If you have recently lost your job, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. Filing a claim for unemployment benefits with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) may be a daunting task. This process is made more stressful when employers contest an unemployment claim you very well may deserve. It is important to remember that there are only two reasons for your unemployment claim to be denied by TWC: (1) termination due to misconduct, or (2) quitting without good cause.

Generally, the unemployment process begins when you apply for benefits. You can contact the TWC at 800-939-6631 to start this process.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, you have a very limited time period to appeal: only fourteen (14) days from the date the determination was mailed. This can be a hard deadline to make. If the determination is mailed from Austin on a Thursday, it may not reach Houston until Monday. It is vitally important to meet this deadline.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, you should continue to follow the TWC’s unemployment reporting instructions. You should continue to call in to let the TWC know you are still unemployed and pursuing work. If you win your appeal, but have fail to call in, you will be denied unemployment for the weeks you do not call.

You or your former employer can appeal the initial determination. If this happens, the TWC will conduct a telephone hearing. We typically charge $500 per hearing if you hire us to represent you. The telephone hearing is conducted similarly to a trial. Each side presents evidence, and the TWC hearing officer make a decision just like a judge.

Unfortunately, we have seen it become much harder for Texas employees to receive unemployment benefits. Before 2008, employees who quit were generally denied unemployment benefits, while employees who were fired generally received benefits. It was a simple and effective system. Since 2008, the TWC has dramatically raised the standard for obtaining benefits. Before, misconduct had to be severe and intentional. Now, we see employees routinely denied benefits for ordinary performance issues. Making the situation even worse, companies like TALX and Ernst & Young sell services to employers designed to help them defeat claims for unemployment. It is not fair, but it is more important for you to have an employment lawyer represent you in an unemployment appeal than ever before.

If you have been wrongfully denied unemployment benefits, our Houston employment lawyers are available to represent you. Even if the Texas Workforce Commission denied your benefits, you may still have the right to appeal the TWC decision. Our employment lawyers can appeal decisions of the Texas Workforce Commission, represent you at your hearing, and fight for your benefits.

However, because the deadline to appeal a decision by the Texas Workforce Commission is so incredibly short, contact us immediately. You may wish to call (713) 337-1333 and tell us you have an unemployment appeal and that time is of the essence. We will schedule a face-to-face meeting with a Houston employment lawyer. We can discuss the pros and cons of your appeal, and whether our services would be appropriate.

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