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How to File an Unemployment Claim in Tennessee

If you have been laid off, down sized, or otherwise unemployed, you are facing a sudden loss of income which may devastate your monthly budget. Facing the loss of a job is never a happy prospect, but with the right tools, filing an unemployment claim in Tennessee need not be overwhelming. These ten steps will walk you through the process of filing for unemployment in Tennessee so you can begin receiving income assistance while you are unemployed. Here are the phone numbers, web sites and other info you will need to file for unemployment in Tennessee.

1. Wait a Day or Two to File for Unemployment

Wait a couple of days after you are officially unemployed to file for unemployment in Tennessee to make sure the paperwork from your workplace showing you have been terminated has been processed. Be sure to file by the end of the first week to begin the payment process quickly.

2. File Your Unemployment Claim

There are four ways to file for unemployment in Tennessee currently.

3. File the Unemployment Claim by Internet

The fastest way to file for unemployment in Tennessee and the way the experts recommend you file is to use the computer and file on the Internet. Go to http://state.tn.us/labor-wfd/ or http://www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd

4. File the Unemployment Claim by Telephone

Because of the high call volume at the unemployment call centers, it is NOT recommended you use the telephone to file for unemployment. This is most likely what you will get: ‘Thank you for calling the Tennessee unemployment claims filing center. We’re sorry, we are unable to take your call at the present time time due to extremely high call volume. Please be advised that you may file your claim using the Internet…’ However, the two phone numbers for filing for unemployment in Tennessee are 615-253-0800 or 1/877-813-0950.

5. File the Unemployment Claim by Paper Claim

Filing for unemployment by paper claim is extremely slow as you first have to wait for the forms to get to you, and then you have to wait for your paperwork to make its way to the unemployment office via snail mail.

6. File the Unemployment Claim by Mass Claim

Because of the high volume of people applying for unemployment in Tennessee right now, the Tennessee Department of Labor sometimes does temporary mass claim-taking sessions. You would have to check with your local unemployment office to find out if the unemployment office near you is doing this. For a mass claim filing, you will need:

* Your separation notice
* A picture ID (your TN driver’s license will work
* Your social security card or birth certificate

7. Get Your First Unemployment Check

It takes about 2 1/2 weeks to get your first check after you file for unemployment in Tennessee. Your fourth unemployment check will be double the normal amount to make up for the first week of unemployment before you filed.

8. File Weekly Unemployment Certification

You must check in weekly by phone or on line for certification to receive the next unemployment check. Again, because call centers stay so busy, the Internet is recommended for your weekly certification.

9. Prepare to Be Taxed on Your Unemployment Income

Your Tennessee unemployment income is taxable at 10%. You may choose to have this amount deducted from each unemployment check or pay it at the end of the year in a lump sum.

10. Register with Tennessee Job Services

You MUST register for Tennessee Job Services in person at your local career center and fill out an application (one page, front and back) within the first 30 days of filing for unemployment. If you go in for one of the mass claim filing sessions, you can more than likely register for Job Services at 8:00 AM, before the 8:30 claim session begins. You will need your driver’s license and your social security card or a passport.

Other Resources for the Unemployed in Tennessee:

Tennessee Career Centers – Your local Tennessee Career Center may have a career coach who can provide you with information about free job training which may be available to you. They offer courses and training at the local career centers which are located across the state. The Tennessee Career Center in Nashville is located at 2200 Rosa L. Parks Blvd in Nashville’s Metro Center.

The Nashville Career Advancement Center is located at 621 Mainstream Drive in Suite 210 in Nashville and provides career services including workshops and training. Their phone number is 615-862-8890. Toll free (TTY): 1-800-848-0298

If you are unemployed, you might qualify for food stamps in Tennessee or free or low-cost health coverage in Tennessee.

Internet resources for the Unemployed in Tennessee:

1. – At this website you can search statewide for job postings. Click on ‘Job Seeker’ at the bottom to register.

2. – Department of Labor and Workforce Development website with information on training and services.

3. Unemployment Resources in Tennessee – provides resources for unemployed people and others with low incomes to help them find helpful organizations, agencies, articles, websites and other resources.

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