Information for COVID-19 FAQ, Employers, Job Seekers, Self-Employed, Child Care and Unemployed After Returning to Work Guidance
Report ID Theft | How to Complete Work Search Requirements | Employers Unemployment Tax Rates
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Unemployment Benefits ID Theft

Employers who receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for an employee who is still working or for a person who never worked for them should respond to the notice immediately. Employers can respond by phone, Internet, fax or mail. Go to Responding to a Notice of Application for more information. 

While both the employer and the employee may report the ID theft, we prefer that the information comes directly from the person whose identity was stolen. Employers who have information that a claim was filed using an employee's ID should advise their employee to report the ID theft using TWC’s online portal. See Unemployment Benefits Identity Theft for more information.

Report ID Theft

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued an unemployment insurance phishing fraud alertPDF.  Be aware of unemployment benefit 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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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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Lunchtime Live

Texas Conference for Employers presents Lunchtime Live! 90 minute virtual sessions on employment law. Sressions run from 11:30am to 1pm. See below for registration and event details: 

October 1, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • COVID-19 Paid Leave-Related Laws
  • Privacy in the Workplace
  • Unemployment Claims and Employer Chargeback Liability
  • Payroll Tax 101 discussion

October 15, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • Unemployment Claims: General Overview for Employers
  • Unemployment Taxes: Chargeback and Reimbursing Employers
  • Best Practices for Maintaining a Safe Workplace
  • Payroll Tax 101 discussion

November 5, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • Policies and Procedures during COVID-19
  • Allowable Workplace Health Screens & Medical Exams
  • We Hire Vets’ Recognition
  • Payroll Tax 101 discussion

November 19, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • Labor Market Update 
  • TWC’s Shared Work Program
  • Managing Employees Working Remotely
  • Payroll Tax 101 discussion

December 3, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • Workers’ Compensation and Covid-19
  • Civil Rights in the Workplace
  • Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • Employer Commissioner Update/Deadline dates for end and beginning of the year

December 17, 2020, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.: Click here to REGISTER

  • Employer Recognitions
  • 2 – 30-minute Keynote speakers

 

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Employer Work Refusal Documentation

Employee Refused Return-to-Work Offer? Let us know!

If you offered any of your employees a chance to return to work and they refused, TWC needs to know. Please report each individual who refused to return to work on our online Employer Work Refusal Documentation form.

 

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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 the waiting week for those claimants affected by COVID-19.

Employers who have had to lay off employees or reduce their hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic need to tell TWC that the employees’ job separation or reduction in hours is due to the pandemic when they respond to a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits. Also, if the employer has laid off multiple employees, the employer can send ONE blanket employer response for all the affected employees. Employers should include their TWC Account Number on the response. TWC will apply the response to all the affected employees who have applied for benefits.

The American Rescue Plan

Under the American Rescue Plan, individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Extended Benefits (EB) under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) under section 2107 may be eligible for assistance under PUA. Coverage may also include individuals who have exhausted their benefits under regular UC or EB claims under state or federal law, or PEUC.

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. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, TWC has also protected covered employer accounts from chargeback. For more information about pandemic unemployment claims programs, see  Types of Regular and Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Claims.

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

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

2021 Tax Rate Update

The Governor of Texas, the Texas Legislature and the Texas Workforce Commission are working to support employers’ ability to continue rebuilding their businesses and our economy, while ensuring unemployment trust fund operations. To help ensure Texas’ ability to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to explore options to keep the 2021 tax rates as low as possible for Texas employers. 

2021 tax rates will be issued late in June 2021:

This will allow Texas time to consider legislation assisting Texas employers and for the Governor to sign that legislation.

Voluntary contributions are not in effect this year: 

In order to assist Texas employers, Governor Abbott has suspended Section 204.048 of the Texas Labor Code, which set deadlines for a small subset of employers who make voluntary contributions into the UI tax system. The Commissioners in turn aligned TWC Policy with that decision.

Governor Abbott’s Suspension Declaration

Updated 2021 Unemployment Tax Wage Report and Payment Schedule

Only affects 1Q21 and 2Q21 payment due dates below (*):

2021 Unemployment Tax Wage Report and Payment Schedule
Wages Paid Quarter Ends Report Due (No Change) Payment Due
1Q21 Mar 31 Apr 30, 2021 Aug 2, 2021*
2Q21 Jun 30 Aug 2, 2021 Sept 30, 2021*
3Q21 Sept 30 Nov 1, 2021 Nov 1, 2021
4Q21 Dec 31 Jan 31, 2022 Jan 31, 2022

Other Information for Texas Employers:

  • Early payment will be applied to the oldest debt first.
  • If payment is submitted and there is no debt, the account will carry a credit and the credit will apply to future debt.
  • Send all other questions or concerns to tax@twc.state.tx.us.

Service Agents/Third-party Administrators:

TWC is communicating closely with service agents and third-party administrators to ensure accurate and timely information is being conveyed. To assist this process, please ensure that all account information is up to date and current.

Employers can select and enter a tax rate if their payroll software system requires that one be entered. Once the rate notice is received employers will be able to update their system to the correct tax rate. Employers have the discretion to wait and receive their 2021 tax rate notification, thus ensuring an accurate calculation of the state unemployment tax liability, or select an estimated rate until the actual 2021 rates are provided.

If your payroll system requires a tax rate, please see options below:

  • New employers (operating less than 18 months) may use 2.7% as their tax rate.
  • Experience rated employers (operating more than 18 months) may consider using their 2020 actual tax rate as an option or one of the following published 2020 rates:

IMPORTANT: If you used an optional tax rate for your payroll system, please adjust once the actual 2021 rates are published.

Employers can review the tax rate online using the Unemployment Tax Services (UTS) as rates become available. Once you have logged in to your account on the UTS system, please click on the “Account Info” tab at the top of the page, and then select the “Tax Rate Summary” link in the Quick Links box on the left to view your tax rate information for the last several years.

 

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Reimbursing Employer – CARES & ARP Acts and Billing Statements

CARES Act Information

Reimbursing employers receive their eligible 50% CARES credit. The CARES Credit will offset eligible charges. 

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) had extended the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter 2020 payment due dates reimbursing employers to match the 4th quarter due date of March 1, 2021. This extension applies to non-profits, local governments, school districts, and other qualifying employers who reimburse TWC for the full amount of unemployment benefits to be paid to eligible former employees. 

This extension does not remove the employer’s requirement to file their tax reports and report worker wages in a timely manner. While the extension does not reduce or eliminate any payment for reimbursing employers, it does waive interest charges during the same period. The primary purpose of this extension is to provide reimbursing employers more time to secure resources to meet these and other liabilities as they deal with the implications of COVID-19.

Benefit Statements (form C-58R) were sent out to employers as follows: 

Reimbursing Employers Statements (C-58R) Dates

Report Quarter Quarter End Date Original Statement Mail Date CARES 50% Credit Statement Mail Date Remittance Due Date
1Q20 3/31/2020 4/15/2020 11/30/2020 3/1/2021
2Q20 6/30/2020 7/15/2020 11/30/2020 3/1/2021
3Q20 9/30/2020 N/A 10/30/2020 3/1/2021
4Q20 12/31/2020 N/A 2/8/2021 3/1/2021

Final 2020 Reimbursing Employers Statements (C-58R) Dates

Report Quarter Quarter End Date CARES 50% Credit Statement Mail Date Reissued CARES 50% Credit Statement Mail Date Remittance Due Date
4Q20 12/31/2020 2/8/2021 4/5/2021 6/1/2021*

*  Reissued 4Q20 statement mailed 04/05/2021 will reflect all 2020 chargeback updates.  Only employers with adjustments to eligible charges will receive these statements.  If the adjustments have caused a debt on your accounts, the due date for that amount will be extended to 06/01/2021.

ARP Act Information

Reimbursing employers receive their eligible 50% and 75% ARPA credit. The ARPA Credit will offset eligible charges. 

Benefit Statements (form C-58R) reflecting the eligible ARPA are scheduled to begin going out on 04/15/2021 beginning with the 1Q21 sent out to employers as follows: 

Reimbursing Employers ARPA Statements (C-58R) Dates

Report Quarter Quarter End Date C-58R Statement Mailed Date Remittance Due Date
1Q21 3/31/2021 4/15/2021* 5/31/2021
2Q21 6/30/2021 7/15/2021* 8/30/2021
3Q21 9/30/2021 10/30/2021 11/30/2021
4Q21 12/31/2021 2/8/2022 2/28/2022

*  The 1Q21 quarter will be receiving a 50% credit for eligible charges.   Statements for 2Q21 through the current ARPA timeframe of September 6, 2021 (Benefit week ending September 4. 2021) will reflect a 75% credit for eligible charges.

In response to your specific question, please see the following Questions and Answer sections:

Issue: I have won an appeal decision: 

Chargebacks are updated quarterly.

Reversals will usually display on the following statement received as a negative figure and will be used to offset any new charge. 

Appeal decision reversals will normally result in a reduction of the CARES credit equal to 50%. 

Issue: I received Default Notices saying that I must pay before the due date on the statements or the TWC communications.

Response: Please ignore any Default Notices received prior to 03/01/2021.

Issue: I filed an appeal and won, but I am still seeing the charges on my statement? 

Response: Chargeback information is updated quarterly for your account. You should see the removal (negative amount) on the next benefits statement that you receive. Note: if you win an appeal and the charge is removed, your CARES and ARP Act credits awarded for those charges will also be removed. 

Issue: Why does my CARES and ARP Act credits not equal 50 or 75 percent of charges?

Response: The CARES and ARP Act credit is awarded for all eligible charges. Not all charges are eligible for the CARES credit. 

Issue: I am unable to reconcile my account with the information provided on the C-58R statements. How do I rectify my account?

Response: The information on the statements will reflect the correct charges, adjustments, and CARES and ARP Act payments amount for each quarter. However, you may need to review each statement, your Unemployment Tax Services (UTS) online portal, and your statement of employer account, form C-69. TWC will be able to assist with the amount due or potential credit owed back to you, and you may contact us using one of the links below. 

Please choose the best applicable contact but know that your questions will be forwarded to the appropriate department for response.

Chargeback Questions

Fraud Issues

Appeals

CARES Credit Refund

Remittance Extension

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Responding to Chargebacks Through TWC’s Employer Benefits Services Portal

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) encourages employers to respond to the Notice of Potential Chargeback through the Other Services feature on the Employer Benefits Services (EBS) portal. Responding to a Notice of Maximum Potential Chargeback through the EBS portal allows employers to view, respond to, and submit the notices electronically.

This online feature provides 24/7 access to the online Other Services site, security, immediate updates and changes, and checks and balances – validation so errors are caught and corrected immediately.

To protest a Chargeback, an employer must do so within 30 calendar days of the date the notice was mailed. If the employer does not respond to the Notice of Maximum Potential Chargeback, they will be charged. 

Note: Filing timely is critical to avoid charges and utilizing the EBS portal can prevent mail delays.

Responding to the Notice of Potential Chargeback protects the employer’s tax rate and ensures that benefits are properly paid to claimants. By responding timely, employers ensure the right to appeal a Chargeback.

To respond a Notice of Maximum potential Chargeback electronically:

You can also respond to a chargeback notice by completing the back of the form and faxing or mailing it to TWC. The back of the notice allows you to provide the reason the claimant is no longer working for you.

Fax: 512-305-9687

Mail:
Texas Workforce Commission
Chargeback Determination Unit
P.O. Box 149137
Austin, TX  78714-9137

For more information, see: 

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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 before the layoff date or up to seven days after the layoff. You can submit a mass claim request on Employer Benefits Services (EBS) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To submit your Mass Claim, log on to EBS 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.

If you encounter any problems and are unable to submit your request using your EBS portal, please email us at ui.massclaims@twc.state.tx.us with a description of your problem. Our Mass Claims department will contact you to determine what action is needed.

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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.

Notification for Employers

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.

In order for a salaried exempt employee to participate in Shared Work, their hours worked and salary must be reduced based on Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guidelines. If you have questions on FLSA guidelines, please contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division.

Claimants who do not have enough wages in their base period to qualify for regular unemployment insurance (UI) are not eligible for the Shared Work program. If such a claimant was included on a Shared Work application, they will be removed from the employer’s Shared Work plan.

Claimants who do not qualify for the Shared Work program or regular UI may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is a program authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that provides unemployment benefits to individuals who do not qualify for or have exhausted their regular UI benefits. These claimants must file an individual regular UI claim (outside of the Shared Work program) and TWC will determine PUA eligibility. While receiving PUA, these claimants must request payment every two weeks and report their work and earnings. TWC will deduct any earnings from their weekly PUA benefit amount.

To apply for benefits online, see Unemployment Benefits Services: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/unemployment-benefits-services

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

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Return-to-Work Information

Electronically submit return-to-work information to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

Submit your return-to-work information by logging on to our Employer Benefits Services (EBS) portal. The Return to Work online program allows you to easily report a return-to-work date for employees before or after the layoff. You can submit return-to-work information either by:

  • Entering individual employee Social Security numbers (SSNs)
  • Uploading a list of employee SSNs
  • Submitting a return-to-work date statewide for a large group of employees located throughout the state with an unemployment benefits claim.

There is no limit on the number of employees that you can submit. TWC will exempt employees from work searches when they have a return-to-work date within 12 weeks of their layoff date and confirmed by the employer. Submitting a return-to-work date increases your chances of retaining your employees and ensures that TWC will stop paying them unemployment benefits after they return to work.

Note: If the return-to-work date exceeds 12 weeks from the date of layoff, the work search exemption requires the approval of our Executive Director. To request a work search exemption for a return-to-work date exceeding 12 weeks, please submit your request through our secure, online portal, UI Submission Upload-Employers Only. You can also fax or mail the information to: 

  • Fax: (512) 463-2754
  • Mail:
    Texas Workforce Commission
    P.O. Box 149137
    Austin, TX  78714-9137
    Attn: Work Search Exemptions

The request should include your company name, TWC account number, number of employees laid off, date of layoff, and the return-to-work date. If the exemption is approved, the employer must provide employee names and SSNs.

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