Tennessee federal employees could collect unemployment

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(WVLT) - According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), more than 25,000 Tennesseans are impacted by the partial government shutdown.

A release from the department stated that depending on the length of the shutdown, "many Tennesseans who work for the federal government may qualify to collect unemployment benefits."

"The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has strict requirements claimants must meet to receive benefits, one of which is an unemployed person must be willing and able to work. A furloughed federal worker meets this requirement because they are free to work."

However, the release states that federal workers required to remain on the job without pay are not eligible because they are not able to work.

If the state approves an individual's application for benefits, "unemployment claimants must certify online each week they are available to work. The state also requires they conduct online job searches in order to receive benefits."

The first week a person files they will not receive money, as this is considered "their waiting week."

"They will receive their first payment after two weeks of filing. The state pays the waiting week after a claimant completes four consecutive weeks of certifying for benefits."

During the application process, the state has to verify wages with the individual's employer, which could cause a delay in the verification process as these are federal employees. The state has 21 days to approve or deny a claim.

"The maximum weekly benefit in Tennessee is $275, which is subject to federal income taxes."

When the shutdown ends, and if federal employees are given back pay, they will be subject to pay the state for any unemployment benefits they received.

According to the release, as of January 10, the state has received benefit applications from 400 federal employees as a result of the shutdown.

To apply, go here. For more information, you can call the state at 844-224-5818.

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