On this page:
Unemployment benefits provide temporary, partial income replacement for qualified individuals who are unemployed or partially unemployed (working part-time) through no fault of their own. The benefits help unemployed workers who are looking for new jobs. Applicants must meet requirements concerning their past wages and job separation, register for work search on TWC's online job resource, WorkInTexas.com, be able and available for work, and actively look for work.
Employers pay unemployment insurance taxes and reimbursements, which support unemployment benefit payments. Employees do not pay unemployment taxes and employers cannot deduct unemployment taxes from employees' paychecks.
TWC will request job separation and past wage information related to individuals' unemployment claims. It is important for you to respond promptly to our employer notices such as the Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits or Request for Work Separation Information, to help ensure that benefit claims are paid correctly and employer charges are accurate. We send employers written or electronic notice of claims filed if they were the individual's last employer or the claim is based on wages they paid the individual.
The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA) and other state and federal laws and regulations, including the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) govern the unemployment benefits program. The Authority & Funding section of our Unemployment Benefits – Program Overview page provides links for additional laws, regulations and guidance.
TWC evaluates unemployment benefits claims based on the applicant's:
An individual must meet all requirements in each of these three areas to qualify for unemployment benefits. Unemployment Benefits for job seekers and employees provides information for claimants on eligibility requirements.
We use the taxable wages each employer reported paying during the person's base period to calculate benefits. Each employer who paid wages during the base period may be charged for the claim. Employer Unemployment Benefit Chargebacks explains how employers are charged for unemployment benefits.
The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the effective date of the initial claim. The effective date is the Sunday of the week in which the person applies for unemployment benefits.
To be eligible for benefits based on the job separation, the person must be either unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of their own. Examples include layoff, reduction in hours or wages not related to misconduct, being fired for reasons other than misconduct, or quitting with good cause related to work. If you paid wages to the individual during the base period, you would be charged if they received benefits.
Layoffs are due to lack of work, not work performance, so with a layoff the individual may be eligible for benefits. For example, you have no more work available, eliminated the employee's position or closed the business.
If the individual is working but you reduced their hours, they may be eligible for benefits. The reduction in hours must not be the result of a disciplinary action or because of the person's request.
If you ended the individual's employment but he or she was not laid off as defined above, then the individual was fired. If you demanded their resignation, then we consider the individual fired.
A person may be eligible for benefits if they were fired for reasons other than misconduct. Examples of misconduct that could make them ineligible for benefits include violation of company policy, violation of law, neglect or mismanagement of a position, or failure to perform work adequately if capable of doing so.
If the individual chose to end their employment, then he or she quit. Most people who quit their jobs do not receive unemployment benefits. For example, if the person quit the job for personal reasons, such as to return to school full time or stay home with their children, we cannot pay benefits.
The individual may be eligible for benefits if they quit for one of the reasons listed below:
If an individual or their class of workers is financing, participating in or directly involved in a strike, we cannot pay the person benefits during the strike.
If the individual and their class of workers are not financing, participating in or directly involved in the strike, he or she may be eligible for benefits.
TWC protects the employer's account from charge in approved Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) cases. Individuals who lose their jobs or businesses as a direct result of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States may qualify for federal DUA. The person must exhaust regular unemployment benefits before applying for DUA. Applicants can learn more about DUA claims at Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
To receive payments, claimants must meet both the initial requirements for establishing a payable unemployment benefits claim and additional ongoing requirements. Ongoing Eligibility Requirements for Receiving Unemployment Benefits provides details for job seekers and employees.
A claimant who is disqualified from receiving benefits may be able to end the disqualification through work or earnings. The Learning the Result of Your Application for Benefits page for claimants provides information on how to end a disqualification.
To request unemployment benefit payment, totally or partially unemployed claimants submit a payment request online or by phone every two weeks for the previous two-week period. When requesting payment, they answer several questions regarding their work and earnings and whether they met eligibility requirements during the claim period.
When making a payment request, claimants must report hours worked and gross earnings (before deductions) from any full-time, part-time or temporary work; net profit from self-employment; vacation or holiday pay; and commissions. Those earnings must be reported even though the claimant may not have yet received payment. There are no exceptions. TWC computes how much a claimant can earn before we deduct those earnings from their weekly benefit amount plus 25%. Claimants who earn more than their weekly benefit amount plus 25% cannot receive benefits for that week.
Unemployment benefit amounts are based on the eligible individual's past wages, within the current minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts in Texas. The Eligibility & Benefit Amounts page for job seekers and employees provides information for claimants on how we calculate weekly and maximum benefit amounts, and includes an online unemployment benefits estimator.
A laid-off employee who receives wages instead of notice or most other severance pay is eligible for benefits after the weeks covered by those wages.
Wages paid instead of notice of layoff are payments an employer makes to an employee who is separated without receiving prior notice. Texas law prohibits individuals from qualifying for unemployment benefits while receiving wages paid instead of notice of layoff. We make a decision on whether the wages paid instead of notice of layoff affect the claimant’s benefits.
You must report any wages paid instead of notice of layoff to TWC when you respond to the Notice of Application. To respond, log on to the Unemployment Insurance Employer Response to Notice of Application system.
Severance pay is a sum of money an employee is eligible to receive upon job separation. You may have a company policy to pay severance pay. Texas law prohibits individuals from qualifying for unemployment benefits while receiving certain types of severance pay. We make a decision on whether the severance pay affects the claimant’s benefits.
You must report any severance pay to TWC when you respond to the Notice of Application. To respond, log on to the Unemployment Insurance Employer Response to Notice of Application system.
TWC can pay benefits to claimants who are noncitizens only if they are authorized to work in the United States. Noncitizens must give us their Alien Registration number so that we can verify their status with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS cannot verify that the claimant is currently authorized to work in the United States, we cannot pay benefits. TWC can only use wages earned legally to compute benefits.
TWC considers the following when determining eligibility for unemployment benefits for teachers and school employees working in a noninstructional position:
If You Worked For a School provides information for job seekers and employees who have worked for an educational institution.