Federal Benefits - Texas Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility

In this article...
  • Find out everything you need to know about Texas unemployment benefits and eligibility, including requirements, how to apply, useful contacts and FAQs.

Every state takes a different approach to supporting individuals who have lost their jobs. This article breaks down Texas unemployment benefits and eligibility into simple terms, making it easy for you to claim money you're entitled to. You'll find out how the Texas Workforce Commission administers unemployment benefits, who's entitled to them and how to apply. There's also a handy FAQ section and some useful links to resources to help you file a claim if you need to.  

How to File for Unemployment Benefits in Texas

To file for unemployment in Texas visit the TWC and fill out the online application or view the tutorial. There are several other ways for Texas residents to apply for unemployment benefits. You can complete your application by calling (800) 939-6631 or visit a TWC center in your area in person. As part of your application and maintenance of your unemployment benefits, you're expected to file a work search registration. Visit the TWC website for more information about registering as a job seeker.

How Does Unemployment Benefit Work in Texas? 

The TWC is in charge of unemployment benefits in Texas, which are available if you're fully or partially out of work through no fault of your own. You should apply as soon as you lose your job, which you can do online, in person or over the phone. The amount a Texas resident receives is calculated based on earnings, but you need to meet the strict eligibility criteria for your claim to be accepted. 

To maintain unemployment benefits, you'll need to actively take part in the work-search program that helps you find relevant new career opportunities. You're required to submit a weekly report to the TWC online or over the phone that demonstrates that you're job-hunting; otherwise, you may no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits. If your claim isn't accepted or you lose your benefits, there's an appeals process that takes place over the phone. 

Who's Eligible for Unemployment Insurance in Texas?

The most important requirement for Texas unemployment benefits is that you're out of work through no fault of your own. If you lost your job as a result of criminal activity or misconduct or you voluntarily quit your job, you won't be entitled to reimbursement from the TWC.

If you lost your job but aren't to blame, you'll need to meet several criteria to be eligible to claim for unemployment insurance:

  • Job loss must be the result of objective business reasons, such as a project, department or company shut down.
  • The claimant must not incur a criminal record during employment or the unemployment period.
  • Job loss must not be the result of quitting or firing.
  • If you quit your job due to domestic violence or stalking, you may be able to make a claim.
  • You may file for unemployment in Texas if you're the spouse of someone in the military and you relocate with them. 
  • The claimant must have earned enough to be covered by unemployment insurance

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

The TWC has outlined further eligibility criteria to help Texas residents understand who is entitled to unemployment benefits. You'll need to meet the following standards to be successful in your claim for unemployment reimbursement:

  • Your total base wages should be no less than 37 times your weekly benefit amount.
  • You should be actively looking for a new job and not reject an offer without sufficient reasoning.
  • You should be able to commence work immediately and have arrangements for transportation and (if necessary) child care in place.
  • If the TWC orders that you take part in a reemployment scheme, you're obligated to do so.
  • You should be physically and mentally able to carry out work duties.
  • You should reapply every week and prove that you're searching for a new job.
  • You should let the TWC know if you get financial assistance, such as Social Security Disability Insurance.

How Often Are Benefits Paid? 

Once you've met the eligibility criteria and been accepted for Texas unemployment benefit, you need to request payment. This is first done two weeks after your initial application and then every subsequent week so you keep receiving unemployment insurance. If you neglect to submit a weekly application, you'll lose your benefits.

You should receive your first payment around four weeks after applying, with subsequent payments made on a weekly basis conditional on your weekly application. Funds can either be transferred directly into your checking or savings account by direct deposit, or you receive a prepaid debit card which the TWC loads your unemployment benefits onto accordingly.

Texas Unemployment Benefits and Eligibility FAQs 

Who Isn't Entitled to Texas Unemployment Benefits?

Not everyone who has lost their job is entitled to file for unemployment insurance in Texas. If the following apply in your situation, your claim is likely to be denied:

  • You were fired as a result of not performing duties you were able to perform, violating company policy or violating the law.
  • You don't have documentation to prove that your reasoning for being out of work is legitimate.
  • You've left due to a non-military spouse relocating their job.

What Do I Need to Apply for Unemployment Benefits?

Before you apply, make sure you have all the documents and information necessary to file your claim close by. Inaccurate or incomplete information is likely to lead to delays, and you might be liable for prosecution if you knowingly falsify anything in your application. 

Gather the following to prepare for your unemployment benefits claim:

  • Name and address of your previous employer
  • Number of hours worked and weekly rate of pay in your most recent work week
  • Commencement and final dates of employment with you previous employer
  • Social Security number
  • All information regarding your current wage
  • Alien registration number for non-U.S. nationals or citizens
  • Military employment details if relevant

Who Funds Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

Texas unemployment insurance is funded by contributing employers. Monies accrued from the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and allocated by The U.S. Department of Labor pay for administrative and operational costs. Social Security regulations and other relevant federal and state laws govern benefits in Texas, including unemployment claims. 

How Much Am I Entitled to in Unemployment Benefits?

The benefit you receive is usually equivalent to the total amount you earned in your highest-paid quarter, divided by 25. The minimum weekly amount for unemployment reimbursement in Texas is $70, and there's a cap at $521. Benefits are temporary because they're intended to help individuals transition into a new job, not as a replacement for working.