How to Apply for Unemployment in Texas

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If you live in Texas and find yourself unemployed, you could qualify for unemployment benefits. In the old days, applying for unemployment benefits meant standing in long lines, filling out a lengthy application and reporting to a local unemployment office once a week. But with the invention of the Internet, applying for unemployment benefits is done from the comfort of home using your own computer.

Where To Apply

All issues pertaining to unemployment are handled by the Texas Workforce Commission. The TWC website provides information on how to apply for unemployment compensation, a job search engine and links to a variety of social service agencies. On the Latest News page, the TWC keeps unemployed workers abreast of the frequently changing rules and regulations for collecting unemployment and any changes in benefits that might effect unemployed Texans. On the "Job Seekers and Employees" page, applicants will find the link to apply for unemployment benefits, either by using the online option or applying over the telephone.

How To Apply

If you choose to apply for benefit online, the TWC website provides the application on the website. From the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Services page, select "Apply for Benefits" link. This will open the unemployment application. Provide all the information requested on the application; then click "submit." If you prefer to apply over the telephone, you can call the toll-free number, or choose the office in the city closest to you and a customer service representative will take your application over the phone. Keep in mind that applying online can be completed at any time, but phone applications are only accepted Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Collecting Benefits

Once the TWC has approved you for benefits, you can log onto the TWC website and start submitting claims for weekly benefits. Benefit claims can also be made over the phone. Your benefits will be placed on a Visa debit card, and the funds can be withdrawn through an ATM or bank teller. A paper check or direct deposit into a bank account are not available options. When filing a weekly benefit claim, you will be asked to provide proof that you are actively seeking employment, so be prepared to offer the name, address and telephone number for all contacted employers.

Benefit Levels

The state of Texas offers a total of 93 weeks of unemployment benefits for its residents. These weeks are broken up into section. Unemployment Insurance is for 26 weeks. Extended Benefits lasts for a maximum of 20 weeks after UI expires. Emergency Unemployment Compensation is another 47 weeks of benefits and is divided into three tiers: Tier 1 lasts for 20 weeks, Tier 2 is a maximum of 14 weeks, and Tier 3 is a maximum of 13 weeks. EUC benefits are subject to federal funding so they may or may not be available.