Through the unemployment insurance (UI) program, individuals who are unemployed are able to benefit from temporary income replacement while looking for new employment opportunities. You must contact the Texas Workforce Compensation Center (TWC) in order to submit an application for UI.
Eligibility & Benefits
Before filing a claim for UI, you must ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be unemployed, and it must be no fault of your own. You can also apply for UI if your hours were significantly reduced through no fault of your own. In contrast, you may be eligible for benefits if you were fired from your job for reasons that did not involve misconduct. You can also qualify for UI if you quit your job because of unsafe working conditions, difficulty getting paid, illness or disability sustained at work, or the need to care for a family member who is suffering from a serious disease or illness.
You must also meet the monetary requirement before you can qualify to receive UI benefits; you must have earned enough wages during your “base period.” This 12-month period is used to determine the maximum amount of benefits you can receive through the UI program. The “base period” is the first four quarters out of the last five completed quarters before the effective date of your claim. Moreover, the total wages that you earned in your base period must be 37 times more than the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive weekly. However, if you are applying for UI a second time, your total earnings from your base period must be six times more than the amount you are eligible to receive weekly. Nonetheless, you will not be eligible to receive UI if you have not earned enough wages in your base period to meet the monetary eligibility requirements. In this way, you must contact the Texas Work Compensation Center to discuss the possibility of using an alternate base period.
How to File a Claim
The easiest and most convenient way to submit an application for UI benefits is to apply online. Another simple way to file your claim is by contacting the TWC Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631. However, it is important to remember that you cannot apply for UI benefits until after your last day of work. In contrast, you must wait three days after your last day of work if you are working part-time. Before you apply, you will need the following items:
- Social Security Number
- Mailing address and telephone number
- Driver’s license or identification card
- Employment history from the last 18 months, which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all your previous employers
- The dates of employment, your earnings, and the reasons for separation from all positions held within the last 18 months
- Banking information if you wish to receive your payments through direct deposit
Additionally, your alien registration number can be requested if you are not a citizen of the United States. As part of the application process, you will need to create a user identification (ID) and password for your account. Your ID and password will serve the same purpose as your signature on an official document; thus, you should not share it with anyone.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)?
The TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) is the agency that handles unemployment benefits and unemployment tax programs for the state of Texas. They also provide workforce development services such as recruiting, training and job matching.
When should I file for Unemployment in Texas?
You should file for unemployment insurance as soon as you lose your job. The state does not give you credit for the time between the day you lost your job and the day you first file your unemployment claim. You are also not allowed to back date an unemployment claim.
What is a wait week?
In most states, individuals who are filing for unemployment benefits for the first time must go through a wait week. Your claim is processed during this week and individuals usually do not receive payments during this time.