Does Having an IRA Account Keep You From Drawing Unemployment Benefits in Texas?

by Linda Richard, studioD

Texas operates the unemployment insurance benefits with taxes paid by employers and contributions from the federal government. Unemployment must be through no fault of the employee for a payable claim. You can apply for unemployment if you meet the criteria, and continue to receive unemployment benefits until you exhaust available benefits. You must be able to work and available for work and perform job searches and report to the Texas Workforce Commission as required. The TWC makes no inquiry about assets or your individual retirement account.

Earned Income

Earned income applies against your unemployment insurance benefits in Texas. If you earn income during a week in which you collect unemployment benefits, you must report the income to the TWC on the request for payment form. Texas allows partial unemployment benefits for individuals who receive less than full-time hours or who work intermittently. You cannot collect worker's compensation benefits and unemployment benefits under most circumstances. TWC distinguishes unearned income from sources such as Social Security and money available in retirement and asset accounts from earned income.


Your assets do not affect your unemployment benefits in Texas. The Texas Workforce Commission does not inquire about your cash on hand or ability to exist without unemployment benefits. Your retirement accounts may be relevant only if you are collecting retirement benefits. Unemployment benefits accrue from payment of taxes by your employer for the duration of your employment. The base period employer’s percentage of state and federal unemployment taxes may increase as a result of your unemployment, but the Texas Workforce Commission calculates your unemployment benefits on your past income during the base pay quarters.

Base Pay Employers

Texas goes back as far as 18 months to determine your base pay employers, using calendar quarters for computations. Calendar quarters are January 1 through March 31, April 1 through June 30, July 1 through September 30 and October 1 through December 31. The quarter you are in at layoff does not count and the whole quarter before that does not count. Texas counts the first four of the last five whole quarters for base pay.

Retirement Pension

If you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement pension, the amount is not deductible from your unemployment insurance benefits. TWC subtracts retirement benefits based on wages earned from a base pay employer from your unemployment benefits. If your pension comes from any employer not included in your base period wages, it is not deductible from your unemployment benefits.

About the Author

Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.

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