Tennessee Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks?

Update – Feb 7, 2011 – Legislation to add extra weeks for 99ers

Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Bobby Scott (Va.) are reintroducing legislation this week to provide additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits for “99ers,”

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Part of Obama’s 2009 stimulus package was extra funding for states to extend the length of unemployment benefits if necessary.  Most states have a fixed number of weeks available for benefits but can increase the number of weeks if the economic climate is bad enough.  This is usually measured by the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate in Tennesse was 9.9% for April 2009 which is up from 6.0% in April of last year.  This is the highest unemployment rate in 25 years.  Tennesse has qualified for $141 million to pay for extended benefits as well as upgrades to the benefit infrastructure.

What unemployment benefits are available now?

Currently Tennessee will pay benefits for 26 weeks which is the normal payout period.  There is another 33 weeks which is available because of the 2009 stimulus package for a total of 59 weeks.

Unemployed workers can get up to $275 per week in benefits plus a bonus $25 a week from the federal government for a total of $300 per week.

Will the unemployment benefits be extended by another 20 weeks?

[edit – please note that this bill has been passed]

Currently there is a bill called HB 2324 which if passed will increase benefits by up to 20 weeks.  If the claimant has any children the bill will also add on $15 per week per child up to 3 kids.  This bill has not been made law yet but you can check on the status of the bill here.  At the moment (May 22) it says that it is scheduled for the Finance, Means and Ways committe for May 27.  This bill was first introduced on Feb 26 so it is taking a long time.

Once the bill is passed by the FMW committee then it will go to the house and senate and lastly the governor.

There is a very good chance that unemployment benefits will be extended by 20 weeks however the slow machine of politics means that it might take a while.

693 replies on “Tennessee Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks?”

Ok sorry everyone it just hit me they said my benefits were certified for week ending 9-17-11 and would be paid on the next check run so even though the phone system told me my certification had been accepted and was being processed I don’t know if they did or not and can’t get hold of any of the phone numbers to find out they are experiencing higher than normal call volumes. Imagine that.

So does anyone know if the people that could not certify Sunday 9/25/11 will be able to get this weeks pay or if we certify Tuesday 9/27/11, will that count for this or next week. Can’t get a human on the phone of course. The TIPS line and the online won’t let me certify today.

Sorry for the duplicated postings but it was telling me that there was an error in my posting and it didn’t post so I keep trying. I finally did get in touch with a local office in a nearby town and the man checked and said he didn’t know why it told me that but he did see certification for w/e this past Sat.

Christen—- I can’t believe they are experiencing higher than normal call volumes can you? I don’t know if you can get in touch with a local office or one nearby maybe they can tell you or you can keep trying by phone until Fri I think. Good luck.

My year ended and I did not know I had to re-certify so what do I do now. Will I continue to receive benefits or what. I did my weekly certification on Monday like I always do but I did not get any money on Wednesday like I usually do so I looked it up and my year ended on 10/8/2011. So please help now what do I do?

Does anyone know if the website for weekly certification is down? I done mine Monday and it’s usually in my bank account on Wednesday but, i checked this morning and it’s not processing my account yet.
I then went on to check status and it says next time i can the website is Fri. 7am-7pm??
Anyone else having this problem?
Thanks! need to file a new claim just like you did when you were first laid off. If you have worked any during this past year your check amount may change. After you file your new claim it is my understanding you will continue receiving benefits until the end of this year. I do not work for the state but have been in your shoes and this is what it took to re-instate benefits for me.
Good Luck!

Thanks Lynn

I filed a new claim yesterday and I did not receive a check this week so can you tell me when I will receive one? And does anyone know why they don’t tell you that you need to file a new one?

Richard…I can’t remember but I don’t think it took but a week or two to get the checks rolling again. But with all the unemployment it may take longer.
You can always email Mr. Partlow at the TDOL he has helped so many of us on this blog. Somewhere in the beginning when you first file it tells us we need to file a “new claim” each year but it confused me too. Therefore , I had to have Mr. Partlow help me out. I hope I have helped but when in doubt email him. He is a blessing to us unemployed! Sorry for what you have gone thru…I know it’s frustrating.

I just got this message on the on line site…….what do I have to do now…? A few months ago I was told that my benefits would move to the next tier about the end of year and at least go to the end of that level. I am a pharmacist and there are NO jobs anywhere.

Thanks for your help

Sorry…I forgot to past the message I got…..”You have two weeks or less of benefits remaining in your account. Your benefit year ends on 11/26/2011.”

I got my first check last Dec.12 or so…….

Gary…you will need to file a new claim. Your benefit year has ended and you just file again like you did when you were first laid off. If by chance you have worked some ..your check amount may change. I would say if I remember correctly that you file the new claim on 11/26 but it may be 11/27.
Anyway this will get you rolling on to the next tier. If you have problems Mr.Partlow helped many of us thru this transition.

I have a few questions to ask about the Work Search Log. I’m hoping someone can help me. The first question I have is, is it okay to apply for more than one job at the same company? For instance, I applied for a job at this particular company, 4 weeks ago, & they stated they recieved my resume & was reviewing my qualifications. Well any way they told me that they went with another candidate, but would send me e-mail updates for other positions when they became available with their company. So low and behold a different position became available with this same company & I applied for it. However, I didn’t know if since it’s with the same company if I could add it to my Work Search Log?

Another question I have is, I’ve also been applying for jobs that are out of town. At this point I’m desperate, & I’m willing to relocate if necessary in order to work. Is it okay to add the out of state job searches to my Work Search Log as well?

Finally last but not least, I have a question about employment agencies. I’ve registered for some temp to hire agencies, & lots of times when you apply for a job with them, they rarely tell you the name of the company until they call you in for an interview. So the problem I’m having is, when I apply to the jobs online through the employment agency the only contact information I have is of the agency itself. For example, I may have put in several applications for different job post with the temp to hire firm, with different job titles. But when it’s time to fill out the Work Search Log, the employer contact information all looks the same. I noticed that on the Work Search Log forms it states that a hiring union can only be used once. So my question is does that also mean employmet (temp to hire) agencies as well?

I’m hoping someone can clear this up for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


My year of benefits will be ending mid-December. I know I have to file a new claim but I am real nervous thinking i wont receive any more benefits; and I still haven’t been able to find a job. I began receiving benefits in January of this year…does anyone have an idea of what I could expect? Also, how soon do i re-file?
Thank you for any information.

Angela, after you have certified for your last week, you should immediately call the phone number on the website to file a new claim. I was told not to try to file a new claim online as that would only complicate things. I had no problem filing the new claim by phone and didn’t miss a week of benefits. I suggest calling at 8:00am for a shorter hold time. Also, unless the law is changed by the end of the year, I was told that whatever tier you are on at the end of the year you will be able to complete that tier but will not move on to the next tier and you should consider your benefits exhausted at that point. So I’m guessing you are on tier 2 EUC and should be able to draw the full 14 weeks of that tier which I’m guessing will end for you sometime in January or February. This information is based on what I have been told. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Thank you for the information Steve, I appreciate it. I have heard people collecting for about 2 years. That seemed pretty long and I didnt think that could be true! I am getting nervous…I will have collected a year mid December (I received my first check in Jan 2011)

Hi I was wondering if someone could answer a question for me?

I tried to certify for my EB unemployment this morning, & it stated that my benefits were exhausted. The problem with that is, I still have money on my available balance that hasn’t been paid out to me. I also received a letter last week from the TN Dept Of Labor stating that the EB program was renewed. It went on to say that the new ending date is at the end of February 2012, instead of January 7th, 2012. I’ve been sending in my worksearch logs, & the letter informed me to keep doing so. So now I’m wondering why it’s saying my benefits have been exhausted when I still have an available balance, & the letter stated that my EB benefits were extended?

If someone could help answer this for me I would greatly appreciate it. I tried to call the office today, but it’s closed. I’m not sure if they will even be opened tomorrow because of the holiday (MLK). I would like to know something so that I won’t be anxious the next couple of days. Is anyone else having this problem too?

Thanks in advance,

Just wanted to let you know…same exact problem for me as well. Must be something on TDOL’s end… I hope. (I need that money in order to pay my electric bill this week.)

Same problem here. Relieved I’m not the only one. I too am on eb & have been sending in my work log. I was hoping to get ahold of someone tomorrow bc I couldn’t today. If you hear anything please post.

I have had taxes taken out eacj week from my unemployment…Does anyone know if there is something sent out to do taxes (like a w2)?
Thank You

Hello. Has anyone heard anything about the unemployment extensions yet. I have been calling the call center for help, & everytime I get an automated message stating that the call volume is too high & to call back again later. I haven’t been able to get a live person on the phone the past couple of days. I don’t know what is going on. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get some answers. I wasn’t able to certify Sunday because they said that my EB benefits were exhausted. However, I still had an unused balance left on my account. Then I tried to certify a few days later, & it allowed me to certify for this week. Now when I log on to check my account status it states that I have a zero balance. I’m so confused. Has anyone been able to get an update as to what is going on? I recieved a letter stating my benefits were extended, but my balance is zero now.

Hey all. I started seeing the question re: work search log a few weeks ago but I haven’t found said log or where to submit it. A Google search has provided no usable results :).

Can someone please give me the URL for the log and where it’s supposed to be submitted? Thanks in advance.

I am going to change my user name Knoxtn to Depressed! I have been out of work for over 2 yrs now. I have exhausted all my benefits! I can’t find work and things are not looking good for the future.
I can’t seem to find any updates about the 99er’s. I didn’t watch obama/man last night and haven’t watched the news 2day. Too depressing!
I also can’t seem to find any updates for the 99ers or exhausted 99ers.
Doe’s anyone have a update to share?
Thanks and good luck on your job search~

A friend has hired me for a temporary job for two weeks that should be about 20 hours work each week. I currently receive a $275 weekly unemployment check. How much may I earn each week working for my friend (and report it, of course) and not lose any part of my $275 weekly check? I have heard I may earn up to 50% ($185), and still certify for my regular $275 check. Is that correct?

Janis, I believe you can only earn $67.50/wk without it impacting your $275/wk benefit amount.

I have been on unemployment since October 2011. My unemployment benefit states it will pay me for 20 weeks. Which I think ends in March. I am trying to understand if it can be extended if i have not found work yet. I still hopefully have time to get a job before it runs out (thinking positive) but I was researching to be prepared. I don’t know what a tier is or if I am eligible for the extensions I hear about… possibly another 20 weeks (or half of my original benefit which would then be 10 weeks…) Can someone help educate me or point me to a site/article?

Ruth. You will still get the unemployment don’t worry. I have been on it since October of 2010 do you still have time. And it is very hard to find a job.

Does anyone know if benefits are going to be extended after this month? I am finishing up tier 3 in two weeks and getting nervous. I hear and read they have been and then hear and read they aren’t. Im just stressing i guess.

I saw an earlier comment about submitting work search logs. I was under the impression that you submit these logs monthly. According to the .pdf linked above, claimants are required to complete the logs for 3 years but do nothing with them until someone requests them. Am I understanding the rule correctly?

Does any one know if there are any extended benefits after tier 4 the 6 weeks you get. I thought it said you get 16 weeks but it stopped and there are no more benefits available. So can someone help me.


RJ, The state of Tennessee has triggered off EUC Tier 4 as well as EB. So, currently there are no additional benefits after EUC Tier 3.

Does anyone know if this will change anytime soon? If the unemployment rate goes back up will it click back on?


Yes RJ. I was told by the state that if the rate goes back up, Tennessee could trigger back on. The only thing is, it will be 13 weeks after the rate goes back up before benefits would start again.

I was going to certify for a week of benefits this morning only to discover my benefit period had ended. I’ve only received 4 weeks worth of payments and needless to say, I was a little baffled! I called the local office and was told I had to reapply for my benefits via the net and I have done so. My question is this, could this have been avoided without interruption to my benefit payments? I was never notified in any way of this issue and it could’nt have come at a worse time! Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

Could someone please tell me how many weeks are there in tier 3? Is it 14 or 11? I read that it was suppose to drop to 9 weeks beginning in September. If you were at your second week, would you only draw 7 more or would you finish up what the original tier 3 was?

I lost a job, and have another that I work for part time, thus able to claim for the other job I lost. What I am trying to find out is: I was told I would get 25 weeks, but since I am working PT, I haven’t exhausted the benefit amount (the weeks ARE exhausted) but I have never received notice that I cannot collect–is that b/c the amount is still there, or am I going to end up having to pay back?

Tennesseans, both employers and claimants, who are interested in Tennessee unemployment insurance benefits law, policy and issues surrounding the Agency that administers this program, please go here:

Please post this Mr. Moderator. What is going on in the Agency must be exposed.

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