This article was last updated on February 3
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) administers the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and maintains the IT programs/systems and verification process for filing and paying unemployment insurance claims. This also includes management and payment of the federally funded enhanced benefit programs – PUA, PEUC and FPUC – provided as part of COVID stimulus plans. Below are the latest payment updates.
Tennessee Payment Status of the 2021 Unemployment Program Extensions (PUA, PEUC and FPUC) Under COVID Relief Bill
The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package (CAA) was passed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, which among several other pandemic relief measures extends and provides additional federal funding for enhanced unemployment benefits. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and a reinstatement, but halving of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program which provides a $300 supplemental weekly unemployment payment.
These programs have been funded and extended for 11 weeks (on top of any state funded extensions), covering the weeks of December 27th, 2020 to April 5th, 2021 (no new claims after March 14th, 2021). To receive the extra $300 FPUC weekly benefits, you must be receiving regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA.
The following are updates that have been made per recent news.
TN LWD Update Feb 1st, 2021: Claimants who exhausted their federal pandemic unemployment benefits after December 26, 2020, should have new benefit balances (covering the 11-week extension) added to their PUA and PEUC claims.
If the claimant exhausted benefits on or prior to December 26, they can attempt to complete a certification. If the claimant is unable to certify and the system prompts them to file a claim, they should proceed and complete the refiling process.
Claimants can go back and certify for missed weeks. They are required to provide work searches for each of the weeks they certify to receive unemployment benefits.
To anyone that’s having issues certifying I just got off the phone with TN unemployment and they fixed my claim over the phone certified me for 6 weeks retroactively all the way until the 9th of January. They also told me that if you haven’t certified in more than 2 weeks to call them to manually fix your claim
UI claimants with existing or expired claim balances should be aware of the following general guidelines:
- PUA and PEUC, FPUC will be automatically added to the claimants’ benefits if they are eligible for the weeks outlined in the new legislation.
- Claimants who will have additional weeks in UI and PUA or PEUC due to state provisions (where applicable) should watch their state agency UI portal or website for updates that will allow additional weeks to be filed (see potential scenarios where you need to take action to get benefits under the new extension)
- Claimants with weeks remaining in UI should continue to file weekly claims if their state UI systems have been updated for the extended coverage period.
- Claimants will receive retroactive payments for all weeks they are eligible.
- Claimants currently receiving benefits through the Extended Benefits program must finish all weeks of EB before receiving additional weeks of PEUC.
I will post additional details as they are released in coming days. So stay tuned for updates.
Can I talk to someone around getting extended benefits?
At this stage it is very hard to get a hold of anyone to talk to about your claim. They will share updates as soon as possible on the extensions and revision of the current programs. Until that time, they are asking the
public to please hold questions and refrain from calling our local offices or Hotline with questions regarding the extensions or changes. Soon, claimants will receive notices with information specific to their UI claim status.