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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. Robin says:

    My husband is active duty and just got orders to Japan. I am currently employed in texas but will be leaving my job next month due to this move. Will I be able to qualify for unemployment?

    • Sam says:

      I am guessing you should be to as a military spouse.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm.

  2. Tasha says:

    I currently have been with a company for over 11 years and my minor child is disabled and I have a choice to put in a mental health hospital or provide him 24 hour care. I have been on FMLA and my hours have exhausted. My job advised me that I do not qualify for ADA since it’s not for me and when I asked if they had anything else to help because I still needed to be there for my son.

    Any advice would be great.

    • Sam says:


      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Personal situation is not considered.

  3. george says:

    I am the current account manager at my job. The company recently hired an assistant manager. We do contract work for another company. I was informed that I will by my regional director that the assistant manager will take over my job, and offered me the assistant manager position, which is $5.00 less and hour. If I decide not to take it, since it is a demotion, would I be eigible for unemployment benifits in Texas.

    • Sam says:

      I am guessing you should be able to claim UI benefits under such circumstances.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to clarify before making a decision on your employment.

  4. Dara says:

    I quit my job due to commuting issues. I am moving to a city closer to family because I am single and pregnant and need reliable support/ childcare while I work full time. My new home will be nearly 2 hours away and my old job would not offer part- time positions or a work from home position. There are no other establishments to transfer to as well. I am currently seeking employment in my new city. Would I be eligible? If not, could I appeal?

  5. Nikki ski says:

    I had a injury outside of work been providing dr note for all days except one day that I had requested off before my injury but was denied the day … now that I am fired for not showing up for that day can I receive unemployment?

    • Sam says:

      I am sorry to hear about the way your job was terminated. Generally, voluntary reasons are not considered. However, there can be an exception like yours where UI benefits may be approved.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further instructions.

  6. Cory says:

    I had an off the job back injury that left me basically incapacitated for a month and a half. My job offered restricted duty but I still was not able to perform the job so I didn’t respond to the restricted duty offer. I am still undergoing treatment but they sent me a letter firing me because I could not fulfill my physical job requirements. Company has less than 20 employees. Can I obtain unemployment benifits?

    • Sam says:

      Well, Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available for work.

      If the injury was work related, please explore the options under Workers Comp.

  7. Brenda says:

    Will I qualify for unemployment benefits if I got fired for NO CALL NO SHOW but manager was advice of my absences through text since that was the way he preferred to be contacted ??

    • Sam says:

      If you’re able to prove this in case of a dispute, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find a new job.

  8. YULI says:

    I recently turned in my two weeks notice because I wanted a better paying job…that same day I was asked to leave before lunch break and escorted out the building turning my voluntary quit to involuntary termination…do I qualify for unemployment?

    • Sam says:

      Either way, the reason seems to be voluntary. I am not sure about your eligibility.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. jay says:

    I been working for this job about 5 week and I know they about to fire me. if they tell me texas is an at willed state and they don’t need my services anymore. Can I file for unemployment??

    • Sam says:

      If you’re going to be fired from the job due to no fault of yours, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find a job.

  10. dave says:

    I am a salaried assistant manager who is working well over 40 hours a week and not getting paid over time. They said well your not required to work it but I have to get there before the associates and stay after. Can I quit due to not getting paid over 40 and get unemployment.

    • Sam says:

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

  11. Ruth says:

    I was fired for failing to make sure one of the playground doors were closed during closing procedures. This was my second time closing this building as I was covering someone else’s shift and accidentally overlooked one of the many doors I close. I set the alarm but had no indication this door was propped open. I also closed with a teacher but administration advised me it was solely my responsibility. Without a warning I was fired. Am I exempt from being eligible?

    • Sam says:

      Well, it will be considered volu

      It can be considered voluntary. I am not sure if you will qualify.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  12. John says:

    If my company hacked into my personal email and found something inappropriate. I have accessed the email on their server a couple of times. Can I be fired for that?

    • Sam says:

      Well, I am not sure if you can be fired or not. However, if you’re fired for a reason that was not your fault, you can claim Unemployment Insurance benefits until you find employment.

  13. Angie says:

    My department consists of my manager, coworker & myself. I have been there 2 years. My coworker is verbally abusive, yells & curses. We had a temp helping us for a year but she quit last week over the coworkers behavior. The temp reported the coworkers outburst & verbal abuse to HR before quitting. I myself have reported her behavior twice to HR. Nothing has been done except reprimanding her. The temp left out of fear for her safety. The manager continues to make excuses for the rude & harrassing behavior. I have documentation (emails) to prove all this. I want to quit but do not have another job lined out. If I quit, am I eligible for benefits until I do find work? HR is fully aware of the behavior & I even called our corporations hotline to file a report on all this since its been going on for months.

    • Sam says:

      I am sorry to hear about the ordeal at work.

      Yes, you can be eligible to quite under hostile working conditions and claim UI benefits until you find a job. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  14. Staci says:

    My job has been paying me and my coworker in cash since the first pay period in November 2016. We are paid biweekly. We are not given paycheck stubs either. Just asked to sign the back of a “company check” & then handed our net pay (but in cash) as we received when we were getting normal paychecks/direct deposit. We have now not even received our W2s. I was due my pay this past Friday & tomorrow will be 1 week with no pay (next pay date is in 1 week). Will I be eligible for UI benefits if I quit? This has been going on for months and I just can’t do this anymore.

    • Sam says:

      Firstly, if you’re employed by a contract, you will not be eligible to draw UI compensation.

      I suggest that you speak to the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility and apply accordingly.

  15. Edward says:

    Am I eligible for unemployment?

    1. I complained to HR (via telephone – I have someone who witnessed the call) that my supervisor was discriminating against me because I was a male. I consistently noticed she was giving female co-workers more hours than I.

    2. Two days after I complained, my supervisor scheduled a meeting with our HR director.

    3. On the day of the scheduled meeting, as I approached the building where the HR director works, I was intercepted by her, and the Chief Operating Officer of the company, and was told that we would not be meeting with HR. I was placed on a performance improvement plan. One of the issues mentioned was me not being tardy to work.

    4. In addition, my supervisor immediately changed my work hours from working overnights, ex: 11 PM to 6:30 AM, to working days, ex: 10 AM to 5:30 PM.

    5. The first day I was to report at 10 AM, I was 9 minutes late to work. Largely due to me not being able to sleep, as I was used to staying up all night for work. In addition, there was some sort of training scheduled at our facility that day, and there was no parking spaces available at the facility. I drove around for 10 minutes, and finally found a place.

    6. Towards the end of that same day, I was called in by my supervisor and the Chief Operating Officer and fired for being late. When I told them about the parking lot being full, my supervisor pointed out that I had failed to fill out a piece of paper that was job related. In other words, it didn’t matter what I said, she was determined to fire me.

    7. I feel like my supervisor was retaliating against me for complaining to HR. No one else on our team had their work schedule changed in such a drastic manner.

    Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    Thank you.

    • Sam says:


      This looks like a serious case of harassment. Yes, you can be eligible to claim UI benefits under such circumstances. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy as proof if your employer raises a dispute after you apply.

  16. veronica says:

    Can I apply for unemployment if my hours were cut from full time to part time?

  17. Kenzie says:

    I work in Texas, and am currently going through some severe health issues, and have notes that prove I’ve been out of work for at least three weeks.

    I started back Monday of this week, and am back at the doctors office, with a note not to return for two weeks. I have tests scheduled, and have follow ups. If I quit my job, will I be eligible for UI benefits?

    • Sam says:

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

  18. Sunny says:

    If i quit due to my doctor’s advice to not work will i be eligible to receive unemployment?

    • Sam says:

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

  19. ms. mtz says:

    if i filed for unemployment DEC 5 2016 but was not to get benefits because i did not earn enough during my base peroid.. but as of Jan 1 2017 my base peroid starts and my earnings kick in >>>>>>

    should i apply again or continue to request payment every 2 weeks

  20. Stacia P says:

    I currently work in Texas and my son lives in Minnesota. I want to move to MN in order to be with him as I miss him very much and don’t want to miss out on any more of his childhood. Would I be eligible for benefits if I quit for this reason? Thank you.

    • Martin says:

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

  21. AL Will says:

    I’m in a bad situation. I don’t get paid enough to buy a car and am taking care of my mother who was diagnosed with cancer and lost her home. My job is about to move to a location too far away for me to walk to and from anymore and I don’t want to wait until I get fired but will need unemployment because it’s hard for me to find a job with the specific skill set I have and no vehicle.

    Would I qualify for unemployment if I quit my job because I don’t want to wait until I have to be fired because I no longer have a way to work and back? This considering I’m constantly having to also take off work to tend to my mothers needs. Please advise.

    • Martin says:

      Unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  22. Jay Robers says:

    I had to stop working in November of 2015 to have replacement knee surgery.
    The replacement did not go well and is scheduled for another replacement in January 2017.
    I have not been able to work since my job involves climbing ladders.
    Can I file for unemployment if I haven’t worked all year?

  23. Stan says:

    If I just sworned in and signed a contract for the military, and resigned from my job to prepare training within that month before shipping out, can I collect unemployment for that month since I had to resign to train with my recruiter throughout the week to prepare for bootcamp and training?

    • Martin says:

      If you left voluntarily, I am not sure if you’re eligible.

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

  24. Rachel says:

    Can I collect unemployement if I was self-employed?

    • Martin says:

      UI benefits are only offered to those who pay Unemployment Taxes through the employer to the government. Since self-employed do not generally do so, they are not eligible.

      You may call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  25. Nelson says:

    I am currently working overseas as a DOD employee and will be returning stateside with my husband due to PCS moving. How will I go about filing unemployment.

    • Martin says:

      Please check with the Unemployment Office in the state you’ll come back to since each state has its own rules in this regard.

  26. Edwardo says:

    If I tell my employer that I am going to apply for a professional license. Because it requires their signature for proof/length of employment under their license. Then this employer tells me I’m fired. Does this qualify for unemployment benefits?

  27. Evette Jones says:

    I still work for my same company and my wages and hours has been cut, Can I still apply for unemployment

  28. Randy Fuller says:

    I have worked for a company for 12-years from my house. They are telling me that starting in January that my position is being eliminated and I have been offered a position in the office. I live 2-hours from the office and will have to take a sufficient pay cut. Will I be eligible for unemployment if I do not take the new job offer?

    • Martin says:

      Well, not accepting the offer may go against you when you claim UI benefits from the state.

      Before making a decision, please call the Unemployment Office.

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