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Hardeman County, TX Unemployment Law

Answers to your questions about Unemployment Law in Hardeman County, TX: Eligibility for Texas unemployment, how to apply for benefits in Texas, how much you can expect to receive each week, what requirements you'll need to meet to keep getting benefits, and how to file an appeal if your application to the Texas Workforce Commission, Appeal Tribunal for benefits is denied.
Keywords: Hardeman County, TX unemployment law, eligibility for unemployment, unemployment insurance, unemployment benefits, weekly benefit amount, appeal unemployment, unemployment lawyer, unemployment eligibility, base period, collect unemployment, jobless benefits

Hardeman County Unemployment Offices

Learn about the self-help resources available to you at the Hardeman County Job Centers.

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Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits No Longer Available

During the COVID-19 pandemic, job losses skyrocketed, and the unemployment rate reached double digits. Congress responded by creating several temporary unemployment benefit programs. Many employees were eligible for unemployment because they lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the steps state and local governments took to contain it. Millions more received temporary federal benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program because they were still unemployed when their state benefits ran out. And, many gig workers, contractors, and self-employed people were temporarily eligible for  unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. 

Expired Federal Pandemic Unemployment Programs 

However, these federal programs ended on September 6, 2021. In some states, they ended even earlier: About half the states decided to stop participating in these programs before they expired.

Since September 6, 2021, these benefits have no longer been available. That means:

  • Benefits are no longer available to the millions of gig workers, contractors, and freelancers who were receiving unemployment through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. 
  • Benefits are no longer available through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offered additional benefits to those who were still unemployed when they used up their state benefits. 
  • Benefits have been reduced for those who were receiving Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, a program that offered $300 extra per week to those collecting unemployment. 

All told, experts estimate that more than seven million people lost their benefits on Labor Day, 2021. More than two million more saw their benefits cut by $300 per week. 

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How Do I Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Hardeman County, TX?

If you recently lost your job, you might qualify for unemployment benefits: money paid by Texas’s unemployment insurance fund to those who are temporarily out of work, through no fault of their own. To receive benefits, you must file an application with the Texas Workforce Commission. The Texas Workforce Commission will determine whether you qualify for benefits and, if so, how much you will receive each week.

Are You Eligible for Benefits? To qualify for benefits, you must have earned a certain amount before losing your job, and you must be out of work for reasons that qualify under Texas’s rules. Learn more about Texas’s eligibility requirements

Information You’ll Need to File Your Application

Before you apply, you should review the Texas Workforce Commission’s materials on unemployment. You’ll find helpful information and resources at the Texas Workforce Commission website. Also, check out the Unemployment Benefits Handbook, which provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on eligibility, filing for benefits, and claiming your benefits.

You will need to have certain information and documents on hand when you complete the application, including:

  • personal information, including your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number
  • your driver’s license or other identification
  • information about your work history in the last year and a half, including the name, address, and phone number of every employer you worked for, your dates of work, and what you earned, and
  • the reason why you are no longer employed by your previous employer.

Filing Your Application

In almost every state, you can file for unemployment online. Texas’s online portal is the place to start your online application (except in Vermont, which has an online filing system for weekly claims only; initial applications for unemployment must be filed by phone).

Many states also allow you to apply by phone; learn more by calling the Texas Workforce Commission at 800-939-6631. Some states also allow in-person applications, although some did away with this option when offices were closed during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Next Steps

Once you file your application, the Texas Workforce Commission will contact your former employer to verify your employment information, review your earnings history, and issue a written determination of your eligibility for benefits. If you qualify for benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission will also provide your weekly benefit amount. (If the Texas Workforce Commission finds you ineligible for benefits, you can appeal; learn more at Can I Appeal a Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Texas?)

In the meantime, and for every week you are unemployed, you must file a certification to request your benefits. You may need to provide information about any earnings during the week, your work search activities, and more; see What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Texas?



Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

You qualify for unemployment benefits in Texas if you meet two basic requirements:

  • you must have earned at least a minimum amount (and/or worked a certain amount of time) before you lost your job, and
  • you must be out of work through no fault of your own.

If you meet these two qualifications when you apply, you will likely be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. (To keep receiving benefits after you are found eligible, you will also have to meet your state’s job search requirements; to learn more, see What Do I Have to Do to Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits in Texas?)

Gig workers, freelancers, and contractors are no longer eligible for benefits. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Congress greatly expanded eligibility for unemployment. Among other things, these programs provided benefits to gig workers and other contract workers who are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits. However, these programs expired in every state on September 6, 2021; about half the states cut off these benefits even earlier. 

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Three Things You Need to Know About Unemployment Benefits in Texas

This site provides clear, accurate information on collecting unemployment benefits in Texas, including:

Here are three things to keep in mind as you get started:

1. You may be eligible for benefits even if you quit, you were fired for cause, or you are still working part-time.

Some people mistakenly believe that unemployment is available only to employees who are laid off. However, you don't have to lose your job in a layoff to qualify for benefits. The key question is whether you are out of work without fault on your part. So, if you were forced to quit your job in lieu of being fired, or you were fired because you don't have the necessary skills for your job, you could still be eligible for benefits. 

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COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in Texas FAQ

1. Are coronavirus unemployment benefits still available?

2. How do I apply for unemployment if I am out of work due to COVID-19?

3. Can self-employed people and gig workers who have lost work due to COVID-19 collect unemployment?

4. How much will I get in unemployment benefits if I am unemployed due to COVID-19?

5. How long will my benefits last if I am unemployed because of COVID-19?

6. Can I collect unemployment if I was furloughed due to COVID-19?

7. Where can I find the latest information on how Texas is dealing with unemployment claims relating to coronavirus?

1. Are coronavirus unemployment benefits still available?

As of September 6, 2021, the answer is no. The special pandemic programs Congress created to help those who have lost work due to COVID-19 (and the steps state and local governments have taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus) have now expired. These programs included:

    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which made benefits available to those who wouldn't qualify for traditional unemployment benefits, including the self-employed, gig workers, those who have already used up their state benefits, and those who don't meet the work history eligibility requirement in their state. 
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How Much Will I Collect in Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

In Texas, you can earn up to $549 per week in unemployment benefits under state law. 

Although additional money ($300 extra per week) was available under the temporary Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, that program expired on September 6, 2021 (or earlier, in states that cut off these benefits before the program ended). For weeks of unemployment starting on September 6, you will not receive these additional benefits. 

Every state has its own rules for calculating unemployment benefits. Typically, the amount you receive each week is based on your earnings when you were employed. After all, unemployment benefits are intended to replace some of the income you lost along with your job, and tide you over until you find new work.

Calculating Your Benefit Amount

Your weekly unemployment benefit amount depends on your earnings during the base period.

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How Long Will My Unemployment Benefits Last in Texas?

In Texas, you can receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks under state law. 

A temporary federal program (the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program) allowed claimants to keep collecting benefits after their state benefits ran out. However, that program expired on September 6, 2021 (or earlier, in states that decided to cut these benefits off before the program ended). Benefits will no longer be available under this program for weeks of unemployment starting on September 6.

In times of high unemployment, additional weeks of benefits may be available under a different federal program, the Extended Benefits program (see below).

Each state sets its own rules for how long unemployment benefits last. Until quite recently, virtually all states offered a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits. In the last five or six years, however, some states have changed their rules on duration of benefits (in most cases, to offer benefits for a shorter period of time).

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Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits If I Was Wrongfully Terminated?

In order to collect unemployment, you must meet two basic requirements. First, you must have earned at least a minimum amount, set by state law, in the time before you lost your job. Second, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. For more information about these requirements, see Who is Eligible for Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

If you lose your job in a layoff, reduction-in-force (RIF), or downsizing, you will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. But, these are not the only ways that employees lose their jobs. Your eligibility for benefits depends upon the reason you become unemployed. 

If You Were Fired for Misconduct

Generally-speaking, if you are terminated, you can collect unemployment insurance benefits in Texas. But, there is an exception to that general rule in Texas:

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Do I Need a Lawyer to Get Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

Having your own lawyer to represent you in the unemployment insurance benefits process in Texas will level the playing field for you—because your ex-employer will be represented. Your ex-employer is almost certainly going to have a lawyer or two offering guidance through the Texas unemployment process. This legal advice can give your ex-employer an edge over you in the process, especially if they intend to challenge your claim for benefits. Your own lawyer can:

  • Help you figure out if you are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in Texas
  • Tell you if your employer’s stated reason for terminating you is valid and will bar benefits
  • Guide you through Texas’s unemployment insurance benefits claim process
  • Advise you on how to keep receiving unemployment insurance benefits, and
  • Assist you if you need to appeal a denial of unemployment insurance benefits by the Texas Workforce Commission

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Paying an Unemployment Lawyer in Texas

If you may be (or already have been) denied unemployment benefits in Texas, you may be wondering whether you need a lawyer -- and whether you can afford to hire a lawyer to help with your unemployment case. (If you're wondering what a lawyer can do for you, check out Five Ways an Unemployment Lawyer Can Help You.) It all depends on your financial situation and how (and how much) the attorney charges. In some situations, an unemployment attorney may be willing to offer you a contingency fee arrangement. This means the lawyer gets paid only if you win, out of the money you receive as a settlement or award. 

Below, we explain some typical attorney fee arrangements in unemployment cases. 

Initial Consultation

Your first step in choosing an attorney – and deciding whether it makes sense to fight your employer in an unemployment claim, appeal, or lawsuit – is an initial consultation. The initial consultation provides you and the attorney an opportunity to decide whether and how you will work together. 

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Five Ways an Unemployment Lawyer Can Help You in Texas

If you have a straightforward unemployment claim, you will likely be able to file for unemployment benefits on your own, without any help from a lawyer. Your claim is relatively simple if you can easily meet the Texas earnings requirements to qualify for benefits, and you and your employer agree that you lost your job through no fault of your own (for example, because you were laid off or had to quit when your military spouse was transferred to another state).

But if your case is more complicated, it might make sense to consult with or hire an unemployment lawyer to represent you. An unemployment lawyer can help you if you are facing any of the situations described below.

1. Your Employer Claims You Were Fired for Misconduct

If you were fired for misconduct, you may not be eligible for benefits. In Texas, examples of misconduct include breaking the law, violating company policy, mismanagement or neglect of your position, or failing to adequately perform your job duties if you were able to do so. 

 

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