Filing for Unemployment Benefits

Apply for unemployment benefits online or by calling 800-939-6631. Don’t wait! Apply as soon as you are laid off because your claim begins the week you complete the application.

What Will I Need To Get Started?

  • Your last employer’s name and mailing address.
  • The start and end dates of your last job.
  • Your alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Am I Eligible?

  • You must be unemployed, or partially unemployed, through no fault of your own.
  • You must be able and available for work. Unless exempt, you must actively look for work and keep a detailed record of your job search.
  • You must have earned sufficient wages in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters leading up to your unemployment claim. This means wages in the completed quarter right before you file aren’t included! Example: if you are laid off and file for unemployment benefits in April, TWC does not count your wages from January through March. They look at your wages January through December of the prior year to see if you made enough to qualify for unemployment.

I’ve Applied. Now What?

  • Within three days, go online to or visit a local Workforce Solutions office in person, and complete your job seeker registration.
  • Each week, actively search for your next job and track what you’re doing to find work on the TWC Work Search Log (PDF).
  • Read the documents TWC sends you! Check over your benefit statement for the following information:
    • Which four calendar quarters were used to calculate your benefits.
    • The wages reported by your employer.
    • A decision on if you earned enough to qualify for benefits.
    • The amount you may receive.

I’ve Qualified. How Do I Get My Benefits?

  • Request benefit payments by logging into your TWC account or calling 800-558-8321. You must request payment in order to receive benefits! Benefit requests (and payments) are made biweekly for as long as you are eligible.
  • Select a payment option. Payments can be made through direct deposit with your banking information or paid to you via debit card.
  • Maintain your work search log, and ensure you are conducting a minimum of three job search activities weekly to remain eligible.

What’s A "Waiting Week"?

Payment for your first week of unemployment eligibility is held back (per Texas law). This means your first benefit deposit will only be for one week instead of two. Be sure to still claim your first week so you get credit for it though! After your next biweekly benefit payment, TWC will release payment to you for that first "waiting week."

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