The Texas law provides that under certain conditions weekly payments of money may be made to unemployed individuals from an unemployment compensation fund contributed to by employers subject to unemployment taxes or reimbursements under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA) which is Title 4, Subtitle A of the Texas Labor Code.
An unemployed individual can qualify for benefits if during that claimant's Base Period (See What Is A Base Period? explanation below) sufficient wage credits were earned by that claimant from employers covered by the Act on which the claim may be established in accordance with the Act (See How Are Regular Benefits Determined?). Additionally, if you qualified for benefits on a prior claim, you must have earned 6 times your current computed Weekly Benefit Amount since then.
A base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters
immediately preceding the date of an initial claim for unemployment compensation. Base
periods can be determined as follows:
AN ALTERNATE BASE PERIOD may be considered where work is missed due to a medically verifiable illness, injury, disability or pregnancy during a major portion of the base period described above.
The amount of a claimants benefits depends on the amount of qualifying wages they were paid during their base period. The weekly payment for a seven consecutive day period of total unemployment is determined by taking the wage total of the highest calendar quarter in their base period and dividing that total by 25. This weekly payment is called the Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA). If the answer is not an exact dollar amount, it is raised to the next highest dollar amount not to exceed the maximum allowed under the law. The resulting answer (quotient) can be neither less than the current minimum nor more than the current maximum amount per week. These amounts are established in accordance with the Act. The current maximum weekly benefit amount can be obtained through your local claims representative. The total earnings reported in their Base Period must exceed their WBA multiplied by 37 for their claim to be valid. If valid, their Maximum Benefit Amount, or the total benefits for a benefit year, will be the lesser of 27% of the total wages reported in their base period or 26 times their weekly benefit amount. A claimant may also qualify for extended benefits (See What Are Extended Benefits?).
A benefit year is a period of 52 weeks beginning with the effective date of a valid initial claim. The effective date is usually the Sunday preceding the date the claim is filed.
To claim unemployment benefits, claimants must first register for work at a state employment office. After registering for work, they may then file an initial claim for unemployment compensation showing the name of the employer for whom they last worked and the reason for their unemployment.
The claimant's registration for work gives the Texas Workforce Commission an opportunity to help the claimant find a job. A notice of the initial claim is mailed to the last employer named on the claim. Issues arising as a result of statements made on the initial claim or as a result of information received from the employer will cause an investigation to determine a claimant's entitlement to benefits.
After filing an initial claim, claimants may file claim certifications for periods of seven days following the initial claim. The initial claim is not a payable claim. The claim certifications are the basis for making weekly payments of unemployment compensation.
A claimant, during each seven-day period for which benefits are claimed must be less than full-time employed and must not have had earnings equal to or in excess of the weekly amount of unemployment insurance plus $5 or 25% of the weekly benefit amount, whichever is greater. In addition, the claimant must be able to work and must be available for work during the seven days for which the claims are filed. Furthermore, the claimant must make an active search for work. The claimant must also serve a waiting period of one week covered by a payable claim certification before qualifying for any payment of unemployment insurance. The claimant may be paid for this waiting period week claim if, during this benefit year, the claimant receives benefits totaling three times the weekly benefit amount for which the claimant qualified.