Tennessee: Unemployment office taking 30,000 calls per day
Have you been trying to get in touch with someone to help you with the unemployment process in Tennessee?
You're not alone. State officials say more than 300,000 people have filed for unemployment in the last month and they are averaging about 30,000 calls per day with only 300 staff, and they are working to get more people to help.
An official with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) said the situation has become so desperate that they won't even put anyone on hold because it could be hours before they are able to get back to them.
"We are literally doing everything possible we can," said TDLWD representative Chris Cannon." He said that
The state is also working to fix the online program. Many self-employed individuals reported having issues. Usually, those individuals are not eligible, but that has changed under the pandemic assistance program.
Cannon said by this time next week they hope to have everything operating smoothly. In the mean time, he recommended filling out the application to the best of your ability. He said they are also working to bring in additional servers to keep the website running quickly.
"We're at the mercy of the system right now. The system is running well and it's responsive and the pages are turning quickly. It's a process that should take less than a half hour," Cannon said.
WVLT News reporter Robert Grant spoke with Cannon via Facebook Live.
Cannon said during a typical week the office will process about 15,000 payments. "This week we're on track to process 175,000 payments," he said.
Tennessee state unemployment assists those who are unemployed with $275 a week max. Tennesseans will still get that along with $600 through the federal stimulus package. Cannon said that pandemic assistance started this week.
He said people can expect payment in about 10 days after an application is approved, but it could take longer depending on the case.
For information on how to apply for unemployment, go