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Texas Unemployment Extension

What Are Texas Unemployment Extended Benefits?

Texas unemployment extended benefits constitute a special program of benefits available to unemployed Texans during extremely high periods of national unemployment. Under this program, the Texas Workforce Commission will pay extended benefits to those receiving unemployment compensation if the average total unemployment rate in Texas exceeds 6.5% after it is seasonally adjusted.

The federal government pays 50% of these extended benefits, while the remaining half are funded in the same manner as regular unemployment benefits. In addition, governmental employers are required to pay 100% of extended benefits paid to former employees.

For those receiving Texas unemployment assistance, an extended benefit amount will equal the same amount as their weekly benefit amount under their regular benefits program. Extended benefits will be paid until either the recipient has exhausted all available extended benefits weeks or the state unemployment level falls below the “trigger” level for extended benefits. Texas’ last instance of implementing unemployment extended benefits ended in September of 2021.

If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits and still meet the eligibility conditions to receive compensation in Texas, you might be able to receive extended unemployment benefits by either state or federal unemployment extension programs of Texas.

As of November 2022, Texas no longer offers any unemployment extensions or extended benefits. Extended benefits will return when the Texas unemployment rate gets too high.

Eligibility Requirement for Extended Benefits

To qualify for extended benefits in Texas, an applicant must:

  • Have already exhausted all benefits through the state’s regular unemployment benefits program
  • Not qualify for regular unemployment benefits either in Texas or in any other state
  • Have a base period income that equals at least 40 times the weekly benefit amount or 1.5 times earnings from the highest quarter
  • Have no disqualifications associated with the UI record
  • Show at least one week within the benefit year that begins in an extended benefits eligibility period

If you qualify for extended benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission will contact you to let you know and to advise on any next steps. You also may find the Texas unemployment calculator helpful in anticipating your benefit amount.

As with regular unemployment assistance, you must be able, available, and actively searching for suitable work while receiving extended unemployment benefits in Texas. However, the details for Texas unemployment job search requirements during an extended benefits period are slightly different. Applicants receiving unemployment extended benefits must search for work each week. Work search activities can include networking, sending out applications, and resumes, and attending job interviews.

You must apply for any position referred to you by the Texas Workforce Commission. You must also use the TWC’s extended benefits job search log to carefully document and submit your efforts – so keep a copy for your records. The TWC requires that you submit your work search log within seven days of the date on which you request benefits.

One of the TWC’s chief requirements for extended benefits, as with regular unemployment benefits, is that you accept any suitable employment that is offered to you.

According to the TWC, a job is suitable if:

  • You can physically and mentally perform the tasks associated with the job
  • The pay is equal to or greater than your weekly benefit amount or is equal to or greater than the state minimum wage (whichever is greater)
  • The position was listed and offered through WorkInTexas.com, MyTXCareer.com, or any Workforce Solutions Office

If you fall out of compliance with any of these criteria – for example, failing to document and submit your work search activities or refusing a suitable job that is offered to you, the TWC may suspend your benefits. You can reinstate them by returning to work for at least four weeks, or earning a minimum of four times your weekly benefit amounts. You must also lose this work through no fault of your own. If all of these criteria are met, the TWC may resume your extended benefits.

Types of Extended Benefit

There are two types of extended unemployment benefits under the Texas Workforce Commission. These programs make it possible for the long-term unemployed to continue receiving monthly assistance while searching for work.

  • Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC); and
  • Extended Benefits (EB).

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

Emergency Unemployment Compensation offers an additional number of weeks. Texas currently pays EUC Tiers 1, 2, and 3.

For the Regular UI claim, you will be able to get the benefit for up to 26 weeks.

Tiers of Extended Unemployment Benefits

There are four tiers of unemployment benefits at present. A tier of unemployment is an extension of a definite amount of weeks of jobless benefits. Each tier offers extra weeks of unemployment in addition to basic state unemployment benefits.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Tiers through September 2012:

  1. Tier 1: 20 weeks or 80% of your regular claim, whichever is less
  2. Tier 2: 14 weeks or 54% of your regular claim, whichever is less
  3. Tier 3: 13 weeks or 50% of your regular claim, whichever is less

You must exhaust each level (Tier) of benefits before applying for an extension.

Tier 1: If you run out of regular benefits by the deadline, TWC mails you a EUC application that you complete and return to TWC. If you are eligible for EUC, TWC mails you a letter showing the amount you are eligible for on your EUC claim.

Tier 2 & 3: If you run out of your prior EUC tier by the deadline, TWC automatically adds the next tier to your claim.

Texas COVID Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Extension

In March 2020, the federal government passed the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide temporary financial relief to those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The relief measures included Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), etc. These programs took effect in March. However, lately, the state of Texas triggered a state extended unemployment benefits program that provides additional 13 weeks of unemployment assistance.

Typically, Texans can receive the benefits for 26 weeks. However, under the extended unemployment benefits program, Texans could collect the payment for 52 weeks.

The extension comes after the previously extended unemployment benefits for 13 weeks under the federal’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) relief measure. The new extension took effect on May 31.

Self-employed workers, gig workers, and independent contractors can collect extended benefits, provided they have exhausted their benefits under the PUA program.

A Closer Look at Extended Pandemic Benefits

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Texas administered several additional programs to help protect workers suffering from pandemic-related unemployment. For the most part, these were federal programs that were instituted at the state level.

Among them were benefits associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020, which stipulated that unemployed workers who were self-employed, seeking part-time work, or for other reasons would not typically qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law could be eligible for some level of financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provided up to 39 weeks of unemployment compensation for workers impacted by COVID-19 and covered those who are self-employed, who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation, or who had exhausted regular state unemployment benefits.

The Texas Workforce Commission also made available assistance through the Pandemic Emergency Compensation Program (PEUC), which was a CARES Act extension of regular unemployment benefits that was available during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to workers who had exhausted their allotted 26 weeks of unemployment compensation without finding work. People in this situation were able to use available weeks of PEUC before needing to qualify for extended benefits.

Texans were able to receive state extended unemployment benefits in the week that ended on July 4, which is 13 weeks after the first extension (PEUC) that took effect in the state. Before collecting their additional 13 weeks of state extended benefits, claimants first had to exhaust their regular 26 weeks and the additional 13 weeks under PEUC.

The federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (PUC or FPUC) was a supplemental unemployment benefit intended to provide additional assistance to recipients of both regular and PUA benefits. For four months during 2020, PUC added $600 to all unemployment recipients’ benefits each week.

This original program expired on July 31, 2020, but was revived with the Continued Assistance Act in December 2020, and again by the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. With this second revision, the weekly supplement was reduced to $300 per week. This additional benefit was intended at the federal level to remain in place through September 6, 2021, though Texas Governor Greg Abbott put an end to Texas’ participation in the program in June of 2021, citing Texas’ improving economy.

  1. I not 100% sure on the extended unemployment benefits check with your Congressional person. I believe the unemployment extension has to be approved by Congress. Hope this helps

  2. I am 68 yrs old. Worked all my life except for the 4yrs I spent in Vietnam. and they tell me that the 20 weeks of unemployment benefits that are about to expire are all that I qualify for. sure makes it hard to understand why if every employer is delivering so much per employee to the unemployment fund what happened to the 40 yrs worth from 15 different employers. thats an awfull lot of dollars. I think there must be more hands in the pot then there should be.

  3. I was fired from my job and disqualifies from benefits. I then proceeded to find a job and got laid which then took my disqualification off. I received benefits for 13 and it has ended and I still have not been able to find work. Who can I contact for help? single father with 1 child, bills PAST DUE,foreclosure on home, and I had to file bankruptcy. Is there any one I can call to help me financially till I can find work?

    • Alex,

      I can understand your situation. Please call the Claims Center to inquire about extended benefits in your state. Otherwise, this is the end of the claims story.

      • Sam,
        Are there extended benefits in Texas? I have a job starting in one month however my federal benefits claim just ended. I am needing one month additionally to cover basic living expenses.
        Thank you,

        • Melissa,

          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.

  4. My eligibility year ended but I have a couple of weeks left to claim my regular benefits. I’ve only received 19 weeks. My year started may 16, 2016, but I found work in July 2016, but was fired december 28, 2016. Aren’t we supposed to receive all regular benefits until they run out? I know I won’t get an extension. I’m just wondering will it be able to get my last two weeks of regular benefits.

    • 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.

  5. My benefit year expires on April 17 2017 and still have not found a job over a year. Can I reapply for unemployment in Texas

    • Unemployment Benefits are not revolving in nature. You will only be able to apply for and receive them for one full cycle.

  6. I was laid off late February 2016 and immediately acquired part time work. It is now January 2017 and I still have not exhausted my benefits. What happens to my remaining benefits when my “benefit year” ends? Can I still request payment since I still have a considerable amount of remaining benefits?

  7. I wanted to add th tect talking about benefit year. Benefits Remaining
    Benefits Remaining is the total amount of benefits you have left during your benefit year (your maximum possible benefits minus your benefits paid to date and any disqualification amount).
    Benefit Year
    Benefit Year is the yearlong period your Unemployment Benefits claim will be in effect.

    Once your benefit year is in effect, the beginning and ending dates of the benefit year may not be changed. Your benefit year remains in effect for the specified period even if your claim changes in some way.

    For example, if you receive all of your benefits before your benefit year ends, you may not receive additional benefits until your next benefit year begins. If you are disqualified from receiving benefits any time during your benefit year, you may not start a new benefit year until that benefit year ends.

    THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING

  8. My benefits started Jun 3, 2016. I am in oil and gas submitting on average 25 applications a week and knocking down doors and no luck. I have expanded my horizons. I believe my benefits will run out early dec. I understand there are no federal extensions but I read that when a new benefit year i.e. Jan 1, 2017 that I can apply again. Is this correct?

    • Unemployment Insurance benefits are not revolving in nature. You will only be able to apply for one cycle as per the approval.

      Please call the Claims Center for further details in this regard.

  9. My 26 weeks just ended so no benefit money remains.
    Am I supposed to continue submitting a payment request every 2 weeks for the full 52 weeks even though no more money is in the account?
    Nothing stated anywhere tells me what to do when money runs out. Thanks

    • 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.

      That should pretty much be the end of your benefits cycle.

  10. Is there any hope that the unemployment benefits will be extended anytime soon ?
    With the massive layoffs in our state due to oil and gas downturn, there’s a lot of folks out there that are really struggling.. myself included. Unfortunately I don’t even qualify for any other assistance either, because I worked Jan 2016-March 2016 which put me over min income requirements for all programs. Extended UI would help a lot right now.

    • Well, to be honest, the EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) has been lying untouched since the end of 2013 and I do not personally see a hope.

      You may contact the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire about state sponsored benefits.

  11. My Benefits were very short May-End of August. Last payment just requested and is well under $100. What can I do? Will they extend my benefits till I find employment or am I SOL?

    • 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.

  12. I was laid off 7/2015. Received Texas Unemployment benefits til expired 6 months later. I still have not found work and my year anniversary comes 7/2016. I have been advised by Workforce Commission if I still have no job by July, re-apply for benefits. They will not commit to if I will or not receive further benefit but they seem promising. Any ideas about likely hood of ongoing benefit via State?

  13. My 26 weeks of EUC will run out about June. f I haven’t found a job is their any extension or anything I can do?

    • 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.

      E.B is state specific.

    • 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.

  14. I was recently medically discharged from the military service but haven’t found a job yet while I was transitioning to a new career field . Most of the employers want people with experience but I haven’t completed my degree yet. Can I continue to receive my unemployment benefits? I didn’t have to look for a job but I was looking for employment so I can get hands on training for my new career.

    • Please seek advice from the labor authorities in your state before pursuing studies.

      You can call the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

  15. I have exhausted all my benefits, therefore I was out of work since April – July 7th. Will I be allowed to request payments for the months I did not receive unemployment because no extensions allowed. My time to reply is July 15th, therefore I wanted to know before I request payment

    • Please speak the representatives of the labor dept in your state first.

      If you have exhausted all the benefits,chances are that you will not receive any further extension as they are not available.

  16. Is ther an extension of benefits that I can apply for. My benefits are used up. If so were do I apply?

    • EUC or emergency unemployment compensation is not available at this time.

      Please keep a track of national news on employment and apply if/when extended.

  17. If an individual qualifies for unemployment, How many weeks would they receive? The Tier 1-3 listed over is confusing.

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