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 Employment 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
- Intentional violation of company rules
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
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Interstate (ICON) Guide Card