Before You Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Texas
Apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits on ui.texasworkforce.org or by calling a Tele-Center. Be sure you have:
- your last employer’s name and mailing address
- start and end dates of your last job
- your alien registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen.
If you were part of a mass layoff, your employer provides the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) with information for part of your claim. Then we send you instructions on how to complete your application for benefits.
Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Benefits
- Past wages: You must have earned enough wages in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of your claim.
- Last work: You must be unemployed or partially unemployed through no fault of your own.
- Able and available: You must be able and available for work. Unless TWC exempts you from this requirement, you must look for work and keep a detailed record of your work search activities
After You Apply for Unemployment Benefits
It can take about four weeks after you apply for benefits to determine whether you are eligible to receive benefits. While we are reviewing your claim:
1. Complete your work search application within three business days of applying for benefits. Follow the instructions at www.WorkInTexas.com. Click logon as job seeker. Or, register at any Workforce Solutions office.
2. Look for work each week and keep a log of your work search activities.
3. Set up your 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). You need a PIN to request benefits and get information on your claim. Do not share your PIN with anyone.
4. Read the Unemployment Benefits Handbook and benefit statement we send you. The benefit statement includes:
- the four calendar quarters used to calculate your benefits
- wages your employer(s) reported paying you during each quarter
- whether you earned enough wages to receive benefits
- the amount of benefits you may receive.
5. Request benefit payments See next column for instructions.
Request Unemployment Benefits Payments
You must request payment to receive unemployment benefits.
Useui.texasworkforce.org or Tele-Serv, our automated telephone system. We send you instructions on how and when to request payment.
- If you worked during your claim week, you must report those wages as instructed when you request payment.
- Eligibility: If you qualified for benefits and requested payment, we will begin depositing benefits to your account. If you do not qualify, we will notify you by mail and you may appeal the decision.
- Waiting Week: We hold your benefits for the first payable week as the waiting week. TWC pays the waiting week after we pay you three times your weekly amount.
- Additional payment from employer: If you received an additional payment, such as severance pay or wages instead of advance notice of layoff, you do not receive benefits for the weeks covered by the payment. However, you should apply for benefits and request payment. You get no money during this period, but you will have served your waiting week.
- Pensions: Some pensions, retirement pay, and annuities may reduce your benefits.