The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is currently accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) following February’s Winter Storm Uri. As of February 19, 2021, workers who have lost their jobs or self-employed individuals who haven’t been able to work due to damages from the storm may be eligible for DUA benefits. 

Am I eligible? If one of the following applies to you, you may be eligible for assistance:You lost your job, which was more than 50% of your total income.

  • You live in, work in, or travel through the disaster area.
  • Your place of employment was damaged or closed.
  • You were scheduled to start work but the job no longer exists or you can no longer reach the new job.
  • You suffered injury or incapacitation.
  • You became the breadwinner or major support of the household due to the death of the head of household.

Temporary and seasonal workers are only eligible for DUA for the weeks that they would have been employed if the disaster had not occurred.

When do I have to apply?

The last day to apply for DUA is March 26, 2021. You may apply through the TWC website by creating a username and filling out the application form. Alternatively, you can call their Telecenter at 800-939-6631 to speak to a representative for more information. To receive benefits, individuals must submit all necessary documentation within 21 days of submitting their application. Documentation includes Social Security Number and proof of employment (or self-employment) during the Winter Storm. If you were about to start work or self-employment around the time of Winter Storm Uri but could not due so due to damages, you must also prove pending (self) employment. 

The following counties have been approved for DUA as of March 2:

Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Gonzales, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Hunt, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Limestone, Lubbock, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Navarro, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rusk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Tom Green, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, and Wood Counties. 

The following counties have also been added with a deadline of April 1:

Atascosa, Bandera, Brooks, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Goliad, Howard, Jim Hogg, Karnes, Kleberg, Leon, Llano, Newton, Robertson, Trinity, Webb, and Willacy Counties

A detailed map can be found here

Visit the TWC website for more information on applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

This blog post will be continually updated to include additional information as it comes in.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.