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Updated : December 14th, 2020

Texas Unemployment Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program is jointly sponsored by the state government and the federal government. The program aims to provide financial relief to those who have lost their jobs for no fault of their own. The unemployment benefits program in Texas also enables applicants by providing opportunities through training programs and job-search programs.

Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Texas

The eligibility for unemployment benefits in the state of Texas depends on three factors – monetary eligibility, the reason for job separation from the previous organization, and maintaining eligibility.

You must meet the eligibility criteria in all the three factors to gain qualification for unemployment benefits in Texas.

Monetary Eligibility

Monetary eligibility is one of the primary requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits in Texas. In order to gain monetary eligibility, you must have earned a sufficient amount of wages in your base period.

It is necessary for the applicants to have earned the required amount of wages in the first four of the last five calendar quarters. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) will send you a ‘Statement of Wages and Potential Benefits Amounts’ (also known as the Benefit Statement) confirming whether or not you have earned enough wages during your base period.

The benefit statement will also include your potential weekly benefit amount (WBA), your potential maximum benefit amount (MBA) that you may receive in your benefit period.  

The TWC calculates your weekly benefit amount identifying your highest-earning quarter, and dividing it by 25. An upper limit of $507 is set on WBA by TWC for the state of Texas, and minimum benefit amount that any shortlisted claimant would receive is $68.

To be qualified, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • The total wages earned during the base period must equal 37 times your maximum benefit amount
  • You must have received wages in at least two of the last four quarters
  • If you qualified on a prior claim, you are expected to have earned six times your new maximum benefit amount

If in case you were unemployed for the last seven weeks during your base period due to illness, injury or pregnancy that began within 24 months from your start date, you could seek to use an alternative base period.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

The second requirement to qualify for unemployment benefits is to establish the applicant’s reason for separation from his/her previous organization. In order to qualify, the applicants must have left the organization due to no fault of theirs. The following points highlight the criteria that need to be met with respect to job separation:

  • The applicant must have not lost the job due to his/her fault
  • The applicant was laid off or the working hours were shortened due to lack of work
  • The applicant was not fired from the organization due to reasons amounting to misconduct
  • The applicant did not quit the job due to the lack of interest in the job, or for any other personal reasons
  • If the applicant quit the job with a good work-related reason such as not being paid, he/she must have the proof of the given reason. The applicant must also establish that he/she tried to correct the issue by taking it up with the employer before quitting
  • The applicant had to quit due to a medically documented illness, and he/she must also prove that he/she is now capable of working
  • The applicant quit the job to leave with his/her spouse. TWC, however, will reduce the number of weeks and the total benefit amount for such cases. The reduction will not be applied for military spouses
  • The applicant faced documented issues such as sexual violence or family violence, which propelled him/her to quit the job

The reason for the separation given by the applicant will be verified with the employers. The chances of qualification will be impacted if the reason given by the applicant and the employer does not match.

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

Showing monetary eligibility and establishing an acceptable reason for separating from the previous organization will make the applicants eligible for unemployment benefits. The applicants, however, must maintain the eligibility factors throughout the benefits weeks to continue receiving the benefits without any stoppage.

To make sure you unemployment benefits in Texas without any unhindrance, applicants must consider the following points:

  • The most important requirement is that the applicant must be able, available and actively pursuing full-time working opportunities every week
  • You are physically and mentally able to work throughout the period you are receiving monetary benefits
  • You must register as a job seeker on within three business days from the day you applied for unemployment benefits
  • You must readily take up any suitable job offers made to you
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen throughout the benefits weeks. The payment of your benefit amount will be interrupted if you end up in jail
  • You are expected to lower your wage request by 75 percent of your normal wage by the 8th week of unemployment  

Find out on job search requirements

How to Apply For UI Benefits in Texas?

You will need the following documents to apply for unemployment benefits in Texas:


There are two options in the state of Texas to apply for benefits. TWC recommends the online mode to the applicants to file for benefits. Log on to to file claims using your existing ID or to create a new user ID. The online portal also allows you to access all the unemployment benefit services.


If for any reason, you cannot access a computer to file your claim for unemployment benefits, TWC also allows you to apply for benefits through a telephone call. Dial 800-939-6631 to reach the Tele-Center, and speak to a customer representative to get assistance to file your claim for benefits. The line will be available from 8 AM to 6 PM on all weekdays.

You can also dial 800-558-8321 to reach the automated telephone line. You can get general information 24 hours a day, however, to request payment or your claim status, you will have to call between 7 AM to 6 PM on all days.

How to File Weekly Claims

Once you create an account in TWC portal, you can log in to it every week to request for your benefit amount. Make sure that you request for benefits when scheduled, promptly respond when the department contacts you, be actively looking for new jobs, and meet the work search requirements.

You will receive the weekly benefits promptly if you stick to the schedule and maintain all the documents without any hindrance.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefits Amount

The Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator will help applicants to find out the approximate unemployment Benefits they may receive in Texas.

Benifits Calculator

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
Select Number of Dependents:
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Texas
Number of Dependents: 0

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Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things to Know After Filing An Application

The applicants are expected to know all the rules and regulations about the services to make sure that they do not face any hindrance during their benefit weeks.

Being aware of various services provided by TWC, and all the rules and regulations associated with it will help you to make the most of the services offered, while not breaking any rules which may have negative repercussions.

Overpayments and Fraud

Overpayments occur when TWC pays unemployment benefits more than when your entitled amount. The state of Texas mandates TWC to recover all such overpayments made from the claimants.

The law in the state of Texas is clear that TWC has no right to forgive or dismiss any recovery process, and no exception shall be made whatsoever for the claimants. Overpayments will also stay on the record of the claimants, and they shall not receive weekly benefits if they have an overpayment to repay back.

The following points identify the possible causes of overpayment:

  • Not reporting your earnings or showing incorrect earnings when requesting for benefit amount
  • Providing false information about important aspects such as job-separation and work search documentation
  • If the ruling of an appeal reverses the eligibility factor of a claimant after TWC paid you the benefits
  • Not participating in the reemployment programs or other job assistance programs with TWC when required
  • Failing to register on the, or with a local one-stop center if the claimant is out of state

Also, if TWC finds out that if the cause of the overpayment is due to the willful misrepresentation of facts, or concealing of crucial information, or forgery conducted by the claimant, such an act will be deemed as fraud.

In the event of fraud, the claimant will have to repay the amount received which the claimant was not entitled to. Also, the claimant will have to pay a penalty of 15 percent on the excessive amount received. Along with the penalty, the claimant may face the following repercussions:

  • The claimant may face criminal prosecution by state or federal authorities
  • There could also be a jail sentence for the claimant
  • The claimant will not receive the remaining benefit amount

The excessive money drawn by the claimant must be returned to TWC without exception. If in the case you’ve not repaid the amount, expect the following repercussions:

  • The overpayments will stay on the record of the claimant till it is completely repaid
  • If you apply for benefits in the future, TWC will deduct the weekly payments until the overpayment is completely repaid
  • TWC can stake claim to the money you may receive from other sources such as lottery winnings, unclaimed property, unemployment benefits, or state-job related expenses until the repayment is full
  • TWC can also take legal against you to recover the dues

You can repay the amount by mailing a check or money order to TWC. Make sure to include your name, last four digits of the social security number and the account number shown on the billing statement.

Mail the money order or the check to the following address:

TWC Revenue & Trust Management

P.O. Box 149352

Austin, TX 78714-9352

Benefits Extension

There are no federally-backed or state-operated benefit extension programs given at present. The applicant can pay a visit to the TWC website to determine the current available Reemployment Assistance plans.

Job Training Assistance

TWC provides employment opportunities, apprenticeship opportunities, vocational training, and many similar services to help claimants develop their skill set. The website provides various avenues for the job-seekers to help them in career advancement.

TWC has designed various programs to cater to the different needs of the applicants. If you are thinking of going back to school to update your skill set, TWC has a program called Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program. This program supports those who are aged 16 years or older and not have a high school degree.

TWC partners with local AEL workshops, Workforce solution offices, and non-profit organizations that work in the area of supporting and guiding adult learners. The objective of the program is to enable those who did not have the opportunity to go to school to rise up to the level and help them find better career opportunities.

TWC also has training programs in place for the regular job-seekers who are looking to add value to their resume. You can locate training centers approved by TWC or by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) using the Eligible Training Provider System (ETPS). The ETPS will help you find appropriate training that is suited to your requirements.

Know more job training opportunities in TX

Texas Office Locations and Phone Numbers

Find all the required phone numbers you may need if you have doubts on any relevant issues during the benefits weeks

TX Unemployment Office Phone Numbers

Tele-Center 800-939-6631
Automated phone service options Dial 711 for RelayTexas
Benefit overpayment collections unit 512-936-3338
TWC state office main 512-463-2222
Report fraud 800-252-3642
Labor Market Information Hotline 866-938-4444
Labor Market Information Hotline 866-938-4444
Career Information Hotline 800-822-7526
Debit Card Help 800-657-6343
Appeal Tribunal 512-475-1135
Commission Appeal 512-475-2044
U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 800-669-4000

Locate your nearest unemployment office

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What is Texas Workforce Solutions (TWC)?
Texas Workforce Solutions is a local and statewide network, which consists of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and all its statewide operations. This network gives applicants access to local workforce solutions and statewide services at numerous Workforce Solutions offices.

The Boards are responsible for strategic planning of universal employment services for employers and job-seekers. The integrated workforce delivery system maximizes funding and productivity while eliminating duplicate efforts. Through performance-based contracts, TWC monitors and holds the Boards accountable for program performance and provides technical assistance as needed. About Us provides more detailed information about Texas Workforce Solutions.
Q. Can I be anonymous while reporting fraud in the state of Texas?
The state of Texas allows you to remain anonymous if you call the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642 to report fraud. You, however, cannot be anonymous if you use email to submit the information.
Q. What programs and services do TWC provide?
Some of the important functions of TWC include developing the workforce, providing support services including childcare for the selected populations participating in workforce training and adult education and literacy services. TWC also specializes in providing services for people with disabilities to obtain training and employment and administering the Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment Tax programs. TWC also provides information and analysis on shifts in occupations and industries within the state.
For job seekers and employees, in particular, the department offers services such as career development information, job-search resources, training programs and, as appropriate, unemployment benefits.
Q. Can I change my name, address, email ID and phone number?
You cannot change your name from the system while receiving benefits during the benefit period. You may, however, call the TWC Tele-Center by dialing 800-558-8321 to check if you can change your name manually.
You may change your address, Email ID and phone number using the TWC portal.
Q. Where do I appeal if I have any grievances?
There are three levels of appeals. You start with the first level, and if you disagree with that decision, you may proceed through the other levels.
  • Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
  • Appeal to the Commission
  • Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court
Q. What is a Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court?
If you do not agree with the Commission decision, you may request a Motion for Rehearing by the Commission. TWC will grant the Motion for Rehearing only if you can present all of the following:
  • Important new information about your case
  • The reason(s) why you did not present this information earlier
  • TThe reason(s) why you think this information could change the decision
As a result, the department will ask for further identifying documents for verification. Whenever there is a question of correct identity, the Department requires identifying documents to ensure benefits are paid only to those who are legally entitled to receive them.
Failure to provide the requested documentation may result in a denial of benefits.
Q. What is a waiting week?
The state of Texas has made it mandatory to hold your benefits for the first payable week as the “waiting week.” You will only be paid for the waiting week once you have received two times your weekly benefit amount and returned to full-time work or exhausted your unemployment benefits. 
Q. What are Special Reemployment Activities? Am I required to attend it?
TWC requires you to participate in special reemployment activities if you are likely to run out of benefits before you find work. If selected, your Workforce Solutions office sends a letter, and you must participate as instructed.

Questions & Answers

  1. What is two times your weekly benefit amount as applied to requesting your waiting week and when is that amount reached?

  2. My employer hasn’t responded to unemployment and it has been over 30 days. Can I contact my ex employer to find out why.
    If not what is the wait time.
    My landlord has been very understanding, but I need more information to provide him.

  3. I am locked out of my account and need to speak to someone to help but unable to get through on the phone line, is there some other way to help me get my account unlocked?

    1. Tyler,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. You can use the “Resources” or “FAQs” section of the website.

  4. If I was recently lay off due to Cornavirus and I requested 5 hours pto vacation for the first day that my claim started do I need to report it when I request my first payment?

    1. I need to add to my Requested Payment I did this morning I submitted it before I was thinking how do I correct it please help

      1. Carolyn,

        Please log back into your account and look out for relevant options for corrections. Else, please call the Claims Center for help.

  5. I’ve been calling to provide information on my unemployment case and was asked to call back Carrie Garcia at 1800-819-9488 ext 7260 but I can’t get through and I have until March 25 before 1pm to provide information or I may get disqualified.
    They don’t call back but I can’t through due to cov19 crisis.. I’ve been trying for almost 1.5 week to get through and I can’t.
    What am I suppose to do??
    Thank you

    1. Joanne,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  6. I am an as needed employee at a hospital without benefits. I am currently taking unpaid maternity leave. My husband said I may be able to receive unemployment during my maternity leave. He quoted Section 207.045 of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act and Family Medical Leave Act. However, I was denied because I am not looking for work during my first 6 weeks with my baby. Is there another way to receive aide while I am out of work?

  7. I had to leave Texas due to my father having serious medical conditions and was told by the doctor he might not make it. It’s been 3 almost 4 weeks ago. Is this a suitable reason to get backdated

  8. Hello!
    I am working a 3 month contract to hire position and pretty sure I will be offered a job. The problem is I do not care for this job. The people are nice, etc….but I can not see myself doing this long term. The pay is low and even unemployment said to look for higher paying job. I am not a job hopper, my last job was 20 years. Due to the hours looking and interviewing for another job is very difficult. Would I mess what is left of my benefits if I quit and took a part time job, leaving me time and opportunity to find a full time job that is better suited for my skill set. Appreciate your time

    1. Maria,

      I can understand your situation. However, UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. I recently exhausted my Unemployment Benefits. How can I find out if I qualify for Extended Unemployment Benefits?

    1. Steve,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  10. I called to receive payments and it told me I needed to call for additional information and I didn’t get the number that I am suppose to call. It was an 877 number can someone please help me. I have no idea what I’m doing. Also when I call this other 800 number says due too high volume we cant take your call! How am I suppose to get any help with this?

  11. I have 2 questions:
    If I took a part-time job would that affect the amount of unemployment I would be eligible to receive? I was hoping to close the gap between the amount of unemployment and what I would like to make to cover the bills.

    If I go back to school to get a teaching certificate, am I still eligible to receive benefits?

    1. Here’s the answer to your questions.

      1) You should be able to take up part-time employment and still receive UI benefits.
      2) If the training affects your ability to work full-time, it will impact your current benefits cycle.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification on both the queries.

  12. I was approved and filed my claim on a Sunday when will check be deposited and I’m not talking about the waiting period , I understand that part, I just need to know will the check deposit the day after I filed or a couple of days later

  13. If you are fired from a position and during the hearing and evidence process it’s found that number one the reason your ex employer fired you is different than the reason you aren’t eligible for unemployment and to boot when the phone hearing is held their supposed witness isn’t available even thought prior notice was given. Isn’t there a statue of time limitation regarding payment? It’s not the ex employee’s fault they didn’t have their witness right?

    1. James,

      If it’s not the ex-employees’ fault and a determination is made against the claimant, he/she has the right to “Appeal” the decision. Please make sure supporting documents are provided during the hearing.

  14. My claim for unemployment was denied they said I did not make enough in my base period for July thru Sept which was 14k I work ed at company from July thru Nov I applied in Jan…If I apply later in Feb would they count all the money?

  15. My unemployment Benefits ran out , and I’m still unemployment. How do I go about filing for an extension of benefits here in Houston Texas

    1. Larry,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  16. I am working full time and there is a temporary lay off looming in the future. I am 66 and draw Social Security also. Do I qualify for Unemployment during this lay off period.

    1. John,

      A temporary layoff is not considered in most states. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. Are they doing any EUC- extended benefits like a tier 1 if unemployment compensation is running out and not employed yet?

        1. Ash,

          The EUC remains expired and unavailable. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire about the availability of “Extended Benefits”.

  17. If I am offered the option of severance or probation period where if I make 1 more mistake, I will be fired and I opt to take the severance, will I be eligible for Texas unemployment?

    1. Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  18. Wanting to know if congress will be voting on extending Dua benefits for Texas. The end is coming fast. And we have not re-opened yet. We got no help from fema or sba.

    1. Lisa,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have work and earnings within the prescribed quantum. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to ascertain.

  19. 8/6/17 I turned in a 3 week notice. Owner asked me if i had anthing else lined up. I told him no. He said in that case, I will accept your resignation, effective immediately after you shift you are working.
    I filed for unemployment on 8/23/17. It still says pending review as of 10/02/17. He has since sold his company. What should I expect to happen now. TIA

    1. Lisa,

      It looks like you resigned voluntarily. If you did, I am not sure if you qualify to receive UI benefits. Please call the Claims Center for an update on status.

    1. Maximo,

      If you have benefits remaining in your account, you should ideally be continuing to claim from the same account. Please call the Claims Center for instructions.

  20. Help!! I have been locked out of the system. I filed unemployment in 2013– and need to again. I do not know/remember the old password and the system won’t let me in– only says to “call in”. Calling in says to go ONLINE. Is there a online support that can reset/unlock? Is there an office to go into in Austin for help? I am stuck– Thank you!

    1. Nancy,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  21. Years ago I had to claim UI benefits. I seem to recall having a PT job as being a requirement along with searching for a FT job. Am I wrong? Also, can a person who’s currently receiving obtain a PT job and, if so, what are the requirements so that they can still receive UI benefits? For example, do they have a limit on the pay or hrs worked?

  22. If I file for my wait week, can I still apply for that last week or if I apply for my wait week I can no longer apply for benefits?

    1. Once approved, you can continue applying for weekly benefits during the designated day(s).

      Make sure to apply regularly for timely payments.

  23. The doctor I work for, is selling out. I was told by the new company that my pay rate and my hours could not be guaranteed. Does the new company have to offer my pay rate within a certain percantage in order for me to have to take the job or can I file for unemployment?

    1. This is a tricky situation. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to probe specific laws in your state.

    1. You will get this information in 1099-G. Please visit the official website to request for one or call the Claims Center.

  24. i have applied since apr 1 the website referred me to a toll free number…i have tried several times since then and the call volume prevents me from doing so….i have beenb off work since march 30…is ther any other alternative method for applying

  25. The company I work for sold to a new owner. I didnt get notice of the sell until 1 week prior. The new owner is making lots of changes and the office has no structure. I have expressed my concerns to him via text and small group meetings. A lot of promises made but the office is still a mess. He has just now given us the handbook to sign. If I quit will i qualify for benefits before I sign the agreement

    1. If you quit voluntarily, you may not qualify. Please tread carefully.

      I would suggest that you contact the Unemployment Office for further advice.

  26. To qualify for unemployment, must you have been working at the same job in each of the base periods or does employment from another job count?

  27. How do I get a new pin for my unemployment claim? I have called several times and am unable to get through.

    1. The application can take anywhere between 7-10 working days to be processed. You will receive the paperwork by mail.

  28. I received a call from Rosie Brown on Tuesday March 14, 2017 and she left a message stating she needed to speak with me and that my closing date was on today March 20, 2017. I returned her call and left a message on March 15, 2017. I then called and left 2 messages on Thursday March 16, 3 messages on Friday March 17 and left another callback message today March 20 2017 at 2:45 PM and she still has not called me back. I think is very UNFAIR, UNETHICAL and demonstrates DELIBERATE INDIFFERNCE that I have not received a callback having left SO many messages and that my closing date is TODAY, March 20 2017. Should I not get an extension on the closing date since I have not been contacted in any manner by Rosie Brown?? Why have I not been contacted??

    1. I can understand your frustration. Please note this is a private forum. If you haven’t heard back from Rosie, please call the generic Claims Center phone number and chase for an update.

  29. i was working part-time and the company declared bankrupcy. I am collecting social security. I am 68 yrs old. Can I collect any benefits?

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