Texas Unemployment Benefits

Texas Unemployment benefits help workers get back on their feet after losing a job.

Texas Unemployment benefits can help support you while you’re jobless. They can also help you keep your spirits up while you’re searching for work. They are funded by employer taxes and reimbursements from employers and are based on your taxable wages during a specific base period. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to receive unemployment benefits, including meeting wage thresholds and maintaining eligibility.

Texans can apply for Texas unemployment benefits online through the Texas Workforce Commission. They should be prepared to provide their Social Security number, contact information, employment history, and a bank account for direct deposit. They should also know their claim reference number and PIN, which are usually sent to them by email.

Eligibility

Unemployment benefits are based on your past wages, with the maximum weekly benefit amount set by the state of Texas. We use your employers’ taxable wages during your base period and divide this by 25 to determine your weekly benefit amount. The bottom limit is $61, and the top limit is $426 per week. If you receive severance pay from your employer, you must report it to us. Texas law prohibits receiving severance pay and qualifying for unemployment benefits at the same time.

To qualify for texas unemployment benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own. This includes being laid off or fired from a company through a reduction-in-force or being “downsized” for economic reasons. You must also be available to work and actively seeking a new job. Your benefits are paid through direct deposit to a bank account or on a Visa debit card issued by U.S. Bank. The TWC’s online system is easy to navigate but can be confusing for those unfamiliar with it.

Texas Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
Texas Unemployment Benefits 1

Texas Unemployment Extension

The TWC is currently offering extended benefits under the federal CARES Act and a state program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC. Unless Congress extends these programs, they will expire Dec. 26. These extensions may help freelancers and other nontraditional workers who typically don’t qualify for state benefits. These extensions are available only while the state’s economy meets qualifying conditions. If the economy improves, the state’s “trigger” will flip off, and additional weeks of benefits will no longer be available.

Texas Severance Pay

Severance pay is a form of payment an employer may give to a terminated employee. It is typically negotiated as part of the termination agreement or as a result of the company’s policy to offer voluntary layoffs with severance payments. In either case, the severance payment is not considered a denial of unemployment benefits. However, the Texas Workforce Commission will delay the payment of unemployment benefits until the severance pay expires.

Severance payments are also common in settlement agreements involving overtime pay, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and other claims under labor or employment law. In these cases, the employer is required to notify the local TWC office and report the severance payments.

Some people mistakenly believe that they are not eligible for unemployment benefits if they quit their job. This is not necessarily true, but it depends on the departure circumstances. In many cases, contacting a Texas employment lawyer for assistance is necessary. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the TWC has hired more workers and expanded call center hours to assist claimants.

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