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INFORMATION ABOUT THE ONGOING NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Questions and Answers

I am self-employed, when can I start applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

President Trump recently signed the CARES Act or COVID-19 stimulus bill into law. Once the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development determines how the state will obtain the federal funding and implement the changes, the Department will announce details for independent contractors, the self-employed and business owners who will soon be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Look for more visibility of when Tennessee will enact these changes in the next few days.

If I have to close my business, what happens if I do not provide the state a mass layoff list or employer filed mass claim to the state?

If you do not file a mass layoff list or an employer filed mass claim, each of your employees will need to file individual claims which will take much longer to process. If you do not file a mass list, please provide each separating employee with a completed separation notice. You can find the fillable form through this link: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/workforce/documents/Forms/LB-0489.pdf. Filing one of the two lists will keep you from having to issue separation notices to each employee.

My employer put my name on the employer mass filed (partial) claim they submitted to the state. Do I still need to file an individual claim?

No, if your employer filed an employer mass filed claim, the state has all your information. You can log into Jobs4TN.gov to monitor your claim and do your weekly certifications. If you are not sure which list your employer filed, please ask to avoid confusion and delays.

My employer filed a mass layoff list; do I need to file for unemployment?

Yes, with a mass layoff list only your employer only provides the state with your information. Now that your information is in the system, once you file, the system will match your claim to the mass layoff list and that speeds up the decision process. If you are not sure which list your employer filed, please ask to avoid confusion and delays.

My employer closed because of COVID-19 and I am out of work. Can I file for unemployment?

When a Tennessee business closes to help slow the spread of the virus and temporarily has to lay off employees, those workers can collect unemployment benefits, if they meet other eligibility requirements.

If I do not have a job waiting for me after the COVID-19 emergency, do I still need to do weekly job searches?

The state of Tennessee is working with the United States Department of Labor to find flexibility of the job search requirement.  As of March 17, if you don’t have a return to work date, you are still required to do job searches. We will update this page if that changes.

My doctor has ordered me to quarantine because of COVID-19. Am I eligible for unemployment?

If you are quarantined or ordered to isolate by a medical professional or health authority, an upcoming executive order from Governor Bill Lee allows you to receive unemployment benefits if all other eligibility requirements are met and you intend to return to your job.

How long will it take me to receive my money?

The COVID-19 emergency has created a tremendous amount of unemployment claims. The Department is processing them as quickly as possible. You can check the status of your claim on your Jobs4TN.gov dashboard.

My elderly parent has COVID-19; can I leave work and collect unemployment while I provide care?

No. Federal and state law does not allow you to collect unemployment benefits.

I am nervous about working in my building and would like to self-quarantine. Can I collect unemployment if I do not go to work?

No, you cannot collect unemployment benefits.

If I am self-employed, would I be eligible for unemployment benefits in Tennessee?

Those who are self-employed, or a 1099 employee, are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits. If the President declares a disaster, you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance at that time.

I am out of work because my employer closed because of COVID-19. What do I mark as my reason for not working?

If your employer closed or reduced hours due to COVID-19 you may select “lack of work”.

My employer closed but continues to pay me while I am not working. Am I eligible for unemployment?

It depends, if your employer pays your full salary, you will likely not be eligible for UI benefits. If your employer continues to pay at a reduced rate during the time the business is closed you may file a claim, but you must report those payments during your weekly certification. The payment from your employer may be deducted from your weekly UI benefit amount.  

I’ve exhausted my unemployment benefits, but COVID-19 is keeping me from finding a new job. Is there an extension of benefits available?

No. The federal government has not authorized an extension of benefits at this time.

This Page Last Updated: March 30, 2020 at 2:53 PM