Texas Unemployment Benefits

At present, the U.S. government and Texas legislature have not changed any laws or rules concerning unemployment benefits during the pandemic. However, Department of Labor guidance provides that federal law permits significant flexibility for states to provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) services related to COVID-19. Based on this, TWC will be waiving work search requirements for all claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19. Also, Extended Benefits (EB) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are NOT available at this time.

The Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to those individuals who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. TWC determines benefit eligibility based on past wages, why someone lost their job, and ongoing eligibility requirements.

Please contact Acadia HR for Employer Name and Number for filing your claim at support@acadiahr.com.

Resource Links

Unemployment Eligibility Scenarios

The following possible scenarios show how the pandemic may affect business operations and unemployment benefit eligibility.

Liable employers must continue to report employee wages and pay unemployment taxes. When an individual submits a claim naming your company as the last employer, TWC sends you a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits. When you respond to this notice, be sure to include information if your business was impacted by COVID-19. Respond online using our Unemployment Insurance Employer Response portal.

When former employees are eligible for unemployment benefits, TWC will continue sending Notices of Maximum Potential Chargeback to affected employers and continue billing reimbursing employers for benefits paid. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is working with federal, state and local government officials and agencies to help manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster relating to the pandemic. Therefore, employer tax accounts may be protected from chargeback.

Make sure to communicate your attendance policy to your staff. Consider creating a flexible plan to manage any need to change sick leave policy to cover staffing during the pandemic and to handle attendance issues. Investigate whether your employees can work remotely and avoid holding meetings in close quarters.

Unemployment Benefit Claim Self-Service for Employers

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), TWC can help you manage layoffs and unemployment benefit claims. You can manage claims online at any time by using TWC’s online unemployment portal, Employer Benefits Services, or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center employers’ line at 866-274-1722 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.

When an individual submits a claim naming your company as the last employer, TWC sends you a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits. When you respond to this notice, be sure to include information if your business was impacted by COVID-19. Respond online using our Unemployment Insurance Employer Response portal.

TWC is experiencing an increase in call volumes and hold times on our Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use TWC’s online unemployment portal, Employer Benefits Services, to handle your claim needs quickly. EBS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also encourage you to sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive your TWC communications online as soon as possible. If you are new to EBS, you will need to create a TWC EBS Administrator account when you first log on.

Log on to EBS to:

TWC will investigate why your former employee lost their job and mail a decision explaining whether they are eligible for unemployment benefits. TWC has waived the work search requirement for all claimants at this time.

Employers Handling General Potential Unemployment Insurance Inquiries related to Coronavirus/COVID-19

  1. Can an employee take a sick day due to fear and not illness? Would an employer be required to cover that?
    • Policies related to paid sick leave are between employers and employees. The Texas Workforce Commission does not have jurisdiction or enforcement of qualifying paid sick leave
    • If your employee has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is not receiving payment while away from work, they may apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Mondays through Fridays.
  2. What if I must close my business temporarily or permanently?
    • If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits. You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • For more information, see: Mass Claims for Unemployment Benefits at texasworkforce.org or contact TWC’s Mass Claims Coordinator at 512-463-2999.
  3. What if my business has slowed down?
    • If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. How to Apply for a Shared Work Plan. Log on to Employer Benefits Services(EBS) to submit your Shared Work Plan online. EBS online is fast, easy, secure, and available 24/7.
    • If you have any questions, please email: sharedwork@twc.state.tx.us. If you are unable to get online contact TWC’s Shared Work Department by phone: 512-340-4337 or 888-741-0446.
  4. What if I have questions about an unemployment claim that was filed?
    • EMPLOYERS should contact us online at uicentral.twc.state.tx.us. If they do not have Internet they may call the Tele-Center at 800-939-6631. They are open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.

For Tax questions please go to:

Employer Registration questions:
Tax Status Section tax.statussection@twc.state.tx.us

Employer Rate Questions:
Tax Experience Rating taxexperience.rating@twc.state.tx.us

Employer Account Maintenance:
Tax Central Operations TaxCentralOperations@twc.state.tx.us