Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Texas
Claiming benefits for unemployment in Texas is an option for all individuals who have lost their jobs for objective business reasons, i.e. through no fault of their own. To claim unemployment benefits, you must meet a set of eligibility requirements established by the TX Workforce Commission, with the most important one being the reason for separation from your employer. Note that not all unemployed residents are eligible for federal unemployment benefits. If you quit your job voluntarily or were fired for misconduct or failure to perform your job duties, you cannot apply for unemployment insurance. On the other hand, if your company is closing or the project you were working on is shutting down and you will become unemployed as a result, you can initiate an unemployment benefits claim in TX.
Find out more about claiming benefits for unemployment in Texas and the taxes related to federal unemployment benefits by exploring the following sections:
- How to claim unemployment benefits in Texas
- What is continued eligibility for unemployment benefits in Texas?
- Federal unemployment benefits and federal income taxes in Texas
How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Texas
Learning how to claim unemployment benefits in Texas is simple. All you need to do is meet the eligibility requirements and present the necessary documents and information. The main eligibility qualification that will enable you to continue with your benefits application is the reason for your separation from your employer. Thus, if you were fired or quit voluntarily, you cannot claim unemployment benefits in TX. However, if you were laid off through no fault of your own, you can initiate an unemployment benefits claim either online or by phone by providing the following:
- Your employer’s business name, phone number and address
- The starting and ending dates of your previous employment
- The number of hours worked and the pay rate (applicable if you worked during the week you submitted a benefits application)
- Information about the regular wage for the job you would like to have
- Your alien registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)
To submit an online claim for federal unemployment benefits, visit the official TWC website and register with the Unemployment Benefit Services system. Phone applications are submitted by calling the TWC tele-center and speaking with a service representative.
What is continued eligibility for unemployment benefits in Texas?
Unemployment benefits extensions are often mistaken for continued eligibility, when in fact, the two concepts are very different. Extended benefits are only available when Texas experiences an extremely high unemployment rate. In this scenario, the government decides to activate a special emergency program to extend unemployment benefits for a limited amount of time until the crisis has been resolved. These programs are not regularly available.
On the other hand, continued eligibility simply means that unemployed individuals must file an unemployment benefits claim with the TWC for each week that they are without work in order to continue receiving benefits. During your weeks of unemployment, you must remain eligible for benefits by actively searching for a job, being able to start work when it is offered (which includes not rejecting work unless there is a good reason) and reporting your job-seeking activities to the TWC. In addition, you may be required to participate in reemployment activities if the TWC finds it necessary.
Federal Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes in Texas
Federal unemployment benefits in Texas are not considered a full salary, which is why federal income taxes are typically not paid by recipients. However, if you do exceed the untaxable amount of income/benefits and are required to pay taxes, you can file a special form and submit it to the Workforce Commission to have the TWC deduct 10 percent of the gross amount of each benefit payment before it is sent to you. To complete the application, you must enter certain information about yourself, such as:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your address of residence
- Your state, city and ZIP code
- Your signature
Send the form to the TX Workforce Commission by mail or by fax. Note that the same form can be used to stop withholding federal income taxes. If you choose to pay federal income taxes, you will receive a Form 1099-G (Certain Government Payments, Statement for Recipient) at the end of the tax year, which will state the total amount of benefits you were paid by the TWC together with all withheld taxes. The form lists all types of benefits you have received (including federal unemployment benefits), federal income taxes withheld from your payments, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance payments and child support payments.