Tennessee unemployment filers await checks

Local Coronavirus Coverage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As federal and state governments approve help for those impacted by COVID-19, the lingering question is when that help actually gets to individuals or businesses.

It’s a question being asked by the over 130,000 Tennesseans who have filed for unemployment during the latter part of March and those who will be adding to those numbers for the week ending April 4.

“I got furloughed from my job two weeks ago,” said Brock Burger Monday morning as he was out walking in Nashville’s Gulch district.

With signs of the uncertain times all around Nashville’s Gulch district, Burger was one of those caught up in the restaurant cutbacks.

He’s waiting for word about his unemployment claim.

“I have had a lot of difficulty with that,” he told News 2, “The server crashes a lot, yesterday trying to get on was pretty tough.”

There appears to be hope coming from the U.S. Labor Department. A news release from the federal agency says “states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits.”

The release goes on to identify those certain individuals, but a Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development spokesperson says that’s just about anyone who files a claim. This would be in addition to the $275 dollars a week for those already receiving unemployment benefits.

It can’t come soon enough for Burger.

“I don’t know when the first check will come in,” he added, “I think it’s going to be a couple of weeks because this is my first time filing for unemployment.”

He is not alone as Tennessee’s restaurant, hotel and hospitality workers fuel the record numbers of unemployment claims filed for two consecutive weeks in the state.

Because of the record number of unemployment claims, state officials have urged patience for those filing. Information about potential jobs and unemployment claims is on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.

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