The Houston Employment Law Blog - Find Houston Employment Lawyers

Getting Unemployment Benefits in Houston

You just lost your job. For many, this can be the most stressful thing you’ll ever endure. Job searching, in this economy, can take months and sometimes even years. In the meantime, if you are eligible, you can seek unemployment benefits to tide you over.

Unemployment benefits are available to those who are out of work though no fault of their own. Examples of applicable situaitons are those who were laid off, had their hours cut, were fired without work related misconduct (such as violations of law or company policy), or quit for good reason, such as unsafe working conditions or not being paid.

The first place to start is at the Texas Workforce website. They provide resources that will help you estimate potential benefits, apply for benefits, check claim status and payment history, and view your tax information. You should also download this handy tutorial, which will walk you through the entire application process.

One of the requirements to receive unemployment benefits to be actively searching for a new position. has its own online job resource where you can register for job search assistance.

And should you be rejected for benefits, you'll surely want to appeal the decision. To appeal, you'll need to send a letter to the appeals department, requesting a hearing, by the deadline listed on your notification letter. The appeal should have:

  • Your name and Social Security number (SSN);
  • Your current address;
  • The date TWC mailed you the decision;
  • Your signature;
  • A copy of the decision letter, if possible.
  • Any date(s) you will not be available for a hearing;
  • Requests for access to telephones, speakerphones, fax machines or other equipment, if needed;
  • Requests for an interpreter for you or your witnesses, if needed (specify language).

More information, as well as all of the intricate details on the appeals processes, different levels of appeals, and the post-appeals process is available at the TWC's Appeals page.

Unemployment is rough, but the important thing to remember is that it is only temporary. As long as you are eligible for benefits and actively seeking work, the State of Texas can help you to support yourself and your family until you are able to find a new position. Best of luck!

Related Resources: