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Unemployment Due to a Disaster

How to Appeal

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment benefits for individuals who lost their jobs, self-employment, or are no longer working as a direct result of a declared disaster. They must have applied but are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

For any disaster, a person should apply for unemployment benefits as soon as they are unemployed because the claim starts the week they complete the application. They can apply through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) website or by telephone.  

If a client has applied for disaster unemployment and TWC denied their application, there is an appeal process to help them get the benefits they deserve.

There are three levels of appeals.  Start with the first level, and if necessary, proceed through the other levels. 

The three levels are:

  • Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal
  • Appeal to the Commission
  • Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court

Appeal to the Appeal Tribunal

The first step in the appeals process is an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. The Appeal Tribunal is the name given to Hearing Officers who hold unemployment insurance hearings. Each appeal case has only one Hearing Officer.

The first appeal is a telephone hearing. The claimant and employer may present testimony, witnesses, and documents relevant to its case. During the Appeal Tribunal hearing, the Hearing Officer will determine what is relevant and ensure that the record is complete. After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will mail a decision to the interested parties.

Appeal to the Commission

If the Appeal Tribunal gives an unfavorable decision, then appeal to the Commission. The Commission will rule on the case after reviewing the Appeal Tribunal decision and listening to the recorded hearing. E-mail questions to

Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court

If you disagree with the Commission’s decision, request a Motion for Rehearing by the Commission. TWC will grant the Motion for Rehearing only if a claimant can present all of the following:

  • Important new information about the case
  • The reason(s) why the claimant did not present this information earlier
  • The reason(s) why this information could change the decision
  • Appeal to a civil court between 15 and 28 days after the date TWC mailed the Commission Appeal decision. Complete all of the appeal steps available through TWC (except the optional Motion for Rehearing) before appealing to a civil court.

Instructions for an Appeal

These instructions are for the first step in the appeals process, which is an appeal to the Appeal Tribunal. 

The appeal must be submitted in writing within 14 calendar days from the date they mail the Determination Notice. The date mailed is located on the top of the Determination Notice form, and the last day you can file an appeal is at the bottom of the form. If the fourteenth day falls on a federal or state holiday, you have until the next business day to file your appeal.

Submit the written appeal online, in person at the nearest Workforce Solutions office, or by mailing or faxing the Appeals Department. The mailing address and fax number are shown on your Determination Notice and listed below. You cannot submit an appeal by e-mail or over the telephone. If you choose to fax the information, keep the paperwork that indicates the successful transmission of your appeal.

  • The letter or appeal form should include:
  • Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Current address
  • The date TWC mailed the Determination Notice.
  • A copy of the Determination Notice, if possible.
  • Any dates parties are not able to participate in a hearing

Mail, fax, or deliver your appeal to:

Mail: Appeal Tribunal
Texas Workforce Commission
101 E 15th St, Rm 410
Austin, TX 78778-0001

Fax: 512-475-1135

It may take six to eight weeks to receive a hearing information packet with information about the appeal. TWC will mail the packet five to 10 days before the hearing.

The hearing information packet includes:

  • The Notice of Telephone Hearing, which includes the date and time of the hearing, the telephone number to call for the hearing, and the name and contact information of the Hearing Officer assigned to the hearing
  • Instructions on how to participate in the hearing
  • Instructions on how to submit any additional documents
  • The information TWC received in response to your claim
  • All fact-finding statements TWC gathered while investigating the issue(s) on appeal
  • Any protests to the claim
  • The claim issues up for discussion

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