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Unemployment Benefits

Workforce Solutions can show you how to file for Unemployment Insurance (UI), but it's the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in Austin that handles your claim or benefits. This page will show you how to contact TWC, to file a claim, to check status of a claim and your benefits, and more.


How to File for a New Claim (By Phone or Online)

The fastest and easiest way to apply for your Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits is online with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). You can file anytime, day or night.  If you're eligible, expect your claim to begin the Sunday of the week you submit your application.  You can apply from your home, computers at public libraries or computers at a local office of Workforce Solutions. If you decide to file by phone, the Tele-Center number is 1-800-939-6631 Toll Free.

To apply, click on Unemployment Insurance. You will find instructions and applications in both English and Spanish.


The UI Web site is user-friendly and has an online glossary, a frequently asked questions page, and information in both English and Spanish.  After filing your application, WorkInTexas.com - the state's job bank - automatically launches to give you the added convenience of beginning your job search immediately.

You must be registered in WorkInTexas.com, so remember to take the time and completely fill out the online job application and resume.  The more information you provide, the easier it will be for you to find a good job quickly!

The TWC online UI benefits application is for regular, initial claims only.  If you don't have computer access, you can call a UI Tele-Center.

In order to qualify for Unemployment Insurance, you should be separated from their jobs through no fault of their own, be available for work and be actively seeking work.


How to Contact TWC

The Texas Workforce Commission continues to experience extremely high call volumes in its UI Tele-Centers. Due to the increased calls and workload, and the difficulties that customers are having reaching staff, TWC will not penalize claimants when they are unable to reach the agency in a timely manner.

  • Change Address.  You can change your UI address using the Internet. Log on to Payment Request and click on the "Change Address" option.
  • Review status of claim and payments.  You can check the status of your claim and payments on the Internet. Log on to Claim and Payment Status and review the last payment or a history of payments on your claim.
  • Hear status of claim and payments.  You can hear the status of your claim and payments by calling Tele-Serv at 1-800-558-8321, and selecting option 2.
  • Get answers to questions (benefits, eligibility, appeals).   Many questions about filing for benefits, qualifying requirements, appeals, and eligibility can be answered by reading the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook (PDF) and the UI information available on the Internet.
  • Call during off-peak times.  If none of these resources answer your questions, continue calling the TWC UI Tele-Serv at 1-800-558-8321. The best time to call is the end of the week.  Tele-Center lines are busier early in the week.

FAQs FOR LAID-OFF TEACHERS AND OTHER EDUCATION EMPLOYEES (PDF)


Continued Claims Information

If you have an active UI claim, you can request a benefits payment by phone or online.  You will need:

  • Your earnings amount for each week (if applicable)
  • Your work search activities for each week

To Request Unemployment Benefits Payments Online: Log on to Unemployment Benefits Services.

To Request a Payment by Phone:  After your unemployment claim is on file, call Tele-Serv 1-800-558-8321 Toll Free.

  • WHEN TO CALL: Sunday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Monday - Wednesday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • If you miss your assigned day, call Thursday or Friday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Individuals needing telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD) can communicate with TWC-UI offices by using Relay Texas. Those numbers are 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2988 (Voice)


School Meals for Children of UI Claimants

The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs provide school meals to all children. These nutrition programs are a much needed resource to families facing unemployment due to the current economic situation. To see if your children are eligible to receive free or reduced price meals under these programs, and check School Meals Income Guidelines.


"How To" Guides

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