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Texas Unemployment Benefit Questions

Updated : March 12th, 2020

When will my first benefit check arrive?

If you are deemed eligible, your first benefit check should arrive during the 3rd or 4th week post filing the initial claim. The payment you receive is for the 2nd payable week and will be issued by the TWC. The first week is considered as the waiting week for which you are eligible but you won’t be awarded any benefit checks during this week. However, you will be paid for the waiting week after the 3rd or 4th week.

If you don’t have any income or deductions and you continue to file your weekly claims, your payments will be as follows:

  1. File claims for 1st and 2nd week – payment will be given for 2nd week alone
  2. File claims for 3rd and 4th weeks – payment will be given for 3 weeks
  3. File claims for other 2 week periods – payment will be awarded for 2 weeks

Are UI Benefits Taxable?

Yes, benefits are taxable.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants you to report your UI benefits as income.  TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) mails statements in January that tell the total amount of benefits paid to you during the calendar year.  You can also call Tele-Serv for the amount.  TWC report this amount directly to the IRS.

You may opt to have a portion of your benefits payment withheld for your taxes. If you wish to do so, then complete and return the tax withholding form we send to you by mail.

What to do if you move From Texas?

Tell TWC right away if you change your mailing address because:

  • Texas Workforce office gives your new address to Chase Bank, which sends you the TWC UI Visa debit card and debit-card account information.
  • The U.S. Postal Service does not forward some TWC documents that require a response. If you do not respond on time, you might not obtain benefits.
  • We mail other important benefit and appeal documents, as well as IRS forms, to the address we have on record, so please keep it current!

Change your address online at Unemployment Benefits Services. After you log on, select Contact information or call a TWC Tele-Center to speak with a customer service representative.

More Questions?? Read Q & A Benefits Section

  1. Hi i applied for benefits a couple days ago and i was wondering when will my application be processed

    1. William,

      There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  2. I am trying to talk to someone, about my benefits, I got an e-mail telling me that I was NOT going to get unemployment, for a certain period, which is understandable, BUT I want to know if I am disqualified for benefits completely or if I am qualified.. I HAVE BEEN CALLING BUT I GET NO ONE ON THE LINE..

    1. Jimmy,

      There will be thousands of applications for the office to be processed. Make sure to check the status at regular intervals. There might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing.

  3. I ALREADY GOT MY TEMPORARY BENEFITS LETTER AND SIGNED UP FOR TWC DEBIT CARD. I CHECKED THE WEBSITE AND I CAN SEE THE AMOUNT THAT I AM ELIGIBLE FOR BUT NO FUNDS BEEN RELEASED. MY QUESTION IS: IS UNEMPLOYMENT DEPOSITING MY BENEFITS AFTER I RECEIVE THE CARD?

    1. Janice,

      That might be correct. Please wait for a couple of days and make contact accordingly if you don’t find the monies.

  4. My claim is telling me to file by mail? And call the center to get papers for that?! What in the world how does that work when you can’t get through? Someone help I’m frustrated and just needing my money to get by

  5. I requested payment and was told that it’d been sent out on a Tuesday, it’s now the following Wednesday and I haven’t received my check. I had requested for direct deposit but it didn’t get approved and was told I’d receive a check for my first payment, but now direct deposit has been approved. How long does it take for me to receive my first physical check? Do I go to the office or call to figure this out?

    1. Danielle,

      Please wait for a response. There will be thousands of applications for the office to be processed. Make sure to check the status at regular intervals.

      1. My husband show for dates March 30-April 11 $0 payment for those dates ? But April 12 and on he applied for this week but we haven’t seen a update on back payment does anyone know why ?

        1. Desire,

          The payment might still be under process. Please ask your husband to check after logging in.

  6. My benefit year is ending April 12, 2020. I will probably exhaust all funds that were calculated for me. Unfortunately with the Covid-19 I have had a reduction in work for the two part-time jobs I have been working. I still have not gotten a job that matches what I had previously been doing when I applied for unemployment. How would I be informed if there is an approved extension of benefits in relationship to the current virus situation. How would I know if it occurs after April 12 that I can get the extension of benefits? well it just carry over from my current unemployment or will I have to reapply again?

    1. Maggie,

      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.

    2. I had to call for them to put me into my extension right away so that There was no gap in my unemployment if you wait they will reach out to you but it took awhile for Them to do that for me Iam glade I called ahead a did it had exhausted my unemployment in March all I did was call them and they updated it to The Covid19 and told me to keep filling as normal

  7. I was out of work for 2 weeks and applied for unemployment. I was approved and received my first payment. I returned to work and requested my waiting week payment. I was told by the state that not only do you have to return to work to receive your waiting week payment but you have to have received TWO unemployment payments in order to get your waiting week. Am I hearing this correctly? Because I went back to work so quickly, I am ineligible to get my money? How is that fair?

    #hopelessinhoustin

    1. This is so crazy. I am in the exact same situation. Employer lays me off, then hires again after 2 weeks, i don’t get paid for waiting week – since i was not unemployed long enough!

  8. I requested my third and fourth week but was only paid for two. According to this forum, I should be paid for three weeks. Does this still apply?

    1. Anne,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center for payment status. Make sure to chase at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    1. Matthew,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim info. Please call the Claims Center for an update on weekly payment.

  9. I am retiring at the end of the year in Texas, as a result of reaching my federal law enforcement ‘mandatory’ retirement age of 57. With this being said, am I able to receive unemployment benefits in Texas?

      1. I filed for my third and fourth week but was paid for two. So, the saying that you will be paid for three weeks after filing third and fourth is not true?

        1. Marie,

          The first week is a “waiting week” and you’ll not be paid for it. Not sure why you haven’t been paid for the other. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  10. If you draw Social Security and have continued to work and you are asked to move and if not you lose your job are you eligible for any benefits?

    1. Virginia,

      You should be able to claim UI benefits along with the SS benefits. Make sure to let the office know about your SS payments at the time of application.

  11. I had to pull my retirement money from the source that was holding it because I no longer work with the state employer (Texas). It is a one-time withdrawal but substantial. Do I report this to TWC? Will it affect my UI?

    1. Yes, please. Go ahead and report all types of income to the Unemployment Office. It might have an impact on the claim amount.

  12. I was denied benefits for one week because I failed to return my work search log upon request (I never received the request, but that is not my question.) I have appealed that decision, but in the meantime it appears that I not only lost that week but they are now charging me another waiting week. Am I misunderstanding that, and if my appeal is successful will the waiting week be paid as well?

    1. Douglas,

      If we’re referring to the initial “Waiting Week”, you’ll not be paid for it. If your claims have been put on hold, you might get paid for it once the file is cleared. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

        1. Ricardo,

          Please call the Unemployment Office right away to find out why it stopped and to take corrective actions.

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