Tennessee Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.

Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides a safe network for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The Seal_of_Tennessee.svgEmployment Security Division offers job seekers and unemployed workers a great opportunity to develop a career plan and a challenge free experience filing for Unemployment Benefits.


Certain requirements must be met before you can receive unemployment insurance benefits. Among these are:

  • You must have earned enough wages to qualify for benefits
  • You must be partially or totally unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must have worked for an employer that is covered by unemployment insurance
  • You must be physically able to work at the time you file your first claim
  • You must be available for the work offered to you

There are reasons to why you may be disqualified for benefits. Common examples are:

  • Moving to another location
  • Lack of transportation to work
  • Inflicting harm to a fellow employee
  • Excessive tardiness
  • Insubordination
  • Intentional violation of company rules
  • Theft

You must have earned sufficient wages in the base period to setup monetary eligibility.

How to apply

The filing process can be done by on the internet. You can file online here. Note that the online process can only be done Monday through Friday 7:00AM to 6:00PM and Sunday 8:00AM to 5:00PM, closed Saturdays. Also note that you should not apply using a mobile device as their form is not mobile-friendly yet. Benefit Offices are open Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm, while the UI Claims Center is open Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm Eastern Time and 8am-4:30pm Central Time. If you are filing online you will need a valid email address. Free email account options can be found here (https://tdlwd.tn.gov/forms/AVTEX/CreateEmail.aspx). Before you begin your claim, be sure to have the following information ready:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Separating employer’s name, address, and telephone number
  • Last day worked
  • Reason for separation
  • Your work history for the past 18 months

If you live in Tennessee but worked in another state, you will need to file your claim for unemployment with the state where your wages were reported. After completing the online application you will receive a confirmation stating your information has been sent to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

During your application, if you receive a notice stating “your claim cannot be filed using the online Internet claim filing application" you will need to call the Claims Center for further instructions. Tennessee has made an excellent and simple chart explaining their Base Period calculations.


If you were denied UI, you have the right to appeal the decision. A written request must be made within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the Agency’s decision to the Appeals Tribunal. You can get started with your appeal online between 7AM-6PM. After the request the Appeals Tribunal will mail a Notice of Hearing letter with the time, date, and location of the hearing. This video will give you an idea of how an appeal trial operates. During your hearing you have the right to:

  • Testify on your own behalf
  • To have a witness testify
  • Present a document as evidence
  • To question opposing party or witness
  • To examine all documents submitted as evidence
  • To be represented by an attorney

After the hearing you will be mailed a copy of the Appeals Tribunal’s decision. If you disagree with their decision you have the right to appeal by writing to the Office of Administrative Review. The appeal may be filed by mail, fax, or in person and must be filed or postmarked within 15 calendar days of the mailing date of the Appeals Tribunal Decision.


After being approved, the first week of the benefit year is the “waiting week". You will be mailed a Wage Transcription and Initial Determination document that will give you your weekly benefit amount and your maximum benefit amount. If you meet the eligibility requirements you may draw a maximum of 26 weeks and will receive between $30.00 and $275.00 for 13 to 26 weeks.

Unemployment Insurance benefits can be received by Tennessee Automated Payment Debit Card or direct deposit. Debit cards are mailed within 7-10 business days from the date your claim is filed and are valid for 3 years. If you have not received your card within that period contact Chase Customer Service at 1(866)429-9835. If you wish to check your balance you may contact Chase to do so. You are allowed up to four times a month to check before being charged $.25 per call. You may also access your account information free of charge by visiting (www.myaccount.chase.com). For more information about the fee schedule for the TAP card visit (http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/uidebitcard/tap_card.html)

You will need to go online in order to request direct deposit for your claim. If you filed over the telephone, visit (https://ui.tn.gov) to complete that process.



Appeals Process and Information


Appeal of Agency Decision Form


Claimant Services


Frequently Asked Questions


Interstate (ICON) Guide Card


65 Comments to “Tennessee Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.”

  1. SUSAN MANESS says:

    I was finally able to file a claim on-line on Friday, 11/01/13. Monday 11/04/13 I made my first certification on line; was informed I did not meet eligibility requirements – probably because I did not seek employment from 10/27-11/02. I had not filed a claim yet. Today (11/05) I have tried to respond to this problem by telephone (1-877-813-0950) since SEVEN am. HELP

  2. Ray says:

    I tired to touch the button on to answer the question they ask me but I couldn’t hardly hear and my face touch the wrong button on my phone made me unable to call in for my weeks of benefits!!

  3. Ray Malone says:

    On Nov 4 2013,and call in for a week of benefits,I tired to touch the button on to answer the question they ask me but I couldn’t hardly hear and my face touch the wrong button on my phone made me unable to call in for my weeks of benefits!!

  4. Ray Malone says:

    On Nov 4 2013,and call in for a week of benefits,I tired to touch the button on to answer the question they ask me but I couldn’t hardly hear and my face touch the wrong button on my phone made me unable to call in for my weeks of benefits!!l need HELP!! Please call me at 901-690-0028.

  5. I applied for unemployment Nov 5. I have not received any thing in the mail or email about the claim. On the phone it says pending, no decision made. Whats going on?

  6. fannie isom says:

    i applied for unemployment Nov 25 2013 and its saying i benfit has been exalt.thats could not be true. i been trying all day to call the num.1-877-813-0950. so can you tell me what going on

  7. I filed for benefits Nov 4 I have not even received a response an the phone number 877 813 0950 is a joke I have 4 children an loosing our home I am contacting the gov office this is not except able!

  8. Benita says:

    I have called ALL phone numbers possible for help with a claim and have got no where. How the heck do you talk to a real person and not a computer??

  9. sharon kitts says:

    Said i need a pin # …never was given one then said it was locked…suspend? What is going on….I have called every phone # listed 100 times….cant get anyone ….then no will call me back either.This right i bills that are due…..plus i have been looking for job with no luck…Please Please….someone help

  10. cynthia says:

    While i was calling in to certify on a touch screen phone and i made a mistake and push 9 instead of 1 on one of my question… and now the system want let me get in to do nothing… i have been calling since last Monday and i just cannot get threw…but since i did that i can’t get any benefits cause i don’t qualify now… so can somebody please tell me what to do cause my bills are past due.

  11. S. Hale says:

    I filed 11/2013. Received letter in mail that I would receive payment starting 12/24/13. Today is 2/3/14, just got info today they have mailed a check. Was supposed to be direct deposited into my bank, so I’ll believe it when I see an actual check.

  12. S. Hale says:

    Oh and this is after seeing there’s going to be a report on the local news here in Nashville tonight on ABC-WKRN2. WSMV ran a story too. Get on the phone with your local media and bring their attention to it, that might get something going in your favor if needed…God Bless.

  13. I have been certifying every week, I’ve been accepted but no benefits have been on my card. I’m unable to speak to a person.

  14. Lonny Dyer says:

    i have received my paperwork stateing how much i would get. i am haveing trouble with my pin and gaining access to my account . could you please let me know watt is up thank you .

  15. joymiser says:

    Dec 28 2013 was my last check.the unemployment told me to cerify till jan16 i can’t certify now i only drew 2wks of tier3. I’m still looking for work.it wasn’t my fought i got layed off.i have lost everything.am i gonna get to draw if they pass the emergency unemployment?????please let me no . thank you.have a g. ood day.

  16. diana amod says:

    I have been certified every week but still there is no money on my card and I cannot talk to a person please tell me what to do

  17. I have been calling in my claims for 10 wks and a decision has not yet been made so can u plz tell me how long its going to be. im a mother of 8 kids so what all do we have to lose before we can get a decision.

  18. I have ben certified and accepted since November 2013,s but I never receive any payments. Please help me.

  19. II’ve tried to call can’t get though and get my claim fixed and try to recertified on internet to and its allways busy or no one available this is major problem for me bout to loose everything cause I can’t get through to get help and never got email or call and dnt know how to turn in where I’m putting in apps at either cause the unemployment office is shut down in my town

  20. I can’t get in touch with no one to file they said i need a pin # don’t have one i call the #’s they give me nothing, Sharon Kitts i know how you feel we all need help. i just want my money. they said they are going to get in touch no one called or email me need Help

  21. I lost my job on March 31st. File unemployment and they gave me a date of May 28th. I received no information. Tried to call our local unemployment office and they said all they could do was send an email and I should hear something in 5 to 7 days. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t heard from anyone. Can’t find a number that isn’t automated. So, it’s been 3 months and I don’t know what is going on.

  22. I did my claim on May 12. I did my weekly certification that Sunday and I didn’t know that I might have pushed the wrong buttons with my face . I tried to do my certification for the next week and the following weeks and it won’t let me. I have been calling the 1(877)-813-0950 number and can’t get thru. Please help!

  23. I received my claim approval letter. So what do I do about the weeks I couldn’t certify. I live in Mississippi and I don’t know what to do. Will someone please help me! Please help! I haven’t got a call or anything. I call and the automated services say they got my number and they are going to call but nothing. Please please help!

  24. my unemployment payment was sent off wensday july 2,2014 and i was told it should be on my card by that friday july 4, 2014 but due to the holiday it said depositea wont show till that monday the 7th. when should my payments show up or when should i receive it.

  25. gary holt says:

    My company filed my benefit application for me. When I call the tn gov unumployment number it ask for my pin. I don’t have one and there is no panel where I can create one. Because I logged in without one, now I can’t get in at all. Can someone text me or email me and tell me what to do? Text: 731 six one seven 0441. Please. Serious replies only. Also, can some one send me a number where I can talk to a live person in Nashville.

  26. Judy Johnson says:

    I answered a question wrong on my certification have not been able to talk to anyone about this problem I call several times a day no one is available to take my call they say they that have my number an email haven’t heard anything from this has been going on for several weeks please help

  27. vanessa says:

    Ive been approved says deposited made yesterday , its not on my card this morning. Where did it get deposited? Who do I call to find out where the money went? Need help

  28. I received ui benefit of $275.00 on the Chase Debit card on Aug. 4,2014. I have not received any text to notify me of another ui payment. I’ve called 877-813-0950 —800-689-9799 and they say no payments have been made, and my claim is still being processed .. I have been certifying every Sunday by phone. Are there any certain days the payment is put on my Chase card?

  29. Gary says:

    I have not received my unemployment direct deposit due to yesterday being labor day. Has anyone else received benefits? This is stressful.

  30. I filed for unemployment 7/31/14 and received a response by phone 8/06/14 and also received a letter in the mail stating what I will receive. I have been certifying every Sunday since then and was told that I will know by August 20th if I will get my unemployment benefits. I tried calling to speak with an representative but no luck only automatic line that says the same thing (a decision has not been made yet and it can take up to 28 days.Please keep certifying every week for your benefits ). Today is Sept 06 and I still have not received any information or answers to the questions I have about my unemployment benefits. Please help!!!

  31. Please help i need a extension on my unemployment and i cant get ahold of noone but the automated thing!!! Please call and send me a new card i have lost it in a wreck i had but my phone number is 9014889551 or 6034153!!! Im still umemployed and lookin i need help.

  32. Ariel B. says:

    I filed my claim 08/21/2014, and still have not heard whether I am approved or denied. I’m just curious as to: 1) how soon does a decision get made? 2) why can’t I certify if I’m supposed to do it every week? I have tried to certify by phone and online, but I keep getting the same response, “your certification cannot be completed as timely.” What does that mean, and how can I get my certifications submitted? I don’t like complaining, but I’m also a mother & expecting my second child, I am out of work and my family and I are kind of counting on it. Any response/answer is appreciated, I would really like this resolved.

  33. lisa says:

    I have been trying since august got my letter saying I’m approved, nothing yet this is a joke every Time I call to certify it says my pin is locked. what r we supposed to do starveto death.I need answers .I need to talk to a person not a computer plz.thanx

  34. Jacque E. says:

    I am so confused, I can’t certify, my account is locked and I can’t talk to a real person. Can someone please help me? I have not drawn the first check, I’ve been off work for 5 weeks. Please contact me.

  35. jerry jordan says:

    I haven’t recieve my first check because of a appeal I file oct.22, 2014 do I get my backpay for those months because its been 2months…please contact me at 615 589-1561

  36. Hello I have been calling for four days and I went to the Tenn.Career Center but I get not get the help I need my chase card have expired and I need a new card they told me that I have $130.on the card please help me now.

  37. Trying to find status of my unemployment claim!

  38. Joe H says:

    Looks like the no-answer on the phone has been going on since last year. I guess I’ll just have to show up at the door.

  39. Betsy Fults says:

    I haven’t been able to check my benefit schedule on-line for 2 weeks now. It always says its down and gives 2 numbers to call. I haven’t received my benefits in 2 weeks.

  40. hey they say my account has been locked and I can get no benefits because its locked and nobody answer the phones, am tired of this.

  41. willie says:

    What is the number to talk to a real person???

  42. sharon says:

    At the top of the page of Tennessee unemployment there is “Unemployment Tracker” click that and check the status. If it says decision made you don’t have to do anything. If it says waiting on employers response then you have to fax your unemployment paper in to them. My employer didn’t do that for me but when I faxed the separation notice in my claim was approved right away. Good luck to those having issues.

  43. Bill Smith says:

    I called 877-813-0950 at 3:30 AM and it said could not take the call because of high volume of calls, so the phone number is a burn line. No one will make contact this way, I suggest you drive to your nearest center. The systems does not meet the required standards but no one in this government cares or takes any responsibility.

  44. marinda says:

    If u are locked out due to pin the dummy pin is 0000

  45. I have been calling my unemployment but I can’t get it to go though what can I do the week is up and I’m not going to get pay so I’m not going to have any money coming in

  46. Nick B says:

    Everyone, looks like we are all having the same problem. Locked out, can’t talk to a person, not getting money, stupid pin, and can’t certify. This is going to sound lame but it works!! Call your governor , they will contact someone in Nasville then they will contact you. The more calls they get the faster they’ll work on it!!

  47. kim says:

    I had the same issues couldnt get approved and it had been almost 2 months. I called the state representatives office and in a weeks time im approved and my unemployment check is on its way to my bank..

  48. Darrell Rose says:

    I have been trying to get unemployment for 4 mouths Oct 5,2014.And no one will talk to me about it.That’s labor and workforce what a joke.

  49. I need to find out about my husband’s unemployment.

  50. I would like to know why i can’t get unemployment this is why i work all the time and when i need help i can’t find it

  51. My agency filed for my umemployment during shutdown in Dec.The address was wrong.I have fixed that.o need to know about that claim before I try to file now.Cannot get a person ever…

  52. I could not do my certification today said I answered a question wrong so I don’t meet eligibility requirements please contact me asal

  53. For those having trouble. I made a mistake filing my claim by hitting back space which submitted it unfinished. I immediately submitted an online ticket request & received a call back within 24 hours. True reaching someone by phone is nearly impossible but that’s because everything was set up online & local offices were shut down. My boyfriend made a mistake certifying by answering the question wrong & had issues like everyone else. He didn’t understand how I kept getting in touch with them as I had an overpayment issue of $27 that could’ve prevented me from recieving benefits and with them I left a message & again recieved a callback within 24 hours and another confirming that I had no overpayment about 2 days later. So if you need to speak to someone unfortunately, you’re probably going to have to file a ticket request but they respond quickly. If you can leave a message try that. Hope this helps. :)

  54. david myers says:

    I was fired by talley const for defending myself.I’m a heavy equip operater.a guy from a different race. he stopped me on a scraper and started a fight with me and i was fired and he wasn’ that’s racial discrimanation

  55. Devon Holmes says:

    i can’t do my weekly benefit because it locked

  56. Tried online. Would not accept my DOB. There is ALWAYS something wrong with Tennnessee online forms. Rate is terrible and unhelpful. Now I will go to office.

  57. Need to talk to someone about re-certifying for extension – unemployment is running out..

  58. Jeff Craig says:

    This seems to me that this agency needs to be looked at & reviewed by some outside professional. Reading the complaints I had several off the same. This is suppose to be there to help you, not to be a hindrance from receiving your benefits. I myself working for over thirty years never been laid off. Or drawn for benefits this has been very frustrating trying to use their automation system. And for the 50 and above with computer skill that self taught. I think you need to be able to talk with live person. It may help you if you contact your state senators office. They may be able to give you some help. But this systems needs help bad this is ridiculous.

  59. I have already written a very detailed comment and explained my situation. I went on and came back to this page because I forgot to save it. I’m not sure if you received it automactically or I need to redo it.

  60. lynn says:

    I can’t get past the verification id process. This is a total joke. none of the questions pertained to me however all pertained to my ex husband & his current wife of which I have been divorced from for over 20 years. total joke. the reason unemployment is down is this state is the people that are unemployed can’t get signed up for unemployment. And there is no one to help you on the phone. cant take care of it in person. I have talked to other co workers and they can’t get past the verification either. im not alone.

  61. What do you have to do to get an unemployment check? TN sucks

  62. Robby Castile says:

    I have been trying since Jan. 7th to receive unemployment I AM APPROVED for,why the hell am I about to loose my house if I am approved?Oh yeah,its because you wont give me any payments…….it’s on your end,and dont respond with a god damn email,CALL ME OR SOMETHING YOU JERKS

  63. Steven Portwood says:

    situation. Teacher is not renewed in Metro-Nashville, but accepts a job in Hixson County. Applies for unemployment, approved. Has to relocate and start anew. School system pays once per month. First month on job, no pay, held back. Second month draws check. You folks say she owes YOU TWO months that were unauthorized. What is she suppose to live for for 2 months while her pay period, which is part of State and County funds is processed and held?? I hope your realize to tell a TEACHER that she has to pay back $1700+ is a major strain on an already struggling standard of living! I can maybe see ONE month, but not two. Is there any thing she can to get this looked at? Im sure you know how important a Teachers job is, without teachers, you would not be sitting in your chair drawing Tax Payers money and being hard on people trying to help your kids . I would like to know how to correct this bad situation.

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