The Mass Claims program streamlines the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits
Employer Advantages of a Mass Claim
- Can submit the layoff information before the layoff, which ensures a smooth transition for both employer and worker.
- Can establish unemployment benefit claims more efficiently than workers who submit their own.
- Can submit the worker's final week of earnings, helping to ensure proper payment.
- Can submit information on severance pay or wages in lieu of notice of layoff, reducing subsequent contact by TWC.
- Will not receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for each employee’s unemployment benefit claim.
- Automatically become a party of interest to each claim filed.
Preparing for a layoff can help you, your Mass Claim, and your employees.
Notify Employees Before a Layoff
Notify your employees of the layoff before you start the Mass Claims process. Then submit your Mass Claim application and employee information to TWC. You can submit up to 30 days before a layoff or seven days after it starts.
Make sure to tell employees that they should not apply for unemployment benefits on their own. If your employees are not aware that TWC will set up their claims during the Mass Claim process, then they might submit their own claims. These duplicate claims slow claims processing and delay payment.
If an affected employee applies for benefits before TWC processes your Mass Claim application, the claim will not be part of the Mass Claim process. If that happens, you will receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits and should follow the instructions on how to respond.
You can submit a Mass Claim Request 30 days before a layoff or up to 7 days after the layoff occurs. You must sign up for Employer Benefits Services (EBS) to submit a Mass Claims Request. EBS online is fast, easy, secure, and available 24/7.
To sign up for EBS, you will need to establish a password and user ID and select an account administrator. To learn more about Employer Benefits Services and how to sign up for an EBS account, see the EBS Administrator Duties user guide.
To submit your Mass Claim, log onto EBS and select the Mass Claims tab. You will need to complete and submit all the data listed under the New Mass Claim section on the Quick Links Menu.
Note: TWC recommends you upload your Mass Claims Request at least 5 days before the layoff.
On your Mass Claim Request, you must provide:
- Your company’s name, address, telephone number, and the contact information for an authorized representative with signature authority. This should be the designated contact person for your mass claim.
- Your TWC Tax Account Number.
- For all the employees who will be laid off, provide:
- Their full names
- Current home addresses
- Phone numbers
- Social Security numbers
- Any additional data as specified on the form.
- Any information regarding additional pay and how it is calculated. Additional pay includes, but is not limited to, severance pay, wages paid instead of advance notice of the layoff, and certain retirement payments.
Note: TWC recommends that you download the .csv (Comma Separated Values) file from the EBS Mass Claims online application and fill in the required information prior to the layoff. You can also upload your own .csv file with your employee data or enter the data manually. Once loaded, you can edit your list or add and delete affected employees as needed.
If you have any problems or are unable to submit your request using EBS, email us at: email@example.com. Our Mass Claims department will reach out to help.
Once you submit information about the potential claimants, TWC provides a “Mass Claim Information Handout” that you should give your workers before the layoff. We will then create an inactive unemployment benefits claim for each affected employee. We will also mail detailed instructions on how to activate their claim after they are laid off. Tell your employees to follow TWC’s instructions and watch their mail for additional instructions.
Your employees will activate their Mass Claim by submitting their first benefit payment request. TWC’s instructions contain information on when and how to do that.
Learn about eligibility and when your employee's benefit payments start.
After the Layoff Starts
Claimants activate their claim by requesting their first benefit payment through TWC's online Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS) or by calling Tele-Serv, TWC's interactive voice response system. If a potential claimant does not request payment, TWC does not activate the claim and the claimant does not receive unemployment benefit payments through the Mass Claim process.
Mass Claim Start Date
All unemployment claims begin on a Sunday. The start date for your employees’ claims depends on the last day worked. Generally, if an employee's last workday is:
- Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, the claim will begin on the previous Sunday.
- Thursday or Friday, the claim will begin the following Sunday.
Payment Start Date
Under the Mass Claims process, employees may begin receiving benefits within two to three weeks after the start date of their unemployment benefits claim. However, if your employees received severance pay or wages instead of advance notice of the layoff, they may not be eligible for benefits during the period covered by these wages. For more information about how severance pay and wages in lieu of notice affect a claim, see Unemployment Benefits Basics for Employers.
Unemployment Benefits Overpayment
An overpayment occurs when TWC pays benefits to a claimant who was not eligible to receive them. If any employee has an existing overpayment, we use their benefit payments to pay off the balance. This means some laid-off employees may not receive benefit payments directly because we are using them to pay off their overpayment.
Information TWC Provides About Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Benefits Basics for Employers. Provides information on unemployment benefits specifically for employers.
Unemployment Benefits Program. Provides employers and employees detailed information about the unemployment benefits program.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook. TWC mails an Unemployment Benefits Handbook to your employees. Encourage them to read the entire handbook. It contains information on their rights and responsibilities while receiving unemployment benefits.
Statement of Wages and Potential Benefit Amounts. TWC also mails them a notice listing their possible weekly and maximum benefit amounts.
Work Search Log. If your employees are required to look for work, TWC also mails them a work search log. Your employees should use the log to record weekly work search activities. TWC may exempt your employees from looking for work if they are on a temporary layoff.