Texas Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Texas, you may be eligible for Texas Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Texas unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Texas workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online - Use Internet Explorer
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim at your local Texas Workforce Commission Office (M - F, 7:00am to 7:00pm)

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Name, address, phone number, gross earnings, occupation, dates worked, and reason for separation for all employers for the past 18 months
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type

After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive a Statement of Benefits, and a Determination on Payment of Unemployment Benefits describing benefits, eligibility and giving additional information.

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Filing Your Bi-Weekly Claim:

Texas weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately your the average earnings, subject to a minimum of $59 per week and a maximum benefit of $406 per week. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

  1. Online – File your bi-weekly unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your bi-weekly unemployment claim by calling your local Tele-Center number (Sun - Fri 7:00am to 6:00pm CT, El Paso office hours - 6:00am - 5:00am MT)

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting. The Texas Workforce Commission pays the waiting week after your third weekly unemployment benefit is paid.

You should expect your first unemployment benefit payment within 3-4 weeks. Unemployment benefits are paid to a debit card. You should expect payment availability within 4 business days after weekly filing.

Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

Texas workers may be eligible for online career assistance and online training assistance. You may also find career and training assistance at a local Texas Workforce Commission offices.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Texas Workforce Commission.

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