Unemployment Compensation Insurance

Student workers should be prepared to return to work in their on campus positions when their employing department requests they return.  If a student worker who has been asked to return to work by the University chooses not to return to work, the student may no longer be eligible  to receive Texas Unemployment Compensation Benefits.  Refusal to return to work could result in the student employee owing money back to the state if a post-payment audit were to take place and the student employee was found to be ineligible to receive the funds or was overpaid.

Yes, it is possible for a student worker to file an unemployment claim and possibly receive benefits.  The University does not make those determinations.  As with any employee, the individual circumstances of that employee help make the determination.  It is possible that individuals who have suffered a significant reduction in work hours may be eligible.

The Texas Workforce Commission determines eligibility for unemployment. To learn more about qualifying for UCI benefits, see the Texas Workforce Commission’s Unemployment Benefits Handbook.

Additional resources from the Texas Workforce Commission regarding unemployment and COVID-19:

It may be helpful if the department provides a statement for the student worker to use when filing a claim. The statement could be as simple as one of these:
  • <Insert name> is no longer working for our department because we do not have work for the employee at this time and will not for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19.
  • Due to COVID-19 <Insert name>, hours have been significantly reduced.

Coronavirus Student Employment Related Guidance

Updated January 26, 2021
The following answers are provided to frequently asked questions concerning students working during Texas A&M University’s transition to online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Important new information is included regarding work study student employees. As circumstances are continuously evolving, this guidance may also change. Information will be communicated as quickly as possible.

It is the responsibility of each supervisor to verify that their student employees have completed their TrainTraq courses before they can return to work. Below are the steps supervisors can take to verify that the student employees have completed the TrainTraq courses. 
  1. Log into SSO.
  2. Select TrainTraq.
  3. Change role to Manager.
  4. Select “Transcript” on the drop-down menu under Employee.
  5. Select the appropriate employee to review their TrainTraq transcript, which should include the two required courses. 
Prior to the start of the spring semester classes, in addition to the COVID-19 online training course, Texas A&M University will require all employees in the Bryan-College Station campus/sites to test for COVID-19.  All employees should have received an email notification on December 15, 2020 regarding this requirement.

If a student employee was unable to test during the employee window, they should test during the student window. Student employees must test if they come to campus for any reason, even if they work remotely.

Should you have questions regarding the compliance of student employees that you supervise, please contact your department/college’s HR Contact (Liaison).
Employees, including student employees, must stay home, immediately notify his/her supervisor, and complete the COVID-19 Report Form (by selecting “Self” when asked who is making this report if he/she:  
  • has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19;
  • is experiencing an COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website; or
  • believes that they have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or someone in their household has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19.
Student employees are not in leave-eligible positions; therefore, they do not qualify for any type of state paid leave in accordance with System regulations. However, beginning April 1, 2020 under the FFCRA, there may be paid leave that would be applicable. 
All employees, including student workers, can find information regarding Emergency Paid Sick leave on the Division of Human Resources website. It is important to note that employees who have received or in the process of receiving unemployment compensation benefits may not use FFCRA leave to be paid for the same work hours.

No. As always, regulations and university Standard Administrative Procedure 33.99.08.M0.01 do not allow students to be scheduled for work during scheduled class times. This includes online courses.

Yes. We encourage departments to be creative in identifying mechanisms to allow student workers to work remotely with the provision that appropriate duties can be assigned and that the department has mechanisms in place to monitor that work. Students on work study may also work remotely. Although strongly encouraged, you are not required to provide remote work opportunities. Alternate Work Location protocols should be followed.