TWC Unemployment Benefits Handbook

TWC Unemployment Benefits Handbook

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has published a short manual with guidelines so that you know your rights and responsibilities when applying for and receiving unemployment benefits from the State of Texas. I am not a state employee and this is not an official reading of the Unemployment Benefits Handbook (UBH); this is something I am doing to help disseminate this important information at a time when a record number of people are applying for employment benefits. I have broken the book into nineteen easy to digest episodes, plus one introducing me and the concept for the podcast. Please read the handbook yourself to verify what you hear here, and visit the TWC website at for the most up-to-date and complete information. Thank you, and best wishes on your job search!


June 14, 2020 29 sec
Thank you for checkign out this podacst. I am Kyle Souza, my blog is, you can connect with me on LinkedIn at Best wishes for you while you search for new employment!
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Request payment every two weeks while your appeal is
pending unless you return to full-time work.
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June 14, 2020 17 sec
■ Learn how to prepare for or
submit documents for your
■ View your Appeal Status.
■ Learn how and when to call
in for your hearing.
If you don’t have Internet
access, you may use the
computers at any Texas
Workforce Solutions office.
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June 14, 2020 3 min
If TWC sends a letter stating we cannot pay
benefits, you may appeal that decision by:
■ Submitting an online appeal form at
■ Mailing or faxing a signed letter to the
Appeals Department at the address or fax
number on the letter
■ Submitting an appeal in person at your
nearest Workforce Solutions Office.
For your appeal to be timely, you must file your
appeal within 14 calendar days from the date TWC
mails the...
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Find more information at
Foreign Trade
If you lost your job because of issues related to
foreign competition, you may be eligible for Trade
Adjustment Assistance (TAA), which includes job
retraining, job search and relocation aid, and weekly
Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) benefits.
Trade-affected workers age 50 or older may be
eligible for a wage subsidy program.
Working in Other States
If you...
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April 23, 2020 43 sec
Protecting Your Privacy
Your claim is confidential. However, we share some information with
government agencies and contractors that administer and enforce
laws, including verifying eligibility for public assistance, supporting law
enforcement, and other purposes permitted by law.
We disclose information to entities that manage Social Security,
Medicaid, nutrition assistance, child support, and other programs.
We mail a notice of your c...
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April 23, 2020 1 min
Repaying Overpayments
You must repay any overpayments before we can
pay you benefits. TWC sends a letter explaining why
you owe us money.
If you are filing for benefits and are eligible, we apply
each weekly payment toward reducing your overpayment.
If you were overpaid benefits in another state and are
eligible in Texas, we send your benefits to the other state
until the overpayment is paid. If you are eligible in anothe
state, we ask tha...
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April 23, 2020 1 min
Staying Eligible for Benefits
To remain eligible, you must request payment as scheduled; respond when contacted;
be able, available, and actively seeking full-time work; and meet your work search
requirements and keep good records of your work search activities.
You are no longer eligible when your benefits run out or you return to full-time work.
Be aware of these additional requirements:
■ Special Reemployment Activities
TWC requires ...
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April 23, 2020 56 sec
Receiving Correspondence
You can choose how TWC sends unemployment benefits documents to you. You
will receive all documents and notices by U.S. mail unless you sign up to receive
correspondence electronically on
■ If you choose electronic correspondence, an e-mail will notify you when new
correspondence is posted. You must then log in to to
view your correspondence.
■ Some documents requ...
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April 23, 2020 29 sec
Paying Taxes on Your Benefits
Your benefits are income you must report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We will
withhold 10 percent of your benefits for taxes if you complete and return the Voluntary
Withholding form. TWC sends you and the IRS a Form 1099-G in January with the
benefits amount paid in the previous calendar year. You can find that amount on Tele-Serv or
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April 23, 2020 1 min
Working and Reporting Income
You must report all of your hours worked and gross earnings each
time you request payment. Work is any kind of service for pay,
including, but not limited to full-time, part-time, reduced hours,
temporary, contract, casual or day labor, side jobs, commission-only,
tips, paid training/orientation, and self-employment. There are no exceptions. Unreported
and underreported earnings may be considered fraud. Unrep...
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April 23, 2020 50 sec
Working and Receiving Benefits
If you work part time, you can earn up to 25 percent of your weekly benefit amount
(WBA) before TWC reduces your benefit payment. For example, if your WBA is $160, you
may earn $40 without a reduction. If you earn $50, we reduce your WBA for the week to
$150. In both cases your benefits plus your earnings equal $200. If you earn more than
$200, we cannot pay you benefits for that week. If you are working t...
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April 21, 2020 34 sec
Tell Us You’re Hired
When you find a full-time job, go to, and select Request
your Waiting Week; or call 800-558-8321 and select Option 2, then Option 4;
or call a Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 to speak to a customer service staff.
Intentionally giving false information when requesting payment of the waiting week is
fraud and you must repay the benefits you were not entitled to receive. See page 8.
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April 21, 2020 17 sec
The Waiting Week
Texas law requires us to hold your benefits for the first payable week as the “waiting
week.” You will be paid for the waiting week after you have received two times your
weekly benefit amount and returned to full-time work or exhausted your unemployment
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April 21, 2020 10 sec
Keep It A Secret
You are responsible for payments requested with your Social
Security number, PIN, and password, so don’t give that information
to anyone.
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April 21, 2020 1 min
Payment Options
If you previously signed up for direct deposit or debit card, we use the account
information from the prior claim and send payment to the same debit card or bank
account unless you select a different option or change your account information. Follow
the instructions below to sign up or change your payment method.
1. Direct Deposit
To sign up, review, or change prior account information, use,
or call ...
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April 21, 2020 34 sec
Requesting Payment
We mailed instructions for requesting payment every two weeks. Call Tele-Serv at
800-558-8321 on your scheduled day or use any day of your claim
week. Request payment every two weeks even if you have not received a decision or you
might not be paid. Your payment should be in your direct-deposit or debit-card account
within three days of TWC processing your payment. If you request payment online a...
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April 21, 2020 41 sec
Ending a Disqualification
If TWC disqualifies you because of your job separation or other
reasons, you can request that we end the disqualification if
you return to work and:
■ Work at least 30 hours each week for six weeks or
earn wages equal to six times your weekly benefit
■ Provide TWC with proof of your work or earnings and request that we end the
To receive benefits after ending a disqualification, you must...
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April 21, 2020 37 sec
It can take about four weeks to determine whether you qualify. We must notify your
last employer and investigate your job separation and other issues that may affect your
eligibility. When we complete the investigation:
■ You receive benefits if you have enough base period wages, no disqualifying job
separations or eligibility decisions, and submit your payment requests on time.
■ TWC mails you a decision on each issue telling you whe...
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April 21, 2020 51 sec
Fraud Warnings
Unemployment fraud is a serious crime that TWC aggressively pursues. If you commit
fraud, you lose all remaining benefits on your claim and must repay the benefits you
were not entitled to receive, plus a 15 percent penalty on benefits
you fraudulently received. If convicted of fraud, you face fines or jail
time, or both. Fraud includes:
■ N ot reporting all hours worked and gross earnings each time
you work
■ Intentionall...
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