The Extended Benefits Program (EB) is only available during periods of high state or national unemployment. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) can only pay claimants EB when the average total unemployment rate in Texas (seasonally adjusted) exceeds 6.5 percent or more. The U.S. Secretary of Labor determines this rate using the most recent three-month period that has published data available for all U.S. states. The EB regulations can be found in Section 209.022 of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act (TUCA), including the regulations that determine when Texas “triggers” on or off EB.
Weekly and Maximum Benefit Amounts
Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) for a state EB claim is the same WBA you received on your regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim:
- The maximum benefit amount (MBA) for state EB is 50 percent of the regular UI claim’s MBA or up to 13 weeks.
EB benefits will end when:
- The state triggers off high unemployment.
- You exhaust your EB benefits.
Extended Benefits Qualifications
To qualify for EB, you must:
- Have exhausted your regular claim for UI benefits in Texas
- Not qualify for regular UI benefits in Texas or any other state
- Have total base period wages of your original regular UI claim that are:
- At least 40 times your weekly benefit amount or
- Equal to or greater than 1.5 times the highest quarter’s earnings
- Have no disqualifications that would prevent you from being eligible for EB
- Have at least one week in your benefit year that begins in an EB eligibility period.
Work Search Requirements for Extended Benefits Claimants
While receiving Extended Benefits (EB), you must make a systematic and sustained search for work. The EB program has different work search requirements than regular unemployment insurance. Please read the information we send you carefully and follow all instructions. If you do not meet all the EB work search requirements, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.
You must meet all of the following work search requirements for each week you request benefits:
- Search for work multiple days of the week. Use different methods and complete different activities, including but not limited to:
- Applying for a job
- Networking with other job seekers or potential employers
- Sending a resume to a potential employer
- Attending a job interview
- Apply for any work TWC recommends to you.
- Document your work search activities completely and accurately on the EB Work Search Log (En Español). Keep a copy of the log for your records.
- Submit your EB Work Search Log (En Español) within seven days after the day you requested payment:
- Immediately after completing the EB payment request on Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS)
- By selecting Submit Work Search Log from the Quick Links menu on UBS
- Using TWC's claimant document upload portal
- By mail or fax using the address or fax number listed on the form
- Accept any suitable work offered to you. According to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, a job is considered suitable for EB claimants if:
- You are physically and mentally able to perform the work
- The job's gross weekly pay is equal to or greater than your weekly benefit amount OR the job's hourly pay is equal to or greater than the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, whichever is greater
- The job was offered and listed through WorkInTexas.com or a Workforce Solutions Office
If you refuse a suitable job offer or fail to complete and provide documentation of appropriate work search activities, you may be disqualified from EB and lose your benefits until you have:
- Returned to work for at least four weeks working 32 hours or more per week,
- Earned four times your weekly benefit amount, AND
- Separated from this work through no fault of your own.