Information for COVID-19 FAQ, Employers, Jobseekers, Self-Employed and Child Care

Overview

At the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the health and well-being of our employers, employees and communities is our top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers as the situation evolves.

Note: All information regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is subject to change at any time due to the changing nature of the pandemic. Please revisit this page regularly for updates.

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.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the pandemic and partnering with health agencies and health care providers to contain the spread of the illness and help people deal with its effects.

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COVID-19 Stimulus Bill Update

Important Note to COVID-19 Applicants:

If you have already applied for unemployment benefits, DO NOT APPLY AGAIN. TWC will determine which pandemic unemployment benefits program you are eligible for and notify you by mail or electronic correspondence. Make sure to request benefit payment on the date listed on the filing instructions we provided you when you applied, and every two weeks after that on your filing day.

If you have not been able to apply for benefits because of the high call volumes and online system issues, please try again at ui.workforce.org. We are seeing lower volume on the online portal between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Try back during those hours to apply for benefits, check the status of your claim, or request benefit payment.

We have also expanded our Tele-Center hours to 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week. We have also expanded our ability to take claims online. Call our Tele-Center at your designated call time: 800-939-6631

If you need to apply for benefits, we encourage you to review our Unemployment Benefits web pages for general information about unemployment benefits, eligibility, benefit amounts, and how we pay you before you apply.

For help in preparing to apply for benefits, review our tutorials on our Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) web page. There, we have tutorials on how to:

  • Create a TWC User ID and password
  • Apply for benefits online
  • Use electronic correspondence
  • Request a benefit payment, and much more.

These web pages and tutorials provide all the information you need to know about what you need to provide during the application process, how the process works, and what happens next.

You can also get answers by reading our Unemployment Benefits Handbook.

Our unemployment web pages, our handbook, and our tutorials – and even our online apply for benefits program – are also available in Spanish. Look for the “Ver esta página en español” near the top right of every unemployment webpage. Spanish applicants can apply for benefits online in Spanish at Servicios de Beneficios de Desempleo

TWC is taking action to implement the new law and working with the Department of Labor to implement the act while continuing to work tirelessly to process unemployment insurance claims caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 

Proof of Income Notice for Self-Employed, Independent Contractors (1099), and Gig Workers

If you worked for the entire year of 2019 as a self-employed worker, a 1099 independent contractor, or a gig worker, you do NOT need to provide the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) with your 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C, F or SE unless your net profit for 2019 exceeded $20,800. That is the minimum amount needed to increase your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit amount (WBA).

You will continue to receive the $207 minimum Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit amount (WBA) if your net profit for 2019 was less than $20,800. Providing your income tax return is optional and will not affect your weekly benefit amount if your net profit was less.

If you worked as a 1099 independent contractor, do NOT send TWC your 1099 form. Your 1099 form will have no effect on your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit amount (WBA).

If your net profit was more than $20,800 and you submit your IRS forms and schedules, TWC will recalculate your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit amount (WBA) and notify you of the change. If your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit amount (WBA) increases, TWC will pay the difference retroactively to the date your employment was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your net profit for tax year 2019 was $20,800 or more, you can submit your 2019 IRS 1040 Schedule C, F or SE by using our online UI Submission Upload portal. For English: https://mft.twc.state.tx.us/form/UIsubmissionENG. For Spanish/Para español: https://mft.twc.state.tx.us/form/UIsubmissionESP.

If unable to use the online portal you can submit the proof by fax or mail. Due to the heavy volume of mail, processing the proof received by fax or mail will be delayed.

  • Fax: (512) 936-3250
  • Mail:

    Texas Workforce Commission
    P.O. Box 149137
    Austin, TX 78714-9137

Note: Applicants who submit their tax information may not receive an immediate response. Please do not resubmit unless explicitly asked.

How do you extend your benefits?

 

What does the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill mean for me?

//twc.texas.gov/news/unemployment-news for updates and current information.

How do you apply?

The health and well-being of Texas’ employees, employers, and communities is our top priority.
 
We will continue to update you as the situation develops.
 

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Respond to a Notice of Potential PEUC

If you received a Notice of Potential Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) from the Texas Workforce Commission and want to respond online, log on to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).             

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How does the CARE Act (COVID-19) Stimulus Affect You?

Flowchart of UI Claims (Larger Version)

This flow chart represents the options for individuals in search of assistance. If you’ve already been approved for benefits you do not need to do anything. If you are eligible or newly eligible, apply online. If you are a non-traditional applicant, apply online and then wait for a notification about pandemic unemployment assistance. If you have exhausted your benefits, wait for a notification via mail or email, you may then be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. The additional $600 in benefits allies to all who qualify, no additional action is needed.

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Sign Up for Updates

If you have been impacted by COVID-19, locate information and resources for employers seeking workers or as a jobseeker seeking employment or other support services sign-up for TWC COVID-19 updates.

Email Updates
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

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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.

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Payment Request Notice

Request benefit payment every two weeks on your designated filing day either online or by phone. Do not wait for TWC to determine your eligibility:

  • Log on to UBS and select Request a Payment.
  • Call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and select Option 1.

Because we are experiencing such an exceptionally high volume of customers attempting to request payment, we need you to make your payment request on your designated filing day, which is listed on your filing instructions. Assigned filing days are Sunday through Wednesday. If you miss your designated filing day in any given week, you can submit your payment request on our open filing days, which are Thursday through Saturday.

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Unemployment Benefit Claim Self-Service


Best Time to Apply Online or Access Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS)

Having trouble filing an unemployment claim online? Our Unemployment Benefit System online portal is available 24 hours a day but is experiencing a high volume of visitors. We are seeing lower volume on the online portal between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Try back during those hours to apply for benefits, check the status of your claim, or request benefit payment.

If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week: Sunday through Saturday, Central Time.

TWC is experiencing an increase in call volumes and hold times on our Tele-Center phone lines. You are encouraged to use our online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS), to handle your claim needs quickly. UBS 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 UBS, you will need to create a TWC Internet User ID when you first log on.

Log on to UBS to:

  • Apply for unemployment benefits
  • Sign up for Electronic Correspondence so you can receive your TWC communications online as soon as possible
  • Request benefit payment
  • Monitor your claim and payment status
  • Change your payment option
  • Appeal online and view your appeal status: An appeal is your written notice that you disagree with a TWC decision and want your case decided through the appeal process
  • Sign up to withhold federal income tax from your benefit payments
    Note: Unemployment benefits are taxable income reportable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under federal law. You must report all unemployment benefits you receive to the IRS on your federal tax return. Tax withholding is completely voluntary; withholding taxes is not required. If you ask us to withhold taxes, we will withhold 10 percent of the gross amount of each of your benefit payments and send it to the IRS.

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

Appeals Notice

Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Appeals hearings are proceeding as scheduled. If you have a hearing scheduled, please participate according to the directions on the Notice of Hearing. If you have any questions or concerns about participating in the hearing related to COVID-19, please contact your hearing officer directly using the contact information on your Notice of Hearing.

We understand that mail delivery has been delayed and claimants have had trouble accessing their Electronic Correspondence Inbox due to the high volume of people trying to access Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS). TWC will not penalize you if you file your appeal late. Make sure to indicate in your appeal if you had trouble appealing because you could not access UBS timely or your mail was late.

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Information for PIN and Password Set Up and Reset

You must set up or already have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and/or a User ID and Password to access many of TWC’s claim systems.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

If this is your first unemployment benefits claim, you do not need to already have a PIN or reset your PIN before you apply. You will set up your PIN during the application process.

  • When you apply for benefits either online using Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) or by phone through our Tele-Center at 800-939-6631, you will need to choose a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). To choose your PIN:
    • On UBS, you will choose your PIN during the benefits application process in the Continuing Unemployment Service Information section.
    • With Tele-Center, our customer service representative will direct you at the end of your claimstaking call to call Tele-Serv at 800-558-8321 and select Option 4 to set up your PIN. Enter your Social Security number (SSN), confirm your SSN, then enter your chosen four-digit PIN. Wait for the message “Your new PIN has been accepted.”

Reminder: Your PIN is your secret passcode. Keep a record of this number. You need your PIN to access all Tele-Serv services and some TWC Internet services. Your PIN has the same legal authority as your signature. Never give your PIN to anyone, not even a TWC employee or family member.

Password and User ID

When you log on to Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) for the first time, you will need to create a User ID and password. Returning customers can use their existing User ID and password.

To create a new User ID and password:

  • Select the “Log on with your existing TWC User ID or create a new User ID” link on Unemployment Benefits Services.
  • Select “sign up for a User ID” on the Logon page.
  • Enter your personal information.
  • Enter an email address. Although not required, it will help you retrieve your logon information if you forget it.
  • Choose a User ID and password that’s easy to remember and keep a copy in a safe place.
    • Your User ID must be between 3 and 32 characters and is case-sensitive.
    • Your password must be between 6 and 32 characters, and is case-sensitive.
  • Answer the security questions, which will help you retrieve your User ID and password or create another new one. Answers are case-sensitive.

Need more help?

  • If you are a returning claimant and you cannot remember your User ID and password, call TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631.
  • For more information on User IDs and passwords, view our How to Create User IDs and Passwords tutorialPDF.

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After You Apply for Benefits: Next Steps

Now that you’ve applied for unemployment benefits, you should:

  • Set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) if you have not already done so.
  • Read our Unemployment Benefits Handbook online.
  • Sign up for Electronic Correspondence (EC).
  • Choose a benefit payment method, either debit card or direct deposit.


    You can change your payment option online or by phone:

For more detailed information on unemployment benefits claims, visit our Unemployment Benefits webpage.

  • Request benefit payment every two weeks online or by phone. Do not wait for TWC to determine your eligibility:
  • Due to high call volume, we have temporarily suspended the requirement to request payments by your assigned date. Please continue to request payments even if its after your assigned day.
     
  • For more information see Request Benefit Payments

  • Be patient. Although we are processing claims as quickly as possible, it can take at least four weeks for TWC to determine whether you are eligible for benefits. To find out the status of your claim:
  • If you are experiencing financial hardship or need health assistance because of COVID-19, dial 2-1-1, the Texas Social Services Hotline, to get the help you need.

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TWC is Hiring

While many businesses have had to close their doors, TWC is in need of extra help. To apply to any of the below positions, visit Workintexas.com

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UI Fraud

Alert! Be aware of unemployment insurance scams and fraudulent phone calls. Do not give your personally identifiable information like your date of birth or your Social Security number to anyone you are not sure of.

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Monetary Eligibility Issues?

If TWC has sent you a decision saying that you are not eligible for benefits because you did not earn enough wages in your base period, you can reapply for benefits after the quarter changes on April 5, 2020. For more information on base period wages and eligibility, see: Eligibility & Benefit Amounts.

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Precautions for Employees

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information on the status of COVID-19 in Texas, see the DSHS website at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/.

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