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File for Unemployment in Texas
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
The fastest way receive benefits is to file for unemployment online by using ui.texasworkforce.org. If you were previously employed by the Federal Government, filed for unemployment in a state other than Texas in the past 12 months, have a mailing address out of the United States or are out of work from a natural disaster, you will be asked to complete your application from the Texas Workforce Commission Tele-Center.
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File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
To begin filing, you will need to set up a User ID and Password. If you have never filed for benefits, than you will select the option to “Sign up for a TWC Internet User ID.” This link will take you to a series of questions to verify your identity and allow you to create a User ID and Password that will be used whenever you access the TWC page.
If you have previously used the TWC page or WorkInTexas.com, then you will go to the link that states “Returning users, logon here.”
Once you have logged in and begin your application, it is important that you fully complete the application (information will not be saved) until you receive a confirmation number at the end of the process. As you go through the application, you will be asked to include information on the following topics: personal contact, statistical data, citizenship, last employment details, labor union, pension, and other additional questions.
At the end of the application, you will have the opportunity to review your information and make any final changes or edits. When complete, click submit and wait for a confirmation number. Print the confirmation page and go to the next page, which provides details on the requirements to maintain eligibility for UI benefits.
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
As you are filing, you will need to the following information readily available:
- Your last employer’s address, phone number and the name of the business
- Specific dates (include month, day and year) that you worked for your previous employer
- The specific number of hours and pay rate worked the week that benefits were filed (if applicable)
- Specific salary requirements based on what you normally get paid (normal wage) that you will be seeking. This number cannot be more than 120% of the salary range earned during your base period
- Social Security Number (or Alien Registration Number if not a U.S. citizen).
Claim Weekly Benefits
In Texas, those collecting unemployment benefits must claim them every two weeks. This process verifies that you are still unemployed per the circumstances at the beginning of your claim, the minimum job searches are being completed, and that you are available and able to work. If anything has changed, updates can be made so that benefits can be adjusted.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
When initial eligibility is determined, you will be given a scheduled day to request payment. On the day provided, utilize ut.texasworkforce.org and provide the requested information. For timely payment, be sure to contact TWC on your scheduled day (and every two weeks thereafter) before 6 P.M. CST. Payment will then be provided to one of the payment options below.
There are two options for receiving payment: direct deposit or debit card.
- Bank Debit Card is the default selection if direct deposit details have not been entered at ui.texasworkforce.org. If this is your first time receiving benefits, then you will receive a card in the mail within seven days of your first payment being requested.
- Direct Deposit can be set up through ui.texasworkforce.org through the Payment Option page. You will need to provide the routing number and account number for your bank and it can take up to eight days to be verified.
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
The Texas Workforce Commission is the only agency that has the authority to make a decision on an unemployment benefit claim. That being said, you do have the right to participate in three different levels of appeals if you do not agree with their decision. All appeals must be completed through TWC and per the designated timeframes.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
The three levels include appeals to the following organizations:
- Appeal Tribunal
To begin the appeal process, it must be filed through a written form within 14 days of receiving the Determination Notice. It cannot be provided through email or over the phone (only in person, fax, or mailed directly). The appeal letter should include your name, Social Security Number, address, copy of determination notice, and availability for a hearing.
The first appeal will be via a telephone hearing with the claimant, employer, and Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will record the testimony and gather any relevant documents and information needed for the record to be complete. The decision will then be mailed to the parties of interest.
- Texas Workforce Commission
If there is disagreement with the Appeal Tribunal, it can be appealed to the Commission. The Commission will listen to the original recorded hearing and review all documents to provide a ruling.
- Civil Court or Motion for Rehearing
A final appeal can be made to a Civil Court only if new information can be provided that would change the decision along with valid reasoning why said information was not provided originally.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
There are several options for appealing a denied claim:
- Mail or fax: (contact information can be found on the appeal form);
- In person at the local Workforce Solutions Office.