Tele-Centers Offer Assistance for Unemployment Insurance

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has made filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) easier than ever before. Although unemployed Texans have been filing their claims by phone since 1999, new enhancements have made the system even more efficient and convenient.

Enhancements, such as additional assigned filing days, allow customers more convenience and relieve call congestion during peak filing days.

“It’s crucial for customers to know their options when coping with a layoff” said TWC Executive Director Cassie Carison Reed. “The ability to do business by phone provides valuable relief for workers in such a stressful time.”

UI is an employer-paid insurance that helps workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It provides temporary financial help to qualified individuals based on their previous earnings while they are looking for work.

TWC uses an innovative service method that allows claimants to conduct HI and other related business by telephone. Since UI claims are no longer handled in local offices, instead of driving up to 50 miles to an office and then having to wait in line, a more efficient system now handles claims and UI business with a local or toll-free telephone call to one of the seven Tele-Centers.

To talk with a representative or file a claim, customers should call the nearest Tele-Center number or the toll-free number for calls outside local areas. Customer service representatives are available in most areas from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., local time, Monday through Friday. The Houston area Tele-Center recently extended its hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. as an added convenience.

Houston: 713-982-7400 Telecommunications devices for hearing impaired can communicate with TWC offices by using Relay Texas. 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2988 (voice)

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically.

For details on TWC and the services it offers in unison with its network of local Workforce development boards, call 512-463-8556 or visit