How To Apply For Texas Unemployment Benefits

apply texas unemployment benefits

How To Apply For Texas Unemployment Benefits

In this community resource guide, I will explain how you can apply for unemployment benefits in Texas.

Unemployment benefits is money paid to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. These payments are intended to allow you to keep paying your bills while looking for a new job, as well as assist you in buying groceries and other necessities.

If you have recently lost your job and you are interested in applying for Texas unemployment benefits continue reading to learn about the process.

What Is The Texas Workforce Commission?

The Texas Workforce Commission is the state department that administers and manages the unemployment program. This is the agency that you will have to apply for your Texas unemployment benefits through.

Who Is Eligible For Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits you must have:

  • Worked a specific amount of hours
  • You made a specific amount of money during your time at the job
  • You were laid off or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own
  • Once you qualify you must continue to meet certain eligibility requirements to continue receiving your Texas unemployment check

If you visit the unemployment benefits eligibility page on the TWC website, they better explain how much time and income you need to make to qualify for Texas unemployment benefits. A general summary is, you will need to have worked about 4 months and have wages 37 times that of what your weekly unemployment benefits would be to qualify.

When To Apply For Unemployment In Texas

You want to apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you are laid off from your job. The week your application is submitted to Texas Workforce Commission, is when your claim starts. That being said, you cannot submit a claim before you are laid off or unemployed.

There are different rules when applying for unemployment when you have been laid off from a temp agency or staff leasing company.

  • Temporary Agency – You will need to contact the temp agency and request a new assignment if you are laid off. According to TWC, if the temp agency does not provide you with a new assignment, then you can apply for unemployment benefits.
  • Staff Leasing Company – If you are with this type of company, you will need to contact them for a new assignment after you lose your job.

For more information on applying for unemployment benefits after you’ve been laid off from a temp agency job, visit the If Your Last Work was Temporary Employment page.

How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Texas

You can apply for unemployment in Texas in two ways; online and by phone.

  1. Apply online by visiting the TWC website. You will need to create an account and enter information about your past employer.
  2. Apply by phone. You can call Texas Workforce at 800.939.6631 to apply this way.

The Texas Workforce also has a step-by-step guide to help you apply for unemployment benefits online.

Information Needed To Apply For Texas Unemployment Check

To apply for benefits you will need the following information:

  • Information about your last employer. This includes the business name, address, and phone number.
  • Dates that you worked at your last job. Provide the specific dates (month, day, year) that you started and stopped working at this employer.
  • The number of hours you worked.
  • The normal wage you usually are paid. You can visit the TWC website for a better understanding of what a normal wage is.
  • Your pay rate per hour.
  • Alien Registration number if you are not a US citizen
  • A valid Texas ID number or Texas driver’s license

How Much Do Texas Unemployment Benefits Per Per Week?

You will receive between $70 and $535 per week if you are approved for unemployment in Texas. The amount you receive will be determined by how much money you made at your past job.

The Texas Workforce Commission offers an unemployment benefits calculator to help you determine how much money you may receive if you are approved.

What Happens After You Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?

After you are approved for Texas unemployment benefits there are a number of steps that you must take to remain eligible to receive your unemployment check. These include:

  • Registering for work.
  • Looking for jobs and keeping a record of the jobs that you have applied to.
  • Request your payments from TWC on time.
  • Be able to work (physically and mentally).
  • Be ready for full-time work.

Registering For Work

For each week that you request a payment from TWC, you must also be registered for work. You must register to work no more than 3 days after you apply for unemployment benefits.

To register to work you can:

  • Register online at Work In Texas
  • Visit a Texas unemployment office and register in person. Follow the previous link and type in your zip code to find the Texas Workforce Solutions office near you.

Look For Jobs

You must complete a specific number of “work search activities” per week. TWC will send you a letter/email stating how many searches you must complete.

Be sure to keep a record of your work search activities, because TWC can request to see your activity at any time.

Below is an example of a Work Seach log that you must keep up with.

Request Your Payment

You must also request your payments from TWC on time to remain eligible to receive your unemployment check.

Be Able To Work A Job

This simply means you are physically and mentally capable of working a job.

Be Available To Work A Job

Being available for full-time work means there are no barriers to you starting work.

This means you:

  • Have a vehicle or access to public transportation to get you to work.
  • Your babysitter or daycare arrangements are in place.
  • If interviews (in-person or online) are needed, you can attend them.
  • You can (generally) work any day or hour required by the potential employer.

For more information about requirements to keep your unemployment benefits start at page 21 on the How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits Online guide.

Other Texas Work Programs That TWC Manages

Most people contact TWC to apply for unemployment benefits, but this department offers other employment programs.

Here is a shortlist of those programs:

Texas Job Search Tool (My TX Career)

In addition to managing the unemployment benefits program, the TWC also ha has a large database of employment opportunities to help you find work fast if you have recently been laid off from your job. manages unemployment benefits for Texas state employees. You can find these job opportunities on the website My Tx Career.

Texas Employment Assistance For Those With Disabilities (Vocational Rehab Services)

The Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services program serves people with disabilities who want to get trained, interviewed, and hired in a variety of occupations.

Individuals with disabilities in Texas who want to work are paired with counselors who can sit down with them to better understand their needs and to get closer to their career goals.

Here is a list of programs that fall under the TWC Vocational Rehab Program:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation For Adults – This program helps adults with disabilities in Texas with services like career counseling, job matching, on-the-job training, and more.
  • Vocation Rehabilitation For Students – This program helps you to get ready for post-secondary education and employment opportunities. Specific services that are provided to students are help getting or training with assistive technologies, referrals for hearing and vision exams, connections to speech/occupational therapists, and more.
  • VR for Older Adults And Individuals Who Are Blind – This program helps seniors who are 55+ and blind to connect to resources to help them with independent living. To learn more you can call the Older Individuals who are Blind Program (OIB) at 512.936.3388.
  • Crisis Cole Rehabilitation Center – This program helps you to train and find jobs in Texas for the visually impaired. You can learn more about eligibility and the services they offered by visiting the Crisis Rehabilitation Center page.

Veteran Employment Assistance Programs In Texas

The Texas Workforce Commissions offices have lots of supportive services for veterans who are seeking employment in Texas. There will often be veteran representatives at TWC locations, as well as a Military to Civilian Occupation Translator who can assist you in using your military experience and skills to find rewarding employment opportunities.

Help Paying For Childcare In Texas

The Child Care Services Program provides financial help for parents to take care of their children by giving money.

This program gives money to parents who meet the income requirements. The program also helps educate parents about child services, makes sure children are learning well, and supports early learning programs.

You can learn more about how TWC helps with the cost of childcare by visiting the Childcare and Early Learning Services page.


If you have recently been laid off or your hours cut at no fault of your own, then there is a chance that you qualify for unemployment benefits in Texas.

This benefit offers recently unemployed workers in Texas a weekly payment to help them cover basic needs while they search for another job.

You can apply to receive an unemployment check in Texas by:

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