700 Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees - (UCFE)

  1. The UCFE program provides unemployment benefits for Federal workers similar to those provided by state unemployment insurance laws to workers in private industry. A federal civilian employee, when separated or placed on leave without pay status for seven days or more, will have been advised to report to a local public employment office to file a claim for unemployment insurance.

    A UCFE initial claim is an initial claim which has any wages based on Federal civilian service within the base period. A UCFE claim may be based on only Federal civilian earnings, on the total of Federal Civilian and Federal military wages, on the total of Federal civilian wages and state-covered earnings, or on the total of Federal Civilian and military wages and state covered earnings.
  2. Federal law (5 U.S.C. 8506(a)) as amended effective October 10, 1976, by Section 313 of the Unemployment Compensation Amendments of 1976 no longer requires findings by a Federal agency as to periods of Federal service, amount of Federal wages, and reasons for termination of Federal service be given final and conclusive status in determining entitlement on UCFE claims.
  3. Federal findings as to whether the service performed by the employee was Federal service within the definition of the term, provided by (5 U.S.C 8501), and the findings regarding the location of the employee's official duty station for assignment of wage purposes (5 U.S.C. 8504) are not affected by the rescission of the finality provisions by Section 213 of Public Law 94-566. Any determination or decision as to what constitutes "Federal service" and the State to which Federal service is assigned, shall continue to be based upon Federal law and regulations and as the Secretary may direct.
  4. The appellate procedure for State unemployment insurance cases is applicable to UCFE cases.
  5. Most federal employees received a SF-8 at the time of the separation, and the initial claim notice is supposed to be mailed to the address on that form. Some federal employers have a representative firm respond to claims electronically.
  6. If a new issue involving a job separation from a federal employer is raised during a UCFE hearing, the Hearing Officer should send a memorandum to the UCFE unit at the state office to investigate the separation. For all other issues, the Hearing Officer should create a case in the benefits system according to the usual procedures.
  7. If additional information is needed from the Federal agency before a decision may be rendered, and the agency was not represented at the hearing, the Hearing Officer should follow the same procedures as for any independent investigation.
  8. Federal employers will have the same rights with regard to protests to the initial claim, rights to receive copies of determinations, and to initiate the appellate procedure.
  9. Effective July 1, 1977, Section 8505(a) of Title 5 U.S.C., has been amended to read as follows:

    "Each State is entitled to be paid by the United States with respect to each individual whose base period wages included Federal wages an amount of compensation paid to such individual as the amount of his Federal wages in his base period bears to the total amount of his base period wages."
  10. The Federal share of benefits paid to a claimant will always be based on what the claimant was actually paid and it is immaterial whether or not the Texas wages alone were sufficient to qualify claimant for benefits.
  11. In cases involving joint State unemployment insurance and UCFE wages, the Texas employer's account is subject to charge or protection as determined by the nature of the separation. This is true even though the State unemployment wages are insufficient by themselves to qualify the claimant for benefits.
  12. In cases involving an apparent Section 207.045 spouse-leaving provision where the claimant worked for the federal government while his/her military spouse was stationed outside of the United States, the normal spouse-leaving provision may not apply. Due to the nature of the employment and being located in a foreign country, the military spouse is considered the claimant's sponsor. If the sponsor is transferred, the claimant will be involuntarily separated by the employer. The claimant has no actual choice of whether to leave with the spouse or remain with the job. Consequently, the separation is not considered a voluntary resignation, but rather an involuntary separation. Hearing Officers should take care with any such case involving military dependents working outside the United States. Section 207.045(d)(6) of the Act may apply to some individuals in federal civilian employment whose spouses were in the military.
  13. Chargeback rulings are not ordinary made in UCFE claims. Federal employers are billed for benefits attributed to federal wages, but this is not usually addressed in the decision. However, in some cases, the determination makes a ruling that the federal employer is to be billed. This ruling should be affirmed as it is correct, but the Section of the TUCA related to reimbursing employers (205.013) should not be cited in the decision.
  14. Federal employers do not report wages as regular employers, and this information must be requested for the federal employer when the initial claim is filed. The federal employer is sent a form ES-931 requesting this information. However, UCFE claimant can file an affidavit (ES-935) of their base period wages along with documentary evidence, and the Commission will establish a claim based on these tentative estimates. When the report is received from the employer of the actual wages, they monetary determination has to be adjusted accordingly. The claimant may file a request for a reconsideration of the wages using form ES-934. The claimant may also appeal the monetary determination, and the Hearing Officer has the authority to determine the wage credits.

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701 Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemen - (UCX)

  1. The UCX program provides unemployment benefits for former military personnel similar to those provided by State unemployment insurance laws to workers in private industry.
  2. Appeals involving claims for benefits under the UCX program are handled the same as appeals under the State UI program. Such appeals are resolved by the same appeal authorities as regular UI appeals. However, the jurisdiction of TWC is limited in some respects.
  3. The information obtained from the branch of military service will be accepted as final and conclusive by the State agency in making a determination as to Federal Military Service. The Appeal tribunal cannot overrule the federal findings. The claimant has the right to reconsideration of determinations involving military service. Any such request for redetermination can be made through any TWC Tele-Center, the UISS or directly to the appropriate branch of the service.
  4. In some cases, redeterminations are made that delete military wages, resulting in an overpayment. The Appeal Tribunal cannot rule on the wages, but a hearing is usually set on the overpayment issue.
  5. Wages from military service, unlike those from other types of employment, are not automatically available for use in UI claims. To use wage credits from military service, an individual must:
    • Have a DD-214 Form, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member Copy 2 through 8; Member Copy 1, DD214 Worksheet or Draft are not acceptable) documenting separation from active duty, and,
    • Be separated under Honorable Conditions, and,
    • Have completed the first full term originally agreed to serve, or,
    • Be separated for a specific reason identified by the federal government as an exception to the full-term requirement
  6. There must be a final separation from federal military service before an ex-serviceperson can file a valid first claim. The earliest date for filing such a claim is the day after the separation date indicated on the DD-214. This claim may use wages from federal military service. Filing a first initial claim after military discharge assigns the military wages to the state in which the claimant files. The state must use all military service and wages regardless of the type of claim, UI, UCFE, UCX or some combination including a CWC. Assignment of wages occurs only if the claim establishes a benefit year. There can be no assignment of military wages to the liable state in an interstate initial claim.

    Note: Establishing a benefit year assigns lag period military wages to the same state where the individual files his initial claim. These lag wages are available for use with a second benefit year.
  7. A disqualification or ineligibility under the provisions of the state law may be applied to UCX claims with respect to:
    1. Ability to work,
    2. Availability for work,
    3. Refusal of suitable work if it relates to offers of civilian employment and,
    4. Reason for separation from civilian employment subsequent to military service.
  8. The separation provisions of state laws do not apply to separations from the military on UCX claims. TWC does NOT investigate reasons for separations from military service; therefore, military separation cases should never be created at any point of a UCX claim. They are not applicable.
  9. In cases where a claimant has joint UCX and state unemployment insurance wages, the accounts of Texas employers are subject to charge or protection in accordance with Section 204.022 of the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act irrespective of whether or not the state unemployment insurance wages are sufficient by themselves to qualify claimant for benefits.
  10. Accrued leave paid to an ex-serviceman must be considered as wages for employment during the time to which the leave is allocated. The number of days accrued leave will be applied on a calendar day basis beginning with the day immediately following the individual's separation from his last period of Federal Military Service. A valid UCX initial claim cannot be filed until the first day after the end of the period covered by the accrued leave.
  11. Eligibility Requirements (5 U.S.C. 8521)

    "(a)(1) 'Federal Service' means active service (not including duty in a reserve status unless for a continuous period of 90 days or more) in the armed forces or the Commission Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration if with respect to that service -

    "the individual was discharged or released under honorable conditions (and if an officer, did not resign for the good of the service); and

    "(i) the individual was discharged or released after completing his first full term of active service which the individual initially agreed to serve, or

    "(ii) the individual was discharged or released before completing such term of active service -

    "(I) for the convenience of the government under any early release program,

    "(II) because of medical disqualification, pregnancy, parenthood, or any service-incurred injury or disability.

    "(III) because of hardship, or

    "(IV) because of personality disorders or ineptitude but only if the service was continuous for 365 days or more."
  12. When a claimant's period of military service does not meet the requirements for creditable military service as defined by the Act, the individual's Federal wages cannot be used to establish UCX entitlement, and there will be no UCX wage assignment.

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702 Combined-Wage Claims - (CWC)

  1. A combined-wage claim is a claim whereby a claimant with wages in more than one state may combine all the wages in order to qualify for benefits or to receive more benefits.
  2. The Federal Unemployment Tax Act provides that all states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall participate in the plan for combining wages. Canada does not participate in the plan.
  3. The Paying state is the state where the claimant files the the initial claim provided that the claimant must have base period wages in the Paying state. The base period and laws of the Paying State are used in determining benefits. If the claimant's wages are not sufficient to qualify in that state, then the claimant may file a CWC with the last state in which the claimant worked and that state would be the Paying State.
  4. The transferring state is a state in which a combined-wage claimant had covered employment and wages in the base period of a Paying State and which transfers wages to the Paying State for its use in determining the benefit rights of such claimant under its law.
  5. In order to file a Texas combined wage claim, a claimant must have base period wages in at least two states. The CWC claimant may or may not have Texas wages. Wages are requested from the transferring state by sending form IB-4 to that state. If an initial claim is not established, those wages are returned to that state. A record of CWC wage requests can be viewed on the Wage Transfer Request State Detail (CTRQ) screen. If another state denies the claimant wage credits, the claimant must appeal to that state. The Hearing Officer cannot award wage credits from another state to a claimant.

    Generally, a claimant may not file a CWC if the claimant has a current benefit year in any state and there are unused benefits remaining on that claim.
  6. An unemployed individual has the right to reject a combined-wage claim and file against a state in which the individual is separately eligible, or has the right to file no claim. However, once the claimant has accepted the status of a combined-wage claimant, the claimant becomes subject to the laws and regulations of the paying state. All rights and obligations should be fully explained. Any eligibility or disqualification issues should be acted upon in the same manner as for other claimants of the Paying State, except that the Paying State may not determine an issue which has previously been adjudicated by a transferring state.

    If a benefit year is established by the combined-wage claimant, the claim will be handled in all respects as if it were an ordinary interstate or intrastate claim, whichever is applicable.
  7. A combined-wage claimant, without giving any reason for doing so, may withdraw a combined-wage claim within the period prescribed by law of the Paying State for filing an appeal, protest, or request for redetermination, as the case may be, from the monetary determination of the combined-wage claim, provided claimant:
    1. Repays in full any benefits paid to claimant thereunder; or
    2. Authorizes the state(s) against which benefits will be claimed to withhold and forward to the former Paying State a sum sufficient to repay such benefits.
  8. The Paying State will make the determination on a combined-wage claim according to the law of that state and shall mail copies of the determination to the claimants.
  9. UCFE wages correctly assigned to a state may be used for wage-combining the same as state wages.
  10. UCX wages after correct assignment are considered the same as state wages for purposes of wage-combining.
  11. Claims which include both Texas and non-Texas wages in the base period will subject Texas employers to the chargeback provisions of Section 204.022 of the TUC Act irrespective of whether or not the Texas wages were sufficient by themselves to qualify claimant for benefits. In cases where Texas is the transferring state, chargeback to the employer's account will be in issue even though the Texas wages used are outside the Texas base period. Wages thus used will not be available later to pay benefits if such wages should appear within a subsequent base period.
  12. The following are some rules or regulations for combined-wage claims:
    1. Claimant must file initial claim in State of residence if claimant desires a combined wage claim.
    2. If claimant cannot qualify in resident State, after combining wages, then can file against State where had covered employment.
    3. If claimant lives in Texas and cannot qualify on Texas wages, must have wages in more than one other State; otherwise, it is considered an interstate claim.

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703 Special Federal Programs

  1. There are four programs that were established to help claimants unemployed because of unusual circumstances:
    1. Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) - In times of high unemployment, the federal government will pass legislation to allow unemployment insurance benefits to be extended beyond the time that regular benefits are depleted. Chapter 209 of the TUCA along with appropriate federal regulations provide the guidelines for administering this particular program.
    2. Disaster Unemployment Compensation (DUA) - Whenever a major disaster occurs in Texas this program provides temporary income for eligible individuals whose jobs or earnings are affected. Such assistance is available to self-employed individuals as well as "covered" employees.
    3. Trade Readjustment Act/Trade Adjustment Assistance (TRA/TAA) - This program assists workers who become unemployed as a result of increased imports, to return to suitable work. Trade readjustment allowances are weekly benefit payments similar in construction and intent to regular, extended, or EUC benefits.
    4. Child Care Management Services (CCMS) - This program provides for subsidized child care for low income families who meet certain eligibility requirements imposed by the State of Texas. The primary eligibility consideration, however, is that the parents of the children in such care be working, in training, or in school.
  2. Because of the complexity of these programs, most Hearing Officers will not conduct such hearings. Hearing Officers who are designated for these special federal programs receive additional training concerning the individual rules and regulations.

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