Investigators: Tn Labor Dept Worked 22 Years Worth Of Overtime Processing Unemployment Claims
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The pandemic has forced 1.07 million Tennesseans to file for unemployment for the first time.
The state is struggling to process the surge in claims, even with more manpower and more overtime than ever before.
Memphis resident Arnita Cole is waiting for her unemployment money.
Last March, Cole was laid off from the temp agency that assigned her to Graceland.
I liked it. I took pictures with guests and they would send me pictures, said Cole. But with COVID, we couldnt work.
She filed for unemployment for the first time the week ending March 21st, when 39,096 Tennesseans were filing for the first time, too.
Cole received her unemployment without issue for months but when the federal program she was enrolled in ended, the money stopped.
She reapplied in November hoping shed be eligible for a different federal unemployment program.
Three months later, shes still waiting to hear back from Tennessees Department of Labor.
Its getting frustrating because my grandbaby has needs, she said. Plus I have bills. I have a house note, I have a car note. I have cable because I need to keep the internet for her to be able to do her online schooling.
The WMC Action News 5 Investigators have received dozens of similar complaints as roughly 80,000 Tennesseans wait for the Department of Labor to process their claims.
What would you say to people still waiting? Asked The Investigators.
Im sorry. 22 months or 22 years? Asked The Investigators.
How Much Will I Be Paid
To determine a weekly benefit amount on an initial unemployment claim, wage amounts are reviewed for a time frame called a Standard Base Period. This period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date your initial claim is filed. The base period changes on the Sunday of the first complete calendar week of the new quarter.
To receive benefits you must have earned a minimum of $780.01 in each of two quarters during your Standard Base Period. If youve met this requirement, then your wages earned will be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount.
The maximum amount of benefits you may be eligible to receive in your benefit year is either 26 times your weekly benefit amount or one-fourth of your base period wageswhichever amount is less will be used for your claim. To be eligible for benefits, you must have base period wages outside the highest quarter of your base period of at least six times your WBA or $900.
If you worked in Tennessee during your base period but moved to another state, you may be able to claim benefits for those wages earned in Tennessee. If you worked in another state during the base period, but moved to Tennessee, you may file a claim for benefits from another state. In some cases your wages from two or more states may be combined to establish an eligible claim for benefits.
Eligible claimants may receive up to $275 per week for a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment insurance per year.
Unemployment Benefits For Service Members
The above guide will help learn more about how to apply for unemployment insurance in the case of a military transfer. This booklet was created by the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessean and the Cumberlands. This information is available in English as well as Spanish.
Former active duty military personnel and spouses of military members may qualify for unemployment compensation. To learn more about if you are eligible, click the link above.
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How Unemployment Registration In Tennessee Works
Many unemployed residents of Tennessee may currently be asking themselves How can I sign up for unemployment benefits? Fortunately, the answer to that question is easy, flexible and convenient.
There are now multiple options available when deciding where to sign up for unemployment, because applicants just need to choose the method that works best for them. Applicants can now apply for unemployment benefits both online and over the phone, making it easier than ever to file for an unemployment claim.
After You File An Initial Claim
You can complete your weekly certification for unemployment insurance benefits online. The Jobs4TN portal is available 24 hours a day. While unemployed, you will need to certify each weekbeginning the week after you filed your initial claim.
If you delay the process, your benefits could be delayed or denied.
If you need assistance with your weekly certification, you can use the live chat feature on the Workforce and Labor Development Departments website or call the customer service line at 844-224-5818 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. .
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How Do I Apply For Unemployment Benefits
You can file for unemployment benefits online through Tennessees Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Youll need to provide some personal information, including your:
- Social Security number
- Address, phone number, and email address
- Form DD-214 if you served in the U.S. military over the past 18 months
- Bank account details if you wish to sign up for direct deposit otherwise your benefits will be available to you in debit card form
Youll also need to provide information about your recent employment history, including:
- The employers you worked for over the past 18 months
- The last day you worked
- The reason you separated from your last employer
Smith County Unemployment Offices & Job Centers
- Get answers to common questions about unemployment for those who have lost work due to COVID-19.
- You’ll need to file weekly claims and search for work to keep collecting unemployment benefits.
- Find out the weekly unemployment benefit limits in Tennessee.
- Learn how to find and contact the Tennessee unemployment agency.
- Find out how to appeal if your unemployment benefits claim is denied by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
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Do I Have To Look For A Job To Get Tennessee Unemployment Benefits
You must conduct a minimum of three job search activities per week to remain eligible to receive benefits. These activities can include filling out a job application, attending a workshop, making contact with an employer, attending a job fair, and other related activities.
You should also seek job search help at any one of the 95 local American Job Centers throughout Tennessee. You can look online to find the nearest location.
Amount And Duration Of Unemployment Benefits In Tennessee
The TDLWD determines your weekly benefit amount. Your weekly benefit amount is determined by averaging your wages from the two highest quarters in your base period and plugging that number into a Benefits Table to determine your weekly amount. There is a minimum weekly amount of $30, and a maximum weekly amount of $275. Benefits are available for up to 26 weeks.
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Base Period Employment Information
You will not see any base period wages. You will also receive a monetary determination stating you are not elegible.
This is not a denial of benefits. It is just telling you that you do not have wages for normal UI. The department will take your claim and check for eligibility under PUA.
You will receive a monetary determination similar to this as soon as your claim is completed.
This does not mean you were denied for PUA.
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Do I Qualify For Unemployment Benefits
You can file for unemployment benefits in Tennessee if you:
- Lost your job through no fault of your own and were not fired for cause or
- Are laid off temporarily because your employer has been forced to close
In addition, you must have made enough in qualifying wages to file a claim. Youll need to have earned at least $780.01 in two separate quarters during the base period for your claim. If youre filing a claim in March 2020, your base period is October 2018 through September 2019. If youre filing in April, the period would be January through December 2019.
When Is The Best Time To Apply For Unemployment Insurance Benefits In Tennessee
Many unemployed applicants wait to fill out an unemployment EDD application until they have lined up all of their documents. Unfortunately, this choice can actually reduce the amount of unemployment benefits you can potentially receive. You dont need to have any documents in hand to begin to apply for unemployment benefits in TN. When you receive your documents later on, you can always add them onto your claim, but its important to begin to file for unemployment in Tennessee the moment you are aware of your termination. This urgency is due to the fact that your benefits in Tennessee will not cover any time prior to when you file for an unemployment claim. Not having your documents at the time you file your application may delay when you begin to receive your benefits. Considering the urgency, you may choose to file an application online for unemployment in Tennessee, as it allows you to quickly and easily file the same day as your termination.
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Tennessee Unemployment Benefits And Eligibility
COVID-19 UPDATE: Because the coronavirus pandemic has left so many Americans jobless, the federal government has given states more flexibility in granting unemployment benefits. Youll need to apply for these benefits through your states unemployment insurance program, but if you have questions about whether youre eligible for benefits read our COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits and Insurance FAQ. Also, before submitting a claim in Tennessee, be sure to check out Tennessees claimant handbook.
Unemployment insurance benefits in Tennessee are administered by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The program assists unemployed individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Benefits are funded by employers who pay into the Tennessee Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, and a persons eligibility to receive those benefits is based on Tennessees Employment Security Law.
To qualify, you must be able and available to work, conduct an ongoing job search effort each week while certifying for unemployment insurance benefits, and they must have been separated from their most recent employment for a non-disqualifying reason.
Do I Qualify For Unemployment Insurance
There are things you need to know before you apply, and steps you must take after filing your claim for unemployment insurance benefits.
The Unemployment Insurance program provides benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able, available, and looking for work. You may file a claim for benefits the first day after becoming separated from employment or after your employer has significantly reduced your work hours. Information will be gathered from you as well as your separating employer and an agency determination will be based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements under state law.
You must have earned an average of $780.01 in each of 2 quarters of a time frame called the Base Period and the second highest quarter must be over $900 or 6 times the weekly benefit amount. If youve earned sufficient wages during this time frame, the wages earned will then be used to calculate your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks you may receive benefits. The Base Period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which your initial claim is filed. A calendar quarter is three months of either January – March, April – June, July – September or October – December.
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Why You Might Be Disqualified From Receiving Benefits
- Voluntarily quitting without a good reason
- Harassment or being asked to perform illegal activities could still allow you to collect benefits.
Economic Impact Payments/stimulus Checks
The American Rescue Plan included Economic Impact Payments of up to $1,400 for individuals or $2,800 for married couples, including $1,400 for each dependent.
Generally, U.S. citizens and U.S. resident alien are eligible for the full amount if their tax return does not exceed:
- $75,000 for single filers and married people who file separate tax returns
- $112,500 for those filing as head of household
- $150,000 for married people who file a joint return
For those who make more than the thresholds above, payments will be reduced up to:
- $80,000 for single filers and married people who file separate tax returns
- $120,000 for those filing as head of household
- $160,000 for married people who file a joint return
First and Second Economic Impact PaymentsIf you did not receive your first and/or second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.
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Learn About Unemployment Registration In Tennessee
Tennessee Unemployment Application Information
Many unemployed residents of Tennessee may currently be asking themselves How can I sign up for unemployment benefits? Fortunately, the answer to that question is easy, flexible and convenient. There are now multiple options available when deciding where to sign up for unemployment, because applicants just need to choose the method that works best for them.
Applicants can now apply for unemployment benefits both online and over the phone, making it easier than ever to file for an unemployment claim. If you are interested in knowing more about where to apply for unemployment and how to go about doing so, review the following sections:
Find Out How to Appeal Denied Benefits
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How Do I File For Unemployment Benefits In Tennessee
Heres a quick overview of how the unemployment insurance process works in Tennessee.
1. Before you apply, make sure you meet all benefit requirements. You must meet all requirements to be eligible to collect unemployment insurance in Tennessee. This includes determining that you have earned enough wages during your base period, that you became unemployed through no fault of your own, and that you are ready, able, and willing to accept a suitable job offer.
2. Gather the necessary documents and information. Before you file a claim, you will need to gather some information to complete your application:
- Social Security number
- Reason for separation from your last employer
- Your employers information: name, address, and phone number
3. Once you meet all benefit requirements and have your information ready, you can apply for unemployment insurance. To apply you must submit a claim application online.
4. Decide how you want to be paid. You can receive benefits by having funds uploaded to a debit card or by choosing to have funds deposited directly into your checking or savings account.
5. Wait for your determination letter. After you apply, youll receive a determination letter in the mail detailing your weekly Tennessee unemployment amount. You are eligible to receive up to $275 per week for 26 weeks under current state benefit policies.
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Dont Wait To File For Benefits
If youve lost your job, youll need money to pay your bills, and although you can tap your emergency fund at a time like this, you may not have enough cash in savings to cover all of your pressing expenses. The sooner you submit your claim for unemployment benefits, the sooner that money might hit your account, thereby sparing you some financial stress during an otherwise trying time.
Forgot Your Username Password
First of all, youÂ´re gonna go to: jobs4tn.gov, and like every body else I canÂ´t remember my username, then click Forgot Username Password?
Option 3 > retrieve both .
Choose Individual and answer verification questions on this site and display it.
Now this is just personal information. Here you should put in your own information here to reset your password.
And the next is the moment to enter a new password.
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Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work
To maintain your eligibility for unemployment benefits, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for employment. If you’re offered a suitable position, you must accept it. A position is suitable if it is reasonably related to your qualifications and if the hours, pay, distance, and other working conditions are typical of your occupation. However, the longer you are unemployed, the more willing you’ll have to be to accept a position that requires less skill or that pays lower wages. For example, by the time you have been unemployed for 13 weeks, you must accept a position that pays 75% of your average weekly wage during the highest quarter of your base period.
You must conduct a reasonable search for work, which means performing at least three work search activities each week. You should keep a log of your job search efforts, including the employers you have contacted, the dates you made contact, and the outcome. The TDLWD may contact you or your employer contacts to verify your efforts.