Texas Unemployment Appeal
The last thing you want to hear after losing your job is that your Texas unemployment application was denied. But, there is some good news. Even if your unemployment benefits claim is initially denied by the Texas Workforce Commission, you can still appeal the state’s decision without having to get a lawyer.
3 Levels of the Texas Unemployment Appeal Process
- Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
- Appeal to the Commission
- Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civic Court
Let’s take a look at the three levels of the Texas unemployment appeal process.
1. Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
The first level of appeal is an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, which is a telephone hearing. Under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, the Appeal Tribunal is the name given to a hearing officer who holds an unemployment insurance hearing. In order to begin the Texas unemployment appeal process and schedule an appeal hearing date, you must file a written appeal within 14 days of receiving your Determination Notice.
Once you submit your appeal in writing to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Appeal Tribunal will mail you a TWC agency information packet that includes the date and time of your telephone hearing. Keep in mind that it can take up to 6-8 weeks to hear back. You will be sent your information packet 5-10 days before your hearing.
During your telephone hearing, you and your employer may present testimony, documents, and witnesses pertaining to your case. The hearing officer assigned to your case will mail you a letter with their decision on your unemployment appeal.
2. Appeal to the Commission
If you are unhappy with the Appeal Tribunal’s decision on your case, then you can escalate your appeal to the next level. The second level of the appeal process is an appeal to the Commission. After you receive the Appeal Tribunal’s decision in the mail, you have up to 14 days to send an appeal to the Commission in writing.
After receiving your written appeal, the Commission will review a recording of your phone hearing. They will examine your case, make their own ruling, and notify you of their decision.
3. Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court
If your claim is denied by the Commission, you can go to the third level of appeal. There are two options for the third level of the appeal process: Motion for Rehearing by the Commission or Appeal to a Civil Court.
A Motion for Rehearing can be requested within 14 days of getting your Commission decision letter. However, your request for a Motion for Rehearing will only be granted if you have new information to give, a good reason for not presenting the new information at your first appeal hearing, and a reason why you believe the new information could alter the decision of your claim.
However, TWC will grant the rehearing only if you present:
- New crucial details about your case
- Why you think the new information may change your case result
- A compelling reason for not presenting the information earlier
You also have the option to appeal to a Civil Court. You have to file an appeal to the Civil Court 15-28 days after receiving your Commission decision letter. Specific instructions are given on how to appeal to a Civil Court in this letter.
How to File an Appeal in Texas
When appealing, you should provide several details, such as:
- Your name
- Your current address
- Your Social Security Number
- A copy of the Determination Notice
- The date on which TWC sent you the Determination Notice
- Dates on which you won’t be available for a hearing
You will need to file a written appeal each time you proceed through another level of the appeal process. For an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, Commission, or Motion for Rehearing, you have up to 14 days after receiving your claim denial letter to submit your appeal in writing. An appeal to a Civil Court must be filed between 15-28 days after getting your Commission decision letter.
When filing an appeal, you will need to include your name, Social Security number, address of your current residence, the date your Determination Notice was mailed to you, a copy of your Determination Notice, and dates during which you will not be able to attend a hearing.
You can file an appeal in-person at a Workforce Solutions office. You can also appeal online, mail or fax options for filing an appeal. You cannot file an appeal over the phone or through email.
For an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, you can mail your appeal to the following address:
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St, Rm 410
Austin, TX 78778-0001
Fax Number: 512-475-1135
Commission Appeal / Motion for Rehearing
For a Commission Appeal or Motion for Rehearing, you can mail your appeal to this address:
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St, Rm 678
Austin, TX 78778
Fax Number: 512-475-2044
To file a Texas unemployment appeal online, you will need to log on to Unemployment Benefits Services at ui.texasworkforce.org. From your home Texas Workforce page, you can select the option to submit an appeal. Make sure your contact information is correct, and if it is not, then change it on the first page of your appeal form.
Then, you can proceed to fill out the rest of the unemployment appeal form with your details and reason for appealing. Once you finish filling out the online appeal form, remember to submit the appeal. You will be given a confirmation number and can send supporting documents over fax or mail.
After you submit an unemployment appeal using any of these methods, you can check the status of the appeal and manage unemployment claims online at Unemployment Benefits Services, or by calling or emailing the appropriate department.
Why Was My Claim Denied?
Understanding why your Texas unemployment claim was denied can help you decide whether it is worth it to file an appeal or not. Whether you applied for regular unemployment benefits or temporary unemployment benefits like pandemic unemployment assistance, the most common reasons for a denial are similar.
Not everyone who is out of work qualifies for unemployment benefits. Unemployment compensation is only for employees who lost jobs for reasons beyond their control. If you were fired for misconduct or quit your job, your unemployment claim will be denied. However, it may be worth filing a Texas unemployment appeal if you can prove that you were fired or quit due to unsafe or unlawful work conditions or a violation of employee rights like equal opportunity employment.
In Texas, you also have to meet earnings requirements in order to be eligible for unemployment compensation. You must have earned wages during at least two quarters in the past year before submitting your Texas unemployment application. These earnings have to equal at least 37 times your weekly benefit amount, which you can determine using a Texas unemployment calculator. If you do not meet the earnings requirements, it is probably not worth it to file an appeal.
Another eligibility requirement for Texas unemployment is the job search requirement. You must apply for jobs each week, and if you refuse a work offer, your unemployment claim may be denied. Make sure you pay your unemployment tax at the end of the year and continue filing benefits requests on time, or else your unemployment compensation may be stopped.
If you are not eligible to receive Texas unemployment assistance, keep in mind that there may be other options to help you earn an income, such as job training opportunities.