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Tennessee Begins Paying FPUC Unemployment Benefits

State Participating in New MEUC Program and Other Provisions within HR 133
Monday, January 04, 2021 | 03:00pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) has started paying unemployment benefits that are part of the CARES Act Extension HR 133 which President Donald Trump signed into law one week ago.

TDLWD is currently paying benefits to eligible claimants from four separate unemployment programs:

·         Tennessee Unemployment Compensation (TUC)

·         Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

·         Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

·         Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Monday, Jan. 4, TDLWD began issuing FPUC payments to eligible claimants. FPUC provides an additional $300 to a claimant’s weekly benefit payment from another unemployment program. FPUC can provide up to 11 weeks of benefits between Dec. 27, 2020, and March 13, 2021.  Claimants should see the new benefit in this week’s payment.

Claimants receiving benefits from both state and federal programs, who did not exhaust their benefit amount, can complete their weekly certifications for the week ending Jan. 2.

If a claimant exhausted benefits before Dec. 26, they must wait for additional information regarding the continuation of benefits through provisions listed in HR 133. The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has not issued its final guidance for the implementation of every aspect of HR 133.

Tennessee will take part in the new federal Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program the federal government offered states the opportunity to opt into through HR 133.

MEUC will benefit Tennesseans who are mixed earners. A mixed earner is someone who has 1099 wages as an independent contractor but also earned wages from a covered Tennessee employer. Previously, USDOL would only allow states to determine a mixed earner’s benefit amount based on wages from an employer. MEUC will allow states to use both sources of income to calculate a weekly benefit amount.

This is a new program and USDOL has not issued any guidance on the implementation of MEUC. Once states receive program rules, Tennessee and its vendor will build this latest federal program into the state’s unemployment computer system. There is no timeline as to when TDLWD will begin paying benefits from the new program.