How do I file for unemployment in Texas?

Zach Russell
Zach Russell
  • Updated

Houston residents seeking unemployment benefits can file a claim through the TWC. TWC encourages residents to apply for benefits as soon as you are unemployed because your claim starts the week you complete the application. However, you may not apply until after your last work day.

To be eligible for this unemployment benefits, you must a resident of Texas and meet all of the following:

  • Be unemployed or working reduced hours though no fault of your own, and
  • Worked in Texas during the past 12 months (this period may be longer in some cases), and
  • Earned a minimum amount of past wages, as determined by Texas guidelines, and
  • Meet the ongoing eligibility requirements, including being able to and available for work and actively seeking work each week you are collecting benefits.

If your last job was for a temporary agency or staff leasing company, you have additional requirements:

  • If your last job was for a temporary agency, you must immediately contact the temporary agency for a new assignment and wait three business days after your assignment ended before applying for benefits. The agency has three business days to offer you a new assignment.
  • If your last job was for a staff leasing company, you must immediately contact the staff leasing company for a new assignment.

Applicants can apply for unemployment benefits in two ways. Apply online at Unemployment Benefit Services by selecting Apply for Benefits. Read the Applying for Unemployment Benefits Tutorial for help applying online. Applicants can also file a claim by calling a telecenter at 800-939-6631 and speaking to a customer service representative. 

To apply, applicants will need:

  • Your last employer’s business name, address and phone number
  • First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer. If you worked for your last employer on more than one occasion, provide the most recent employment dates.
  • Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked the week you apply for benefits (Sunday through Saturday)
  • Information about the normal wage for the job you are seeking
  • Alien Registration number (if not a U.S. citizen)
  • A valid Texas Driver License number or Texas Identification Card number

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