Unemployment Application Instructions

You can apply for Unemployment Insurance over the internet or by calling a Tele-Center:

Apply Online

Visit www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/unemployment-benefits-services.html. This is a web application created not only for applying for this program, but this is also where you can review your application process and after you've been applied, this is where you can request payment and submit your work search logs.

The application form is quite intuitive and simple, so it won't take much time to complete it. In case of any problems, you can take a look at the tutorial located at:

Apply by Phone

In case you don't have an internet connection, you can apply by calling a Tele-Center at (800) 939-6631 (Monday through Friday, 7am to 6pm).

In case you have any questions, or if you'd like to request a payment or to get a status of your claim, you should contact Tele-Serv service at (800) 558-8321 (Sunday through Friday, 7am to 6pm).

What you will need when applying

  • Your Social Security number
  • In case you're not a U.S. citizen you'll need your alien registration number
  • Last employer's contact information (business name and address)
  • First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer
  • Number of hours your worked and pay rate in case you worked during the week you're applying
  • In case you served in the military in the past 18 months, you'll need your military employment start and end dates as well as a copy of DD-214 form.

In case you get approved, you'll need to carefully read and sign the terms of UI enrollment, so make sure you take your time and get familiar with your future responsibilities. You'll also need to choose how you want to collect your benefits (if you want to have them deposited on your newly issued debit card or on your own back account). Also remember that you'll have a 3-days period during which you'll need to sign-up for work search with the nearest Workforce Solution office, or online via

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) enrollment, you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  • You need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien
  • You must have worked in Texas during the past 12 to 18 months
  • You must be currently unemployed and available for work
  • Termination of your previous employment should not be a consequence of your wrongful actions

During the process of reviewing your application, your past wages and your separation from the previous employer will be closely inspected.

To receive unemployment insurance benefits you must have a payable claim. This means that you've had income during the past 12 months, which is called the base period. This base period is, differently said, the first four quarters of the last five completed calendar quarter before you applied for Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is used to calculate the amount of your weekly benefits.

For example, if you apply sometime in September, 2012 (which is in the third quarter of the current year), your benefits will be based on all your wages for all employers you worked for between April 1st, 2011 and March 31th, 2012 (this is your base period). It will be inspected during which quarter you've had highest earning and it will be divided with 25 to get your weekly benefit amount. The state of Texas sets bottom limit for UI benefits to $61 and upper limit is $426.

Another important thing is the reason for separation from your last work. Some qualifying cases are:

  • If you were laid off due the lack of work
  • If you are still working but the employed reduced your hours
  • If you were fired without work-related misconduct which is considered as a violation of company policy
  • If you quit your job for a good well-documented work related or medical reason
  • If you needed to quit your job to move with your husband/wife or with your military spouse (if a permanent change of station if longer than 120 days, or a tour of duty is longer than one year).