by Dana George | March 27, 2020
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Losing a job is tough on everyone, no matter the cause. Here are steps you can take to claim Texas unemployment benefits.
Texans are tough people, but they're not immune to the job losses stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are one of the many people who have lost their jobs during the crisis, you probably have questions regarding unemployment. Here's a brief guide to claiming unemployment benefits in Texas.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, you may qualify for unemployment benefits if:
Your base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you applied for benefits. So if you apply in March 2020, your base period would be Oct. 1, 2019 to Sep. 30, 2019.
The minimum earnings requirements in Texas are:
Unlike other states, Texas has not waived any unemployment benefit requirements because of COVID-19. That means you will need to continue to actively seek work and will not receive payment for your first week of unemployment, known as the "waiting week."
The best and fastest way to apply for benefits in Texas is by filing online. You can also call 800-939-6631 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but be aware that you are likely to experience very long hold times
Be prepared to supply the following:
The minimum weekly unemployment benefit in Texas is $69 and the maximum is $521.
Your earnings during your base period will be used to work out your weekly payment. In Texas, this is calculated by dividing the quarter with the highest earnings by 25 and rounding to the nearest dollar. To get an idea of how much that will be:
You will receive a Determination Notice in the mail letting you know how much you will be eligible for. Be aware that that unemployment benefits are considered taxable income, so these are pre-tax amounts.
Texas currently allows residents to collect unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.
If your claim is denied, you have 14 calendar days from when they mailed you the Determination Notice to submit an appeal in writing. You can do this online, or by mail or fax. You will then receive details of a hearing, though that could take six to eight weeks.
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