Benefits Year Ending (BYE) - Pandemic Unemployment

You can find the date your benefit year ends by looking for the “Effective Date” and the “BYE” or Benefit Year End date on your account on


BYE Quick Reference Points

  • The federal government requires claimants who reach their BYE, but are still unemployed, to file a new claim.
  • The BYE represents the claimant’s original filing date. If they filed in March 2020, regardless of the federal program extension to July 3, 2021, in Tennessee, the claimant’s benefit year has ended, and they must file a new claim. This is a federal regulation.
  • The Department will review new claims filed after a claimant’s BYE to redetermine program eligibility and weekly benefit amount.
  • Claimants seeking Tennessee Unemployment Compensation (TUC) must meet certain earning requirements during the previous year to be eligible for state unemployment benefits.
  • If a claimant does not meet TUC earnings requirements, they may be eligible to continue benefits on a federal pandemic unemployment program.
  • A claimant must wait until the day after their BYE date to file their new claim.
  • A claimant can continue certifying while the Department determines the eligibility of their new claim. While this may cause a lag in payments, claimants will receive retroactive benefits if the new claim is approved.

BYE Details

Pandemic Specific Earnings Requirement information

When a claimant has reached the end of their benefit year, they need to file a new claim to continue certifying. This is known as a transitional claim into the new benefit year. There will be a new base period, and they also might have a new weekly benefit amount. Transitional claims are subject to a 5-times earnings requirement from the previous benefit year-end date.

They must continue certifying while the department processes the transitional claim. This could cause a delay in benefit payments, but the claimant will receive retroactive payments for all qualified certifications they complete.

If a claimant does not meet the TUC 5-times earnings requirement due to not working after the previous benefit year, or the 10-times earnings requirement because of not working after a past denial, their TUC claim will be denied. If they are drawing either Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), that claim will be reactivated, and any weeks certified on the new regular UI will move to the PUA/PEUC claim.  If the claimant has a PUA/PEUC balance, they may continue to receive benefits until they exhaust according to provisions outlined in the current guidance for the federal pandemic unemployment programs.

If the claimant is eligible to draw in Tennessee, or another state, on the date they file the new claim, the claimant will receive benefits from TUC, or the other state, instead of PUA/PEUC.

For example, in this scenario, a claimant filed on 03/15/2020. They were called back to work for two months by the same employer before they were laid off again. They had to file an additional claim at that time. Their benefit year ended 03/15/2021 on that claim, and they were required to file a new claim. If the claimant met the 5-times earning requirement during the two months they went back to work, they are now eligible to draw from a TUC claim, and not from the federal PEUC program, even if they have a PEUC balance. But, if their TUC benefit amount is $25 or greater less than their PEUC amount, then they have the option to continue the PEUC program.