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Texas Unemployment Eligibility

Non monetary eligibility

  • Claimant must be unemployed
  • Claimant must have lost his/her job due to no mistake of their own
  • He/she must be available and willing to do full time work
  • Reason for job separation must not be gross misconduct or other disciplinary issues
  • If the claimant quit the job voluntarily, it must be on strict medical grounds or other well documented reasons

Monetary eligibility

  • Claimant must have earned wages in no less than 2 out of 4 calendar quarters
  • Total base period wages must be at least 37 times your weekly benefit rate
  • Claimant must have earned at least 6 times the new WBR since the time he/she qualified on a previous claim

If you were unemployed for an extended time during the base period because of a medically provable illness, injury, disability, or pregnancy, you may be able to use an alternate base period. If you meet the requirements, TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) could use wages you earned prior to your illness or injury. In case you meet the criteria under both a regular and an alternate base period, you decide which base period to use.

Eligibility Questions

Can I collect unemployment if I am fired?

You can obtain unemployment benefits if you were fired without work-related misconduct.

Examples of misconduct are:

  • violation of company policy
  • violation of law
  • neglect or mismanagement of your position
  • failure to perform your work acceptably if you are capable of doing so

Upon getting fired, the ex-employee can file for unemployment benefits. Whether he gets it depends upon the situations of the firing. If the unemployment board grants unemployment, the employer has the right to appeal the decision and to show evidence why the unemployment benefits are not warranted.

In Texas, if an employee is fired due to misconduct, the employer will need to show documentation to support his case at an unemployment hearing.

Can I draw unemployment benefits if I quit?

You can collect unemployment benefits if you quit your job for a good well-documented work-related or medical reason. You should be ready to present proof that you tried to correct the problem before you quit.

TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) may rule good cause if the work situation would cause a person who truly wants to keep the job to leave it.

Examples of possible good cause are:

  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Significant change in hiring agreement
  • not receiving payment for your work

Examples of medical reasons are

  1. Quitting on your doctor’s advice, or
  2. Quitting to provide care for a minor child who has a medically verifiable illness if there is no alternative care provider, or
  3. Quitting to provide care for a terminally ill spouse if there is no alternative care provider.

You can also collect unemployment benefits if:

You quit to protect yourself from family violence or stalking, evidenced by an active or recently issued protective order, a police record documenting family violence or stalking directed against you, or medical documentation of family violence against you.

In addition:

If you quit to move with your husband or wife, you may be able to receive benefits after a disqualification of 6 to 25 weeks. This is a disqualification of both time and money, because the unemployment office must subtract the number of weeks from your total benefits.

If you quit to move with your military spouse, Texas lets you collect benefits without a disqualification if your spouse has a permanent change of station longer than 120 days, or a tour of duty longer than one year.

Can I obtain benefits if I am laid off?

Texas entitles you for unemployment benefits if you are laid off due to lack of work.

When you get laid off, it is not your fault. In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are qualified to obtain unemployment benefits.

You should immediately apply for unemployment benefits if you get laid off. Getting laid off simply means that you left job through no fault of your own and the company did not have enough work for you and could no longer pay for the job.

More Questions?? —> Read Q & A Eligibility Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–> Calculate Benefits


Questions & Answers

  1. Ric V says:

    We just moved to Houston in Jan 2015 as my wife got transferred on a lateral promotion with her company. I have been unable to find a job related to my previous career since then. Can I qualify for unemployment benefits/claims? Thnx for your advice!…

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  2. yadi cabral says:

    I will be soon relocating to TX from CA to be with my fiancée after we get married in November. I am unable to relocate my job and my future husband’s business/job is stable in TX. Will I be eligible to receive UI benefits?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  3. candy says:

    I currently work an 8-5 pm schedule. I work out of town in which I have to leave 1 hr 15 min early and not arrive in town until a bit after 6. I’m having issues finding daycare after 6 pm I’ve been in situations to me previously having to pay for picking up late and termination of services because of being late. My job has shifs which morning is 12 hrs 530 am to 530 pm mind you of the commute time I will be gone 14 hrs. The night shift is opposite 530 pm to 530 am. There are no night Tim daycare nor are there any that open before 530am or open past 6 pm. I’ve been on the8-5 schedule for almost 3 years now my Childs grandmother was able to help sometimes . There’s just no 24/7 licensed day cares. I have verbally asked several times to change my schedule especially that school is starting my neighbor could a t least take my child to school and I would be off early enough to pick my child up. The answer was no all several times. My job is demanding I that I’m on call 24/7 we may have to work past our scheduled time because of lack of staff. My question is can I receive unemployment if I quit? I want avoid being fired and reprimands and disciplinary for missing work being late leaving early and losing time. Please let me know and thankyou

    • Martin says:

      Well, personal reasons are generally not accepted. Having said this, there are exceptions.

      You may call the unemployment Office in your state to get further information and make a decision accordingly.

  4. liz says:

    If I get laid off from my employer and receive a 5 month severance and am able to get part time work but then quit part time work before severance runs out due to a pregnancy, will I still get my full unemployment benefit?

    • Martin says:

      Well, you will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  5. Jacob J. says:

    I was laid off since the employment resident I worked for shut down without notice and I have received a part time job recently, and I only receive 12 hours a week. Am i able to receive partial or any kind of unemployment benefits?

    • Martin says:

      You can be eligible for partial UI benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm and apply accordingly.

  6. Lee says:

    I work overnight for a large company. During my time there, I developed kidney disease requiring a transplant. I go to dialysis during the day and work at night. They had me provide a form from my doctor detailing my condition and accommodations they would need to make. I gave this to HR, but they have yet done the most basic accommodation that I need which is having someone else on the shift to help lift heavy boxes. When I started 20 years ago, I was able to lift the required weight, but now with a fistula in one arm, I’m not supposed to lift over 10 lbs. I can do all the other functions of the job. I just need them to take a body off of the other overcrowded shifts to work overnight on a consistent basis with me for the entire shift. If I quit because they won’t do this, will I be eligible for unemployment? By the way, kidney disease requiring dialysis is covered by the ADA.

    • Martin says:

      This is a sensitive issue. Generally, UI benefits are not provided to those who quit due to personal reasons. However, there are exceptions too.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details. If the ailment is work related, you may also explore the benefits under Workers Comp program.

  7. Nancy says:

    So even tho my husband is dying of Cancer. I still cannot collect unemployment.

  8. Nancy says:

    I have a psuedocyst on my pancreas due to an ERCP doctor shot dye into my pancreas causing me to go into Pancreatitis. It is now the size of a cantalope. My doctors have written letters stating they do not want me to work period. Due to they cyst could leak and be very fatal to me. In the mean time we found out a month agt that my husband had Pancreatic Cancer Stage4 inoperable. Only has 3-5 months to live. I have filed for Unemployment and they said I was enegible. But I filed prior to knowing that my husband was termanially ill. I have appealed it. Do I have a case?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, they do not consider personal reasons such as health issues.

      UI benefits are only provided to those who’re able and available for work.

  9. TJ says:

    I am in the military and will be PCSing this summer. I have been briefed that my spouse is eligible for unemployment benefits. I have been reading that spouses have been denied due to quitting to early. I would like to know how soon she quit to maintain eligibility? Our plan was to get to the new area sooner rather than later before my report date, but it seems the magic number is 30 days before report date. Is that calendar days or work week days? Thank you.

    • Martin says:

      I am not sure how it works in your state. I am guessing, the eligibility is ascertained on case to case basis.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  10. Matthew says:

    I recently separated (May 29) from active duty in the Army based out of Texas. I have also been a resident of Texas for many years now. I have also joined the Texas National Guard (I sign in by June 29). I am curious if I am able to draw unemployment even with being in the Guard as I will only be receiving $300-$350 for my weekend drill. I’m worried that I won’t be able to and will start siphoning off my savings to live until I can find a job.

    • Martin says:

      Well, I am not really sure how it works in case of former military personnel drawing a certain income since each state has its own rules in this regard.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further inquiry.

  11. Paul F. Marcus says:

    I will soon need to move to another state (florida) to care for my elderly mom who can no longer drive and has developed heart problems. Her Dr’s have advised her to have someone live with her and care for her….if I moved would I be able to collect unemployment until I got settled and found a local job ?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. Corine says:

    I worked in another state but moved to Texas last year and cannot find work yet, can I apply for unemployement in Texas? I followed my spouse here. Please advise

    • Martin says:

      If you quit voluntarily to relocate with your spouse, you will not qualify.

      For other situations such as being laid off, please apply from the state where you last worked.

  13. Daniel says:

    I work overnight at a convenient store. I’ve been robbed twice and as of lately there’s been lots of theft in the store. We have no security devices that are stationary and/or mobile like some of the other stores that are required in other states. I went to management and HR about it, but to no avail. I no longer feel safe there. It seems at that store we set ourselves up for retaliation by customers when we have to tell them to leave premises. Also, the stores have been bought out by a corporation that came in and cut hours. I now miss out on two days of work per bi weekly check. I’ve been at the store a few years, never been written up. Thanks

    • Martin says:

      You can be eligible for Unemployment Insurance until the time you find a job if you leave due to hostile/threatening work conditions.

  14. Rene says:

    I recently had a job that was seasonal with the understanding that they would find me more work once the Tax season was over. But when it came to April 15 we were told they were only keeping 7 people out of around 75 people. Which contradicted what we were told when hired. Now I am out of work because I was laid off. Will I be able to get unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      Yes, you can be eligible as long as the reason for the separation is not voluntary.

      Please explore other criteria available on this page.

  15. scott says:

    Can I file for partial unemployment due to missing hours because of all the rain

  16. Lisa Weber says:

    This past December I had surgery to remove a tubular cyst and when the anesthesiologist tried to intubate me 5-6 times she caused severe damage to my vocal chords. I am a high school English teacher of six years, a have used up all the sick time I had. I cannot effectively do my job and I have asked for a transfer to the virtual style teaching. They are not accommodating me and told me that I can do the FMLA without pay. I cannot pay bills and maintain my livelihood on no income. This medical condition will cost me numerous trips to doctors. Do I qualify if I was to voluntarily leave due to medical conditions? If so, how long can I collect unemployment benefits with my condition?

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health are generally not considered.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  17. Michael says:

    I’m a disabled veteran with 12 years of service. I have filed for Unemployment a year ago, and am eligible again. I’m currently a full time student using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and am currently at a part time job that began 9 months after separating from the military. This employment does not cover two calendar quarters yet, and I am currently seeking full time work.

    What I’m wondering is, I was still in the military after Oct 1, 2014, am a full time student, and am part time seeking full time employment. Would I be eligible for partial compensation until I can attain a full time position?

    • Martin says:

      You can only apply for and receive Unemployment Benefits for one full cycle. They are not revolving in nature.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  18. Maria says:

    I gave a 2week notice due to finding a job closer to home and more money. My current company offered me more money and set hours to stay ..I did which they never followed though with …I keep asking about my raise and was told will be in next check 3 months later same hours same pay ..will I qualify I resigned immediately due to them not keeping thier word

    • Martin says:

      If you resign voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  19. Anthony says:

    Company is downsizing and trying to get me to work nights I can’t cause my wife is already working night so I will be unable to work that shift will I be eligible for unemployment

  20. Katie says:

    If my company doesn’t offer paid maternity leave can I qualify for any compensation under the good cause clause in Texas. Been employed full time over 3 years.

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Unfortunately, Pregnancy is not considered.

  21. DT says:

    My husband is very ill, and will have to be going on the liver transplant list real soon, and I do not have any family or help to take care of him, so do I qualify for benefits. I have been with my company for 7 years.

  22. Andrea says:

    Can I quit my job and take care of my sick Husband and still qualify for unemployment? He is not Terminal yet, but he is close… He has diabetes, liver disease and has had 2 heart attacks, now he is on a path to self destruction, he is battling severe depression… I am so worried and he needs me home.

    • Martin says:

      Unfortunately, you will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  23. Sharon says:

    My husband had a stroke in 2010. He is now able to work answering phones or something simple. Is he eligible for unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      To be eligible, your husband needs to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. If he meet’s this condition and was unemployed due to involuntary reasons, please consider applying.

  24. MICHELLE says:


    • Martin says:

      If you are confident of proving all these incidents in case of a dispute from your employer after you resign and apply, please do so.

      You may also want to consider reporting this to the Unemployment Office in your state.

  25. Miller says:

    I am a manager at my job, but ever since higher management has changed I’ve been having issues with my job. The general manager has been cutting hours, seeking relations with other managers. I don’t feel comfortable in this environment any longer and I want to just quit. If I do so, will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • Martin says:

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please tread carefully.

  26. Ryan says:

    Can someone please help me with the question I asked on December 16, 2015. Thanks in advance.

  27. Ryan says:

    I was hired on at my company on day shift. I made it clear in my interview that I could only work days and if that’s not possible I didn’t want the job. After working days for 6 months I was told I am moving to nights. This conflicts with my family and my wives college classes as well, as I watched the kids at night when she went to school. I haven’t quit yet because I need to support my family but things are getting worse. Could I collect under the reasoning that their was a significant change in the hiring agreement?

  28. Richard says:

    I was affected by recent flooding that occurred here in central Texas, and I was unable to get to work due to the loss of my primary mode of transportation. I filed for unemployment, which was denied because my employer said I quit, which is not true. Disaster and fema, say I should qualify. Should I appeal?

  29. Shannon says:

    I was informed six weeks ago that my company was losing management of several properties including the two properties I manage on October 26, 2015. The property managers (including myself) were informed that another management company would be taking over these properties on 10/26/15 and that our company would try to place the managers in other manager positions or if unable to place us, we would be laid off. I was offered a positon with the new company but did not want to take due to loss of benefits and because managers who went with the other company last year where let go after they signed on. I am now being told that my company will contest the unemployment because I decided to not sign on with the new company even though previously they said I would qualify for unemployment and I am being laid off. Would I still qualify to recive unemployment? I do not get laid off until Monday.

    • Martin says:

      This may be considered as voluntary exit. However, if you have supporting documents handy that speak otherwise, please consider applying.

      You can always appeal in case your employer contests your claim.

  30. Debbie says:

    It is looking like my husband will get laid off soon. He is 65 yrs. old. Does he have to apply for Social Security Benefits or can He get unemployment and look for a new job. He has been with the company for 40 years. Thank you.

    • Martin says:

      He should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits as long as he continues to look for jobs.

      Please consider applying for it.

  31. Gianni says:

    My job is relocating and they offered a severance and unemployment for employees who chose not to go to the new location.. We had to vote months earlier and given 24 hours for those chosen to go to decide yes or no.. This was 3 months ago. Since then they dropped my 5% incentive pay for working after 9 in addition I would be driving approx 1 hr 27 mins each way to work and forced to pay tolls to shorten the distance to 1 hr and 5 to 10 mins..I informed the director and she said its too late to get the severance package.. Am i still eligible to receive unemployment If I quit? And what is the best way to go about this?

    • Jeff says:

      If you quit voluntarily, you will not qualify for unemployment insurance.

      Try to work out a balanced deal with your employer.

  32. ann says:

    i was denied unemployment because i quit for personal reason…i quit because my abuser found me. will i be able to receive benefits

  33. Kim says:

    I lost my job Feb 23, I started receiving unemployment in March. My unemployment runs out June 30th. I find it crazy that I can only get 6 months of unemployment after working 28 years, when others were able to get years. I’ve been looking for a job willing to accept whatever but get the feeling I’m over qualified. Is there nothing I can do to get an extension.

  34. ricki mckenna says:

    Should I appeal the decision after my unemployment benefits were denied at a phone hearing after initially being granted. Thank you. I was TOLD to leave 6 days before I was returning to Houston (from Colorado) voluntarily for family reasons (93 yr old mother needs care). I was also demoted with a salary cut, 2 months prior to my leaving. I had been injured lifting large heavy boxes and water-containing packages. I was hired as a nutritional professional, (am certified and licensed) and told to do bagging after I went to the workman’s comp doctor and was refused therapy.

  35. Raymond JOHNSON says:

    I was employed by a temp service in June 2013 and was injuried on the job in August 2013. I received workers comp until March 2014 when it was terminated yet was was sent and approved for physical theropy even tho they determined I am physically able to return to work. Can I file for unemployment due to not being able to find a job and the temp service is not proving me a job at this time?

  36. richard says:

    have a job worked 5 years there. got sick with heart failure, job said I can return only if doc gives 100% ok no light work. put on short term disability ran out.

    • Adrian says:

      Why dont you speak to your employer to see if they have a job that suits your condition.

      If you are inquiring about applying for UI benefits, your eligibility may be a question as you are temporarily not able to work.

  37. Sandra Escobedo says:

    Am I eligible if I receive a severance check?

  38. Kay says:

    I work for a school district. If my contract is not renewed because of a poor evaluation, am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

  39. Cindy says:

    I quit my job and have applied for unemployment benefits. My employer is NOT contesting these benefits. Will I receive them or is it still up to the State of Texas to decide?

  40. Cathy Nierman says:

    I worked part time May through July 2013 and then obtained a full time position July 29th through December 2013 before being laid off due to lack of work. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Adrian says:

      I assume that you’ve not worked before your last job assignment where you were laid off.If that is the case, your claim may not be eligible as they usually consider four of the last 5 calender quarters. Please speak to a representative from the Labor dept in Texas for clarification on this.

  41. Michelle says:

    I have moved to Texas from Mississippi. I am a school teacher and haven’t been able to find a job. We are military moved because we’re retiring. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

      If you were employed immediately before this,please consider applying for UI. You should be looking at applying from Texas or the state of last employment.

  42. Don says:

    I recently lost my job at no fault of my own. I came from Maryland for a job in Houston TX. I worked there for 8 months. I was unemployed for 3 months in Maryland before coming here. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Adrian says:

      The “base period” and “monetary” eligibility factors must be met to receive UI benefits. I suggest that you go ahead and file for UI online.

  43. matt says:

    My father in law was let go at his company. He is 72 and receives Social Security how is this money considered in applying for unemployment. Is this considered earned income and does he have to report it for unemployment purposes?

    • Adrian says:

      He has to declare the social security benefits he is receiving at the time of filing for unemployment.Some states do not see a conflict between deriving others benefits whilst applying for UI.
      If you’re filing,please let the officials know about the social security.

  44. Cathy Nierman says:

    I will have worked full time from July 29th, 2013 to Jan 3rd, 2014. Getting layed off due to lack of work. Is that long enough to meet the criteria for unemployment in TX?

  45. mary adame says:

    status change from full time to part time-can I apply for unemployment

  46. mary adame says:

    my position was eliminated to I am offered a part time job instead with no benefits–can I apply for unemployment being that I was a full time employee with an excellent record?

  47. Adrianne Warmick says:

    laid off due to federal negotiations…may be off until November. am I eligible for unemployment benefits.

    • robin schubert says:

      I have been working at a pipeline inspection job since September. I accepted the job knowing that it would be temporary. The job will be complete in June. Although I accepted this job knowing it had an expiration date, am I still eligible for unemployment benefits?

      • Martin says:

        Well, contracted jobs do not generally qualify since employers would not pay the relevant taxes into the system.

        Please inquire further with your employer.

  48. calvin hammond says:

    My company has had a slow down in work available for me. So far i have not had any work the last 3 work days. Am I eligable for any type of unemployment due to a lack of work? I have not been officially laid off but have been told to call the office everyday to see if there is any work for me.I normally work 80 hours per pay period….last pay period i only worked 52 hours. So far this period i have no hours.

  49. Tiambe' says:

    Am I eligible if I have to quit my job due to being a full time student? I am a nursing student and I will not be able to continue to work full time.

  50. david worek says:

    If I get fired for violation of company policy, can I still receive benefits after a certain waiting period?

    • M Morris says:

      I reside in Texas. I quit my job in March 2016 due to horrible managerial demands. I’ve been working on temporary assignments through a staffing agency since then. Therefore I haven’t been able to secure a full time position. Would I be able to apply for Texas unemployment benefits since it has been 6 months?

      • Martin says:

        Well, you should have applied immediately after the job loss. You can still be eligible under the “Alternate Base Period”.

        Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm eligibility before applying. Your current job will also have a bearing on the application.

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