Information for COVID-19 Employers, Jobseekers and Child Care
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 10:00p.m. and 8 a.m. You may want to try back during those hours to file your claim or check the status of your claim.

Due to COVID-19, the due date for the 1st Quarter 2020 tax reports and payments is extended to May 15, 2020. You may begin filing after April 15, 2020.

On this page:

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.

Have questions regarding COVID-19 and your business? Read our Employer FAQs.

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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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Tax Department

Due to COVID-19, the due date for the 1st Quarter 2020 tax reports and payments is extended to May 15, 2020.

Due to the unprecedented amount of internet traffic on both our claimant and employer systems, PLEASE DO NOT START FILING your 1ST Quarter 2020 TAX REPORT UNTIL after APRIL 15, 2020.

This will allow uninterrupted internet access for individuals filing for unemployment and help ensure employers have access to their online accounts.

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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.

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Precautions for Employers

The CDC recommends that all employers consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace in the event that the illness spreads. All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. The CDC has prepared a list of recommended strategies to help employers contain the spread of the illness within their workplace:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees in the workplace and send them home
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees by posting informational posters and setting up multiple hand hygiene stations
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning and provide disposable wipes for employees to use
  • Get the latest information regarding travel safety
  • Communicate your attendance expectations to your employees

The CDC also recommends that employers create a flexible plan to manage sick leave policy and attendance issues, and to implement working remotely and avoiding holding meetings in close quarters. For more information, see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html.

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Mass Claims and Shared Work Programs

Facing Layoffs? Check out TWC’s Mass Claims Program

If you have to close your business either temporarily or permanently and need to lay off employees, you may be able to submit a mass claim for unemployment benefits on their behalf. 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. You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To submit a Mass Claim Request:

  • Log on to Employer Benefits Services and select Mass Claims Request. Note: We have waived the requirement that you must submit your Mass Claims Request at least five days prior to the planned layoff.

To submit a Mass Claim Request manually:

Note: If you have already laid off staff, you cannot use Employer Benefits Services (EBS) to submit a Mass Claim. If your layoff date was in the past and you have 10 or more employees affected by the pandemic, you will need to fill out and submit Mass Claims documents manually:

  • Complete the Mass Claims SpreadsheetMS Excel and the Mass Claims Agreement Letter MS Word. The spreadsheet has an instructions tab to help you identify which fields are required and which are optional.
  • Email the completed documents to TWC’s Mass Claims Coordinator at ui.massclaims@twc.state.tx.us. Note: You can leave the columns highlighted in blue blank.
  • Make sure your email contains the following information:
    • Your company’s name, address, phone number, and TWC Tax Account Number
    • Contact person’s name (authorized representative with signature authority)
    • Contact’s email address, and phone number
    • The layoff date and how many employees were affected

Our Mass Claims department will process your Mass Claim request in the order received.

For more information, see: Mass Claims for Unemployment Benefits

Need to Reduce Employee Hours? Check out TWC’s Shared Work Program

If your business has slowed down due to the pandemic and you need to reduce employee working hours, you may be able to avoid laying off employees by submitting a shared work plan. The Shared Work program provides Texas employers with an alternative to layoffs. TWC developed this voluntary program to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business.

Shared Work allows employers to:

  • Supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits.
  • Reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent; the reduction must affect at least 10 percent of the employees in that unit.

Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.

For more information, see TWC’s Shared Work web page.

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News and Information

Access news and information related to COVID-19

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Fraud Prevention

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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