. Now I am out of a job & been tirelessly searching but yet the TWC representative still has a job as well as everyone at that company. Perhaps I should take legal advice because now I feel like being a hard working honest person doesn’t pay because it definitely doesn’t pay the bills. Please help me!

  • Brandy lynn

    My husband files for his benefits about one month after his layoff. He was waiting for his next job to open up, which it never did. If approved, will he get back pay from last date of employment or does it go by date of claim?

    • Date of claim. The reason for this is weekly claims require you have been unemployed and are searching for and available to accept to new work. “Waiting for” next job to open up is not a search. No state allows benefits to date of job loss regardless of when applied for. All states calculate benefits begin only upon date of application, not before. For that matter, most states won’t pay benefits on an open claim retro. If you miss filing weekly claims on a timely basis, you are out of luck for that period.

  • I was terminated due to poor work performance. I applied for benefits 8 weeks ago and I spoke with a representative today. She sounded as though she agreed with the company I worked for. I was working for another company and resigned to work with them. I was terminated while still in training. I was employed for 3 months before they terminated me. I was told I wasn’t a good fit and they documented my progress though out the weeks. The claims representative stated it appears as though I was a problematic employee. I gave her my side of the story and stressed how I loved my job and I would go back in a heart beat. She stated she was going to follow-up with them and to give her 48 hours and she would call back. She added that if she doesn’t call back, she will make her determination. Does that mean I will be denied?

    • Also, I contacted my state representatives yesterday when I did not hear back from unemployment. A representative called and advised she will be following up with my claims representative and she provided me with her contact information. I advised the state representative of the situation and she stated she would let me know what is going on.

      UPDATE: The state rep just called back 3 hours later and stated unemployment is waiting on a response from the ex employer. I have my fingers crossed and hopefully I will hear something good. Pray for me.

      • LaLa

        I had to quit my job due to domestic violence. I first left my apartment I shared with my abuser and went to a domestic violence shelter. The shelter provided a cab for me to go to and from work for my safety. Which was still dangerous because he knew where I worked. Once my days were up at the shelter I knew it would not be safe to live in the area by myself with my children. I decided to get as far away as possible so I moved to Idaho. My employer knew my situation and also understood why I could not give the full 2 weeks notice ( I gave just over a week). My employer also marked me as rehirable. I did not report to the police because I know him and I know that would only cause me to be in more danger, but I do have documentation from the domestic violence shelter. I do not believe my employer contested my claim. Today I got a call from TWC asking basic questions like what did I tell my employer my reason for leaving and how much time did I give. I asked if they wanted my documentation about the domestic violence and the rep said they don’t want it. She then did I will get a letter in 24-48 hours. Does this mean I’m denied? Do I even have a case for appeal if I am denied?

        • markm

          Sorry to hear about your situation. The examiners questions are just trying to get as much information as possible. It doesn’t mean anything. In some sates, escaping a domestic situation is an auto-approve with appropriate info. You can appeal any decision the state makes that you don’t agree with. If you are asking about your chances on appeal (if necessary) it appears as if you would be able to make a case easily.

        • That she didn’t ask for documentation leads me to think you may be subject to further inquiry, or a denial, as TX law requires evidence of the domestic violence:

          However, if you are denied b/c this rep did not get the proper paperwork from you in the beginning, immediately email your elected TX state representative. Find yours, here:

          http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

          TX law is very clear on this issue.

          TEXAS: Texas Lab. Code Ann. §§ 207.045, 207.046. An individual who leaves work to protect the individual from family violence or stalking is not disqualified from receiving benefits if the family violence or stalking is supported by: (1) an active or recently issued protective order; (2) a police record; and (3) a physician’s statement or other medical documentation. Except as provided by law, evidence regarding the family violence or stalking may not be disclosed without the consent of the employee. The employer’s account is not charged. Applicable to claims filed on or after September 1, 2003.

          http://tarrant.tx.networkofcare.org/dv/library/article.aspx?id=1084

          You should not be required to undergo an appeal and possibly wait months for your benefits b/c TX failed to properly vet the claim at the outset.

          Good luck.

  • Deborah F Corner

    I was laid off in November of 2015. I receive benefits and maxed out in April of 2016. I am still unemployed can I reopen my claim

    • Nope. Your claim expired November 2016. If you have worked between 11/2015-11/2016, you should be eligible for a new claim. If you have not worked in a year, there are no further benefits for you at this time.

      • Angela

        Sounds like I have a similar issue/question: I was laid off June 2016 and approved for a year of unemployment but its’s been 6 months and benefits just maxed out., however, they sent me another payment even after stating I maxed out. Do I keep submitting payment requests? Will I still be receiving benefits even though I have maxed out? If not, why is a claim good for a year if the benefits don’t last the duration of the claim? It says I am able to file another claim 7/2017, how helpful is that if I need finances NOW for bills and child? How can I get enough money to survive without a job until a job comes up? Unemployment was already a big cut from my monthly income and I am the sole provider for my daughter and I.. Worst case scenario, what if a job doesn’t come up in the 6 months they are not helping me out from being laid off? Become homeless?? I was at my job 10 years strong, all I get is 6 months of assistance??

        • Yes, in most states the maximum is 26 weeks of benefits, some states pay as few as 13 weeks, one pays as much as 30. The maximum award and number of weeks is set by state law. These benefits are assigned an expiry date one-year from the date you apply. Benefits are use it or lose it within that one-year time frame.

          No idea why TX is still paying you if your monetary award has been exhausted. Keep claiming. But, be prepared for TX at some point down the road to be asking for its money back. If you can’t repay, generally the states wait until you file another claim and take the benefits from that – or you can set up a payment plan when you are again employed.

          For now, see your TX social services people for assistance. And, try to find some work – any work – before your benefit year ends. Since you had a good work history prior to this job loss, you could be eligible for another very good claim in six months – BUT you must have worked and show new earnings equivalent to 6x your weekly benefit amount in order for TX to utilize what remains of your earnings (LAG) from the other job in that new claim. The $$ you need to earn aren’t much. Work on doing that, as well. Often, for someone with your work history, the 2nd yr claim will be almost as good as the first.

  • Nancy

    I have been out of work since October 2015. I have already received benefits that ran out in April of 2016 and I am trying to get a second benefit period. I have been unable to secure work in 2016 and I’m wondering what the chances are that I will be able to get assistance. I had to open a new claim , which was denied due ti lack of employment. I have appealed and employer is claiming that I was severed due to my request. I tried everything that I could to find another position with the employer but was forcefully severed in my opinion. What are the chances that I will get a fair hearing based on not being able to secure employment this year and that my employer is claiming I left willingly?

    • No chance without new earnings since you first applied for benefits last October. You must work during your benefit year in order to qualify for another claim when the first claim expires. This is the law in every state.

  • Rebecca

    I am a single mother of 4 and had to resign from my position at a family practice clinic immediately due to daughters illness and problems at work with staff. It has been 4 weeks since I applied and have yet to hear anything about my case. On the online app I only mentioned child’s illness because I thought I would have a chance to speak with someone about everything else going on. Will this happen?? Or will they base is it only on the brief statement I made on the online app? I am sinking and need answers. Please help!

    • Quits are always problematic. TX needs to conduct an interview. If they haven’t even scheduled that, you are in a black hole.

      Issues with the staff do not provide a reason for a good cause quit, unless you can document a hostile environment. Family illness/domestic reasons may possibly provide a compelling good cause reason for the quit, but payment of benefits will hinge on your ability to search for and accept work – which means TX will want to know the issues causing the quit have been resolved – in addition to meeting TX good cause quit parameters. That said, quitting always requires a higher bar for approval.

      And, you are in TX – which will always deny if it can find a reason to do so. You may want to talk with an unemployment attorney before you talk with TX, because more than likely you will be getting a denial, initially, and will need to appeal. You don’t want to be saying things to TX that would work to your detriment at appeal.

      That said, you’ve been waiting long enough and need a decision one way or the other. If an appeal will be necessary, the sooner you know that, the better. Email your state representative about the delay, hardship, and lack of communication from TX. He/she will contact you – state reps are very effective. Find yours, here:

      http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

      • Rebecca

        Do you mean I should have reported the hostile environment while employed there or is the fact that I reported it to HR the day I resigned enough?? I was going to tell them how I felt that day but thought maybe if I left it alone I would get somewhat of a decent reference (considering I wasn’t able to give notice). Probably too late for a good reference now that I told HR.

        • It’s too late now. If this was the main reason for the quit, you need to have addressed the issue in writing with your employer and asked them to remedy the matter and only when they fail to act can you quit. It’s called addressing the grievance. You’ve already quit. Citing that as a good cause at this point will be an uphill battle in TX with an appeal – and months and months of time – with an excellent chance of denial. You have a better chance w/child illness issues/compelling reason. Talk to an atty.

  • Nervous

    I was laid off in May 2016 and got the max unemployment amount. I had a little left in my account and started working full time 10/31. I worked 5 weeks, but I did earn 6 times my WBA in that time. I was let go for not being a fit. Will I be eligible for a new claim? I did the look back and i do still have wages that were not in the original claim period.

    • No state will allow more than one claim in any 52-week period. Your current earnings will apply to your next claim in May 2017.

      Your current claim has not yet expired. Call TX to reopen the existing claim now and exhaust whatever remains. Not being a good fit is not disquaiifying, but TX will still investigate the separation, so it may take four weeks before you see benefits.

      After those benefits are exhausted, you are not eligible for another new claim with additional benefits until the current claim expires in May 2017. Because you have worked, it is quite likely you will have new claim eligibility in May 2017.

  • Francheska Foreman

    I was fired on October 11, 2016 for being tardy too many times. Although it does not clearly state in the employee handbook the necessary procedures for contacting management if you’re running late, I was still let go. I filed for unemployment on October 16,2016 and was denied on November 14, 2016. I filed for an appeal and was denied again on December 9, 2016. I was unemployed for a month in a half and returned back to full time work on November 30, 2016. I’m not sure what it means in the appeal letter that states, “individual who was discharged for misconduct connected with the individual’s last work is disqualified for benefits until the individual has returned to employment and worked for 6 weeks not earned wages equal to six times the individual benefit amount.” Does this mean since I returned back to work I’m now eligible for benefits? Or get paid back pay?Because that month and half that I was unemployed put me in a huge hole financially.

    • No back pay. But, if you have been on the current job long enough to meet the earnings purge requirement of 6 weeks work and 6 weeks WBA and then lose that job, you can collect on this claim beginning the first week you are unemployed from this latest job. Again, not retro, however, and certainly not while you are working. You need to lose this job through no fault of your own and would need to call TX to reopen this claim and provide proof of earnings.

  • sarah

    I have been receiving benefits actual payments from unemployment since Sept of 2016. However my claim period was from Nov 2015 to Nov 2016. I went in to do my regular payment request and it said I had to submit a new claim. I have done everything right and always submitted my requests on time and i still had a remaining balance before I submitted a new app. My claim is still from the previous employer that fired me. I did not receive any mail saying i needed to submit a new claim or do anything different than I had been doing. What happens next?

    • Texas will establish a new clam, with a new weekly benefit amount and available weeks. Because your benefit year has expired, any uncollected benefits from that original claim are no longer available.

      Because you did not exhaust that claim, it appears you have been working during the past year. This new work will create eligibility for a new claim based on your LAG (unused earnings) from the first claim and the new earnings this year.

      If you are currently unemployed or working part-time, you continue to file weekly claims and will receive benefits under the new claim. The benefit under the new claim may differ depending on the wages in the base period used.

  • What is going on? I have waited 4 to 6 weeks time period and no response i am now a little over 6 weeks and Iam freaking out. I cant just go work at a temp service w/o money I cant afford child care for my son.

  • James

    If you resign from a job and start working for a new job and they then lose a contract and lay low seniority people off is there a time limit you must work for the new company before you can file for unemployment? I would be drawing benefits from the base year with the old job. Also if you are receiving unemployment can you work part time and continue to receive benefits? Thanks.

    • In TX, you need to have worked 6 weeks at the new job or earned 6x your weekly benefit amount. You can work part-time, but generally because your gross earnings are an offset to the unemployment benefit, you are working for only a few dollars an hour. The states differ in how they calculate your benefit when you work part-time. TX says this on its partial benefit:

      TWC computes how much a claimant can earn before we deduct those earnings from their weekly benefit amount plus 25%. Claimants who earn more than their weekly benefit amount plus 25% cannot receive benefits for that week.

      Which means if your weekly benefit is normally $300, when you work TX grosses up the weekly benefit 25% to $375, and then deducts your gross part-time earnings from that.

  • Haeso

    My unemployment year has ended but I still have a balance and have not exhausted the funds. What happens to the funds? Do I refile for a claim or how do I get the rest of my money?

    • Benefits are use it or lose it within the benefit year. You cannot access those expired benefits any longer. If you have worked since you first filed, however, apply for a new claim. These new earnings will allow TX to use the LAG (unused wages) from the earlier claim as a basis for the new claim.

  • Lucien Franscini

    Is it necessary to keep filing claims when you are working enough hours part time to earn more each week than your benefit amount? I work contract w2 jobs that are either feast or famine. As a result, each year I file new UI claims for reduced hours. The employer(s) never have any heartburn about my filing and I have always been able to collect my full benefits each year. It is a bit annoying to look for work when you are busy working 30+ hours on a regular basis, but it is still not considered full time. In the past, I have always reported earnings but sometimes stated that no work searches were performed. As a result, my claims every two weeks are denied either for earning too much income or not performing enough work searches. My guess is that it is best to perform the work searches and be disqualified only due to total earnings. I know there are others out there that are underemployed due to the trends of “on demand” employers while filing UI claims. Thanks for your help!

    • An easier way is to only file for benefits for the weeks in which you work less than 30 hours and earn less than your weekly benefit. Normally, when no benefits are paid for whatever reason, the claim is closed and you need to call TX to reopen the claim the beginning of the week you expect low or no earnings. Most states do an investigation when income stops and claims are reopened.

      In answer to your Q, no you don’t need to file every week – but if there is some quirk in the TX system which allows continued claiming and payment of a benefit even after weeks of no benefits paid, continued claiming might be worth it as opposed to the couple of weeks required to investigate a reopened claim.

  • Phil

    I lived out of state for most of my adult life. I have been working in Texas for about 6 months am I still eligible to receive unemployment? It was no fault of my own, I just want to know if I am able to get benefits, I have applied, but the person said they weren’t sure if I would get unemployment benefits even though I worked here for 6 months. What is the truth on this? Oh in my last state I worked as an independent contractor so I know I can’t go back on Ohio to get benefits. So what are my chance of getting unemployment?

    • TX requires you have earnings in two quarters of your base period. If you apply now, your base period includes earnings July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. You are not allowed to use an alternate base period which would include earnings through September 30, 2016 unless you have been disabled.

      If you wait another six weeks until January 2017 to apply for benefits, TX can include earnings through September 30, 2016.

      Unless TX finds other earnngs in the above base period, TX will deny you at this time. If you are denied for lack of earnings, reapply in January.

      More info – TX handbook, here – see pp. 5-6:

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-handbook-twc.pdf

  • AJ

    Any advice to the following question would be appreciated.

    I work for a construction company based outside of the state, however, the company was hired to represent the owner on a construction site based in Texas. The owner of the construction site has decided to close the project down and due to this I will not have a jobs to work at but am still considered “employed” by the construction company I work for. I am from Texas and don’t wish to move out of state. However, the company I work for has offered me a suitable position, however, it is located in another state.

    If I turn down the position out of state and consequently let go by the company I work for, am I still eligible to apply for unemployment?

    • Yes, provided this new work is an unreasonable distance from where you live. If this new work is across the state line but a reasonable distance from where you live, the fact that it is in another state doesn’t matter.

  • Lee

    I applied for UB on Sept 30th and I am now coming on six weeks with no response. I was fired due to calling out for being sick. I had six points accumulated towards attendance while company policy allows for 8 before termination. Every time I call Telecenter no one has any idea what is going on and to keep waiting. How long am I supposed to wait when the handbook says it takes four weeks to get a decision?

  • Maegan

    I applied for UB on Oct 7, 2016 due to the temporary agency telling me my contract ended. It was told to me not be them but an employee at the job site I was at. My job ended on sept. 30, 2016. I have been calling every week that i am available and still have not a heard anything. How will I know if the temp agency is being honest about call ins and reason for giving me another job. I have had trouble with the temp agency since I started. Anyways It is now the 26th of Oct and I still havent heard anything from UI. Im have been doing my job searches but I have not heard anything. What is the process for investigation? When will i hear back from them?

    /Thank you,
    Maegan

    • You need to keep a log of all telephone calls to the agency, with name of person with whom you spoke. Also, follow up those phone calls with emails so you have a paper trail if you are asked.

      Has TX at least acknowledged your application for benefits? Two and one-half weeks is not a long time for claims processing. Normal time from application to payment of benefits is four weeks.

      Have you tried calling TX to ascertain status?? It may be the agency hasn’t responded to TX, in which case TX can certainly approve the claim, as employer is not cooperating. Normally, TX is efficient with its processing. You should have an approval, or at least have heard about an interview if TX needs one, within two-three weeks after application.

      If you are unable to get through to anyone at TX and another week passes without any word from Texas, then send an email to your state representative. Find your representative, here:

      http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

      He will contact TX and TX will move on your claim.

  • NelM

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

    • 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.

  • Mechelle

    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:

      http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

      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.”

  • Melissa

    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.

  • Aprell Johnson

    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.

  • Angela

    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.

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/eligibility-benefit-amounts

  • 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.

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/jobseekers/eligibility-benefit-amounts

  • Beth Holmes

    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!

    • 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.

  • Nina

    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.”

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/files/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-handbook-twc.pdf

      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.

  • john c hinojosa

    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.”

      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/final_pay_severance_benefits.html

      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.

  • Jane

    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

      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.

  • Juan Pacheco

    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.

  • Laura

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

    • Nikki

      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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

      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.

    • Linda hernandez

      I’m getting laid off at the end of November. My employer told us if they offer us another job and we do not accept it we were not able to collect unemployment. Is this true. …. she offered the other job with her sons business and told us we would get paid the same pay we have now, but talking with her son ,we will have to work with him for less pay then we make now .and not guarantee 40 hours a week . But still they want to say we can’t get unemployment.

      • Essentially, fewer hours and lower pay render the work unsuitable and you are within your rights to refuse it and qualify for benefits. Employers often lie as they do not want their unemployment taxes to go up.

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