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Unemployment Benefits Definition

Unemployment benefits are part of an employer-paid program that provides temporary, partial income replacement to qualified individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Common Mistake:
Believing that you paid into an unemployment benefits account while you were working. This is not true. Employer taxes pay for unemployment benefits.

Employers pay unemployment insurance taxes and reimbursements that support unemployment benefit payments. Employees do not pay unemployment taxes and employers cannot deduct unemployment taxes from employees' paychecks.

Unemployment benefits are available if you meet eligibility requirements set by the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA). If you collect benefits, you are legally responsible for following the rules set by state law.

Unemployment benefits must be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more information, see Income Taxes & Your Unemployment Benefits.

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When to Apply

You should apply for benefits as soon as you become unemployed.  When you apply for unemployment benefits, the effective date of your initial claim is the Sunday of the week in which you apply. We cannot pay benefits for weeks before your claim effective date.

For more information, see TWC's Applying for Unemployment Benefits

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TWC's Unemployment Benefits Services

You may receive TWC's unemployment benefit services either online or by phone. Internet service is generally faster than calling an unemployment benefits Tele-Center.

For more information, see TWC's unemployment benefits contact information.

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Privacy / Confidentiality

Your claim is confidential. However, we share some information with government agencies and their contractors for the administration and enforcement of laws, including verifying eligibility for public assistance, supporting law enforcement activities, and other purposes permitted by law. Allowable uses of confidential information may include performing statistical analysis, research and evaluation.

Disclosure may be made to entities that manage and evaluate programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, nutrition assistance, and child support. We mail a notice of your claim to your last employer and may communicate with other former employers. If we pay you benefits by debit card, we share information with U.S Bank because it manages your debit-card account. U.S. Bank and government agencies with access to information must agree to comply with state and federal laws regarding the confidentiality of claim information.

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