Tennessee's self-employed to get payments soon

Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 3:31 PM EDT
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Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development officials said improvements to the unemployment filing system were improving and that payments for the state's self-employed would be sent soon.

Chris Cannon with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) said that since moving to staggered filing over the weekend, the overwhelmed system was somewhat alleviated. The staggered system asks people to file on certain days depending on their social security number. He told

that most people had been filing on Sunday, creating a huge strain on the system.

"It's working because the system didn't have the issues it had on the previous week on Sunday, but it's still such a great demand on the system," he said.

Cannon addressed the issues that some have had filing, especially the self-employed. Cannon said the department is trying to "rework" the state's questionnaire on the application to make it more user friendly for the self-employed.

He added that the state has had to create a special program to deliver payments to self-employed people in the state and that it was slated to debut this week.

"Once we start processing that it takes a day or two to get the payment out to them but that is a program we are starting this week to start paying and those benefits will start showing up within a matter of days," Cannon said. "We estimate there are about 75,000 self-employed individuals who will receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the coming days."

He added that new servers were delivered this week to help give their system more power and capacity to process the claims they have received.

More than 324,000 Tennesseans have applied for unemployment through April 11, "But not all of those claims will be approved, many are self-employed, others are waiting to correct issues on applications, and others to making the way through the system," said Cannon.

Cannon said last week approximately 170,000 claims were distributed for payment, more than $160 million was distributed including the additional $600 from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. During a typical week the state pays approximately 15,000 claimants $4 million in benefit payments.

Copyright 2020 WVLT News. All rights reserved.

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