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What you need to know about getting unemployment

HOUSTON – With businesses closed, many of you are not getting paid. Claims for unemployment have flooded the Texas Workforce Commission’s website and phone lines. Commission spokesperson Cisco Gamez said they are trying to handle claims and its website slowdowns as quickly as possible even while some of the agency’s own employees are also working from home.

Here is what you need to know:

- Eligibility for unemployment is determined on a case by case basis, but if you were fired for cause by your employer, you can not collect unemployment.

- Gamez says whether you are full time, part-time, furloughed or just had your hours reduced because of the coronavirus, you should apply for unemployment.

- You can apply online here. Gamez said once you’re logged in, it takes approximately seven minutes.

- You can apply by phone by calling 1-800-939-6631. Phones are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- If you are approved, Gamez said it takes about 21 days, on average, to get your first unemployment check. The maximum amount of time you could receive unemployment is 26 weeks.

If you want to know how much you would receive in unemployment benefits, this estimator tool can give you an estimate.