Denial of Unemployment Benefits in Texas
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In some cases, applicants may be denied unemployment benefits in Texas. There may be several reasons why an applicant has his or her unemployment benefits denied, some of the most common being:
- The applicant quit for personal reasons
- The applicant was fired due to misconduct
- The applicant was fired or had hours reduced due to a labor strike
- A petitioner already receiving benefits refused a reasonable job offer while receiving benefits
- The applicant receives Worker’s Compensation, a retirement pension, or a severance pay
If a petitioner believes that he or she has been wrongly denied unemployment, he or she reserves the right to appeal the claim.
This section on denial of unemployment benefits in Texas will cover:
- Why was I denied unemployment in Texas?
- What can I do if unemployment denied my benefits in Texas?
Why Was I Denied Unemployment in Texas?
Getting unemployment compensation benefits denied in Texas means that the petitioner was not qualified for unemployment benefits for at least one reason. Some of the reasons are as follows:
Petitioners who have been fired due to misconduct may have their unemployment compensation benefits denied. Misconduct in the workplace is generally defined as an intentional act (or lack thereof) that resulted in the petitioner breaking a law or company conduct. For the petitioner to be denied unemployment, misconduct must be well documented by the employer.
Employee misconduct cannot be used as a reason to deny benefits in Texas if:
- The employer did not give a final warning before firing
- Inconsistent consequences for different employees can be proven
- The employer fired the applicant for an accumulation of reasons instead of a specific incident
- The incident resulting in the applicant being fired happened much before the applicant was actually fired
- The applicant’s overall performance or attitude wasn’t satisfactory to the employer
- Lack of documentation or firsthand witnesses
Quitting and Leaving Voluntarily
An applicant may be denied unemployment benefits if the petitioner left the job of his or her own free will. This requirement may be waived if the petitioner quit for a good, job-related reason. For example, if the petitioner quit due to not being paid at all, he or she may still be eligible for unemployment benefits in TX. If the petitioner wants to challenge the unemployment denial, documentation must be given.
Unemployment compensation benefits denied due to leaving voluntarily may be waived if:
- The employer made several negative changes to the applicant’s job at the same time (for example, cutting the applicant’s hours and relocating their job to a farther city)
- The applicant left due to a “mutual agreement”
- Harassment occurred in the workplace
- The applicant was wrongfully terminated
If the petitioner was denied unemployment benefits after quitting for any of the reasons outlined above, he or she may still be eligible for benefits in Texas if proper proof is given.
Refusal of Reasonable Work
A claimant already receiving unemployment benefits may be denied unemployment, as continued eligibility requirements apply. One of the stipulations of obtaining weekly unemployment benefits is that the petitioner must seek work each week. The petitioner may be denied unemployment benefits in TX if he or she received a suitable job offer for their skills and experience and did not take it. A claimant may be expected to take a job that is below their skillset and wage expectations.
The following job conditions are not considered suitable offers in any circumstance:
- The petitioner must join a labor union before getting the job
- A job offer is open only due to job strike absences
- The wages, commute distance, and hours are extremely poor compared to similar jobs in the same area
What Can I Do If Unemployment Denied my Benefits in Texas?
If an applicant has his or her unemployment benefits denied, an unemployment denial repeal may be filed. The applicant must file an unemployment denial appeal in TX to the Appeal Tribunal.
Applying to the Appeal Tribunal
The unemployment denial appeal must be filed with 14 days of receiving the determination letter, excluding state and federal holidays.
In Texas, the unemployment denial appeal may be filed online, in person at a Workforce Solutions office, by mail, or by fax. The appeal may not be filed by phone. The appeal must include all information pertaining to the denied claim, including the petitioner’s name, Social Security Number, current address and a copy of the determination letter.
What to Do if I Don’t Agree With the Tribunal’s Decision?
If the petitioner’s unemployment denial appeal is rejected, the petitioner may appeal to the Commission. The appeal must be made within 14 days of the Tribunal’s decision.