Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, millions of Americans are now directing state systems to receive unemployment insurance subsidies. Even at the best of times, getting the money you need can be overwhelming and frustrating. Here are some quick links and resources to make it easier for you to find eligible funds.
If you’re an employer, visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s COVID-19 Resources for Employers for more information on how employees claim unemployment affects your business.
How to claim unemployment
Visit ui.texasworkforce.gov to get started as soon as you’re eligible. Due to the pandemic, this includes W-2 workers and free workers, free workers, contract workers, 1099 independent contractors, as well as those eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Ownership confirmations may be pushed back to March 8, 2020. For more instructions, click here. You may experience delays applying for unemployment because of the large number, but go on.
Create an account to sign in or sign in to and follow the onscreen instructions to continue. You must fill in all your information and complete the process in one session; it won’t save, so make sure you’re prepared.
If you need to talk to someone or sign up by phone, call Tele-Center daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time: (800) 939-6631.
For automatic phone information, such as to request status or payment information, call (800) 558-8321.
In addition to unemployment payments from the state, the federal government will distribute $600 along with each disbursement through July 31, 2020. The subsidies will last for 26 weeks if re-certified weekly during that time. The federal CARES Act has an additional 13 weeks of benefits, but remember to apply for an extension, as it is not automatic.
Who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
People who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits can still receive PUA if they are diagnosed, have symptoms, or are directly impacted by COVID-19, including:
A household member of an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
An individual who is caring for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
A child or other family member with whom the primary care responsible person cannot attend a school or another facility is closed as a direct result of a COVID-19 emergency and
school or care that is necessary for the individual to work
Individuals who are unable to get to work because of COVID-19 quarantine or because a healthcare professional has advised them to self-isolate due to COVID-19 concerns
Individuals who have been scheduled to start work and are out of work or unable to access work as a direct result of COVID-19
An individual has become a breadwinner or primary support for a household because the householder has died as a direct result of COVID-19
Individuals who have quit their jobs or been seeded as a direct result of COVID-19
Individual workplaces closed as a direct result of COVID-19
Texans can receive COVID-related PUA through December 31, 2020. Visit TWC’s COVID resources page for job-seeking people for diagrams, links, resources, FAQs, and more.