Texas Unemployment Weekly Claims
During each week you claim benefits, you must:
Make an active search for full-time work, unless TWC (Texas Workforce Commission) lets you off from this requirement
The purpose of filing a weekly certification is to tell the unemployment agency that you:
- Are physically able to work
- Are available for full-time work
- Are Applying for and accepting suitable work
- Did not do any work this week.
- Did not make any money this week
- Did not find another job
- Still want to receive an unemployment check or payment this week
Therefore, it is very important to file your weekly claims every week to keep receiving your unemployment check.
If you holdup in filing your weekly claims, you may not get your unemployment check on time.
How to file a weekly claim in Texas
To continue collecting Texas unemployment benefits, you must request payment every two weeks. As long as you have an active claim—meaning, you applied for benefits and were approved—you can request your biweekly benefits payment. To maintain ongoing Texas unemployment eligibility requirements, you must report your weekly wages and/or earnings (if any) and complete the required number of work search activities for the week.
How to request your Texas Unemployment Benefit payment online
To request your benefit payment online, you will need access to the internet. Visit the TWC web portal and request your payment every two weeks once you are approved for unemployment benefits.
If you don’t have internet, you can call Unemployment Benefits Services at 800-558-8321 and request payment via Tele-Serv. Have your Social Security number ready and also the PIN you created when you applied for unemployment benefits.
What you need to get started
To log in to the benefits portal, you will need your user ID and password. If you haven’t created one of these already, scroll down to the bottom of the menu and you will see an option for creating one. Otherwise, you can elect to log in with your existing user ID and password. You will also need your Social Security Number, information about your weekly earnings (if applicable), and your work search activities. Also, be sure to have the Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you got when you signed up for Unemployment Benefits Services.
When to request payment
When you apply for unemployment benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission sends you a document in the mail entitled Instructions for Requesting Benefit Payments. Hold on to this document, because it will tell you the first date you can file, your tele-serve filing day, and your tele-serve filing number. It will also give you instructions on how to file over the phone or online.
How to calculate your biweekly payment day
If your payment day is Tuesday, you should request payment on the second Tuesday after that. Note that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are open filing days. However, you should make a point to request your unemployment benefits on your designated day so you don’t forget. At the very least, you must request payment in the same week as your requested benefits date, even if you miss the specific day and file it on one of the open filing days.
If you completely miss the week, even the open filing days, you must call a customer service representative (CSR) at the Tele-Center as soon as possible, by calling 800-939-6631 for further instructions. Please keep in mind that if your request is filed late, benefits may be late or even denied entirely.
There is no need to calculate your biweekly payment day because it will be printed on the documents sent to you by the TWC. If you forget this day, you can call 800-558-8321 and select option 2 to find out, or by logging in online and looking at the menu option of Claim and Payment status. Either way, it’s a good idea to set a reminder on your phone or write down the day on your calendar, so that you make sure to file your payment.
How to request payment
Under Quick Links, you will hit the option for payment request. Read through the Truth in Filing page and accept the terms, so that you agree to use only personal information relative to you and your claim, make an honest report of your worked hours and wages, and keep a record of your work search activities. It’s this page that indicates you are filing your claim free of fraud and with honest intentions and representation.
The next page is the Begin Payment Request page. You have the option of changing your current payment options (more on that later). If you request benefit payment after 6 PM, TWC will complete the claim in two business days.
On the next page, Work and Other Income, you will need to answer a few simple questions in order to secure your temporary unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that if you were filing for pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, this page looked different than the page for regular unemployment benefits. The regular unemployment page does not have the full list of reasons applicable to filing for pandemic unemployment assistance.
On a separate page, Ability and Availability, you will need to indicate whether or not you were physically able and available to work, and why or why not. Were there any issues such as transportation, childcare, job restrictions, or personal reasons? Did you turn down any job offer or referral? Did you attend school, vocational rehabilitation, or training? Are you a U.S. Citizen?
Now it’s time to report your work search. You need to list how many contacts you made with a potential employer during the week. Keep in mind that this varies by county in Texas, so make sure that you are applying for the minimum number of jobs. Also on this page, there is a friendly reminder that the TWC may request your work search activity log at any time.
The final part of your Texas unemployment weekly claim is the review page and the certify and submit page. Remember that as you file for unemployment assistance ongoingly, you must keep up with Texas unemployment job search requirements.
How to change your payment option
When you file your unemployment claim you can also change your method of unemployment compensation. Unemployment insurance benefits can be issued to a TWC debit card managed by US Bancorp. If you want to have your unemployment insurance go to direct deposit, you should select the Electronic Correspondence Signup. You can also change the mailing address on your claim.
How to report work and other income
On the Work and Income Page, those collecting UI benefits will need to answer some simple yes or no questions: did you work? Did you earn vacation or holiday pay? This page will have two claim weeks on there, and these two questions will appear for each week. You will need to report any income or wages, which may impact your weekly benefit amount. Find out more by crunching the numbers with the Texas unemployment calculator. It is your responsibility to report other income such as retirement income, workers compensation, or any other additional payments.