Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Texas

It is important to understand eligibility for unemployment in Texas before submitting an application so that you know what to expect and you are prepared to meet ongoing eligibility requirements if you are approved to receive benefits. Qualifications for unemployment in Texas include minimum work and wage requirements in the past 12-18 months, that you are ready and willing to work and that you are willing to commit to ongoing eligibility requirements that will need to be completed each week to receive benefits. If you fail to meet requirements for unemployment before applying, or if your eligibility changes while you receive benefits, you will not receive unemployment assistance. For more information on who qualifies for unemployment in Texas, refer to the sections provided below.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Texas?

It is important to understand eligibility for unemployment benefits in Texas in order to be better prepared in the event that you ever lose your job. If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, the programs can provide you with invaluable financial assistance when you need it the most. If you are wondering how to qualify for unemployment, it is important to know that you must have worked within the state of Texas during the past 12 to 18 months as well as earned a minimum amount of wages that have been determined by the state. If you lived in Texas, but worked in a neighboring state, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits in Texas and must instead apply through the state that you worked in. Additionally, you must be able and willing to work and willing to accept either a part-time or full-time position. In order to meet eligibility for EDD in TX, you must be considered ready to work. The Texas Workforce Commission requires you are available to take a job that is offered to you, and you must make sure that nothing that will prevent you from taking a job, such as child care or transportation. To meet unemployment insurance eligibility conditions, you must make sure to arrange for transportation or child care needs before applying for Texas unemployment benefits.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for unemployment, you can download our detailed unemployment insurance guide here.

What forms of job loss meet qualifications for unemployment in Texas?

Eligibility for unemployment in Texas is also widely determined by the reason for your job separation. If you were laid off, you will likely be eligible to receive unemployment benefits through the state of Texas. A layoff occurs due to a lack of work and is not related to your own job performance. Layoffs occur for a number of reason including downsizing, the elimination of a position or if your employer has closed the business.

If you were fired, eligibility for EDD during the application process will be determined by the reason for your termination. If you were terminated for a reason that is not considered misconduct, you may still be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in Texas. For example, you can meet Texas unemployment insurance eligibility requirements for benefits if your employer had determined that you simply were not the right fit or you lacked a skill that was needed for your position. However, you will likely receive a disqualification for unemployment if you were fired due to a violation in company policy, violation of the law, neglect, mismanagement of your position or failing to perform your job in an adequate manner. You can be eligible for unemployment payments if your employer demanded that you resign, as the state of Texas considers this a form of termination.

When considering who qualifies for unemployment, it is important to know that most workers who quit their jobs will not be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. The only exception is if you quit your job for a “good cause”. Good causes for quitting that are work-related include:

  • Unsafe working conditions.
  • Significant changes in hiring agreement.
  • If you are not being paid the amount that you and your employer agreed upon.
  • If your employer is asking that you perform illegal activity.

However, your eligibility for EDD could heavily rely on the evidence that you are able to present that proves that you did in fact quit for a good, work related reason. Additionally, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits for a non-work related reason such as:

  • You are prevented from working due to a personal medical illness or injury.
  • You are caring for a minor child who has a medical illness or a terminally ill spouse.
  • You have documented cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • You moved to be with a military spouse.

You may also qualify for unemployment if you have a significant reduction in your hours of work. Eligibility for unemployment in cases such as these would depend upon the reason for the reduction. If your hours were not reduced at your own request and they were not the result of a disciplinary action, you may be eligible to receive unemployment while you search for a full-time position. Lastly, if you are currently unemployed due to a labor dispute, such as a strike, you cannot receive unemployment benefits within the state of Texas.

Maintaining Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in Texas

In order to maintain eligibility for unemployment in Texas, you are required to meet weekly eligibility requirements. Failing to do so could lead to the denial or termination of your benefits. One such requirement falls to work search requirements after completing the application process. In order to meet qualifications for unemployment, you must register for work within Texas, actively search for work and document your work search activity. If you are offered a position for suitable work, you are required to take it. You must be able to work in order to continue to receive assistance and there must not be anything that may hold you back from accepting a position if offered. You must have adequate transportation, child care arrangements that allow you to work, be available for job interviews, be willing to work any day or shift and be willing to accept the usual rate of pay for a person with your experience and qualifications.

Your eligibility for unemployment will also be determined by your ability and willingness to attend any mandatory reemployment services at a Workforce Solutions office. If you are required to attend one of these services, you will be contacted. Additionally, if you are contacted by Workforce Solutions for any reason, you must contact the office upon request. Lastly, unemployment insurance eligibility will also be determined by your ability to submit payment requests either by phone or online every two weeks. Failing to do so in a timely manner could result in the denial of benefits for that two-week period.

To learn more about ongoing unemployment eligibility requirements, download our comprehensive unemployment insurance guide.