Skip to comments.[Tennessee] Labor Dept: Unemployment Checks Delayed
Posted on 01/23/2009 4:33:44 PM PST by Lorianne
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marion Bowers spent her birthday packing boxes.
"My gas is going to be turned off any day, because it was due last week," she said, "because of anticipation and assumption that I would have my benefits coming in by now."
She was laid off, can't pay her bills, is facing foreclosure and is still waiting to receive her unemployment check. She said she submitted for unemployment Dec. 21.
"My electric bill runs about $200 a month. I don't know how I'm going to pay that. (I'm) out of work and counted on unemployment being here by now."
Bowers said she called but couldn't get through, so she went to the career center and was told it doesn't handle claims there. She wrote a letter to the governor before contacting Channel 4.
"I'm speaking out for all of those Tennesseans who, like myself, are having a hard time just getting answers," she said.
Unemployment numbers just released show even more people in Tennessee are out of work. Almost 8 percent report being unemployed last month -- that's slightly up from November and even slightly higher than the national average.
Since last summer, 50 interviewers have been hired to help with the record volume of calls at the Department of Labor, but even though they are working seven days a week and overtime, lines are busy and checks are delayed.
Marie Moss with the Department of Labor said about 200 claims normally come in online, but now there are thousands.
"The claims are coming in quicker than we can work them," Moss said.
Normally, she said, the goal is to pay claims in three to four weeks.
"These aren't normal times. Our workload has gone up over 100 percent," Moss said. "We know our best is not good enough right now. We understand that."
The Department of Labor said there are some things you can do to help yourself:
Be sure to answer every question online Re-certify weekly once you file Be patient
A manager with the Department of Labor called Bowers and said her check will be in the mail Friday.
Starting next week, some claims will be handled at the career centers.
If you have been laid off and have a separation notice from your employer in hand, go to the career center starting Thursday. Those claims can be worked very quickly and free up phone lines.
This woman should contact her utility. Most won’t turn off the heat (w/a $200 bill, I assume she has electric heat) during the winter. They also have payment plans and budget billing. There may be a city or county fund for emergency aid.
There’s usually something to help keep you in your home, at least for a few months. It sucks not to get your unemployment check, but this person could have looked around for some help before it all hit the fan. None of this stuff happens overnight.
Very good question! And one I have been asking for a while.
Because they spent it on other programs.
My wife filed in AZ in Sept. Her first UC check came last week. She cant find work anywere and we since moved back to UP of Michigan since I have work here-that is untill the forest products industry collapses totally.
What then? I dont know.
I hear some states robbed their UC trust fund like the feds have robbed the Social Security trust fund.
unemployment in most states is paid for out of employer taxes, not employees. Delays are due to workloads, not lack of money. Even states that run out of money will borrow from the US Dept of Labor.
You forgot the sarcasm tag.
Goes in the General Fund? Anyone here from WA? Where does our unemployment insurance paid in by our employers go?
Overload? I would think it would be like an insurance company that budgets for so many claims and then a huge disaster occurs.
“unemployment in most states is paid for out of employer taxes, not employees. “
Minor correction. That 3% unemployment tax is from the payroll. Employees get that taken out of their paycheck no matter if they never saw it. All taxes “paid by the employer” come from the employees paycheck as there is only so much money to pay employees and if the employees want to vote that the employer pays the government instead, so be it. It still comes from their paycheck.
I hope I find a job before I have to apply in this mess.
If you like government run unemployment insurance, you’ll love government run health insurance.
Just scanning threads I see LA, Calif, Tenn, SC, Vermont, and Wyoming having problems. Looks to be headed national.
Bet the welfare checks are not an issue.
Just saw Wisconsin too.
They are a protected class. I saw a few days ago, I think it was Calif that were considering making cuts to elderly. Didn’t see anything about the able bodied sleeping on the net.
Bet the welfare checks are not an issue.
Michigan is having the same problem. Our “governor” said she’s going to hire 200 more call center employees and cut their training from 7 weeks down to 1 week, add more phone lines and more computer lines/servers to handle the flood. I know of folks spending three solid days on the phone trying to apply.
It’s been many years ago, but I worked for the state employment office in TX. The rules then were that there was a 6 week delay before a person received his first check.
UI has always been a joke just like every other government program that is supposed to help people. The only ones who got “help” through UI were the people who learned how to work the system. When they first passed federal UI extensions, we had some lady call up all upset because she had gotten a job after her benefits ran out and before she knew there would be extra goodies from Uncle Sam. We told her to keep working.
Now before you jump on me for being hard-hearted about the unemployed, I am not. I know a lot of people are suffering. However, as with all government programs, UI almost always makes the situation worse. What you subsidize, you will increase. So if you pay people while they are unemployed, there will be more unemployment. That’s just how it is.
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