Am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I refuse to return to work due to COVID-19?
While you may still collect unemployment benefits if you refuse to work in an unsafe environment, the TWC no longer explicitly includes risk of COVID-19 as an unsafe working condition for unemployment benefits.
Am I eligible for unemployment benefits if my employer reduced my hours, due to COVID-19 or some other reason not in my control?
Yes. If you are placed on reduced hours, you may be eligible for partial unemployment. You can check you eligibility by by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.
How do I apply for unemployment benefits?
Apply for benefits online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.
Texas AFL CIO has also created a "how to" guide for navigating unemployment benefit applications. View it here.
Lone Star Legal Aid also has a tool to walk you through the unemployment benefits process. Access it here.
What information do I need to apply for benefits?
To get started you will need:
- Social Security Number
- Last employer's business name, address and phone number
- First and last dates you worked for your last employer
- Number of hours worked and pay rate at the time you apply
- Military employment (service) start/end dates and a copy of your DD Form 214(s) if you served in the military during the past 18 months
- Your alien registration number, if not a U.S. citizen or national
How much will I get if I am approved for benefits?
The amount you get in unemployment benefits varies. You can estimate your unemployment benefits online.
If you are receiving income from a pension, annuity, or retirement income, this may affect how much you receive in unemployment benefits.
Where can I search for a new job?
Do I have to look for a new job to get unemployment benefits?
Yes, there is a work search requirement. Those job searches can be done online.
The number of job searches you must perform every week varies by county. This number is based on local economic conditions. You will receive a Notice of Work Search Requirement that tells you how many jobs you must apply to each week. You must make a record of your work search efforts by recording the date and details of the work search (type of job, employer name, location, etc.). Use the TWC work search activity log recipients to keep track of your searches. TWC can request this activity log anytime during your benefit year, so keep a copy for your records.
About unemployment benefits in Texas.
This article explains your rights to unemployment assistance after a natural disaster.
This article explains how to file an appeal if your application for unemployment benefits is denied.