Department Of Labor Prepares For Reinstatement Of Unemployment Benefits

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is making preparations to reinstate unemployment benefits for claimants in the Extended Benefit program. Tennessee triggered off of the federal extension of benefits in mid-April. On May 21, 2011, the General Assembly passed legislation to retroactively reinstate the Extended Benefit program back to April 16. The bill will become law upon signing by Governor Haslam.

The passage of the bill allows those who were in the last 20 of 99 weeks available to resume benefits while looking for work. This does not establish additional weeks for those who have utilized all of the available federal extensions.

Eligible claimants will be instructed to use an Internet application to update their work status since the week of April 16, certifying that they have not returned to work. It will take additional time to complete and test the computer programming necessary to release the application.

“It’s important for claimants to understand that we are working toward restarting benefits as soon as possible,” said Commissioner Karla Davis. “We know from experience this process will take a few weeks, so we ask claimants to be patient and expect guidance by mail or updates on our Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development homepage.”

There are several categories of unemployment insurance claimants who would be directly affected by this new legislation.

1. If you ceased receiving EB Benefits on April 16, 2011, had a balance in your account at that time, have not returned to work and remain eligible you will be allowed to receive the remainder of those benefits. If you have returned to work, you may be eligible for those weeks in which you were unemployed.

2. If you exhausted Emergency Unemployment Compensation Tier 4 benefits on or after April 16, 2011, and have not returned to work and remain eligible, you will be transitioned into EB once eligible claimants have updated their back-certification information. You will receive a written EB Monetary Entitlement notification. If you have returned to work, you may be eligible for those weeks in which you were unemployed.

3. If you exhaust EUC08 Tier 4 benefits after the effective date of the new law, you will automatically be transitioned into the EB program without delay. You will receive a written EB Monetary Entitlement notification.

Once eligible claimants have updated their back-certification information, a payment will be issued to retroactively cover the benefit weeks since April 16. Claimants will then resume their weekly benefit schedule of certification and receipt of benefits.

The Extended Benefits program is scheduled to conclude at the end of this year. The last payable week for all participants in the EB program is January 7, 2012.


Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments On Challenge To Electrocution, Six Other Cases

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week regarding whether a death row inmate can properly challenge the constitutionality of electrocution as a possible method of execution. The Court will consider only one issue of many that are part of a lawsuit by 34 death row inmates challenging Tennessee’s death penalty protocol. The electrocution issue is before ... (click for more)

Sustainability Professionals Launch New Organization To Support Growth In Sector

The new organization, Sustainability Professionals of Greater Chattanooga, has been formed to support employees who are dedicated to promoting sustainability practices within their corporations.   Elizabeth Hammitt, director of Environmental Stewardship and Community at EPB and president of Sustainability Professionals of Greater Chattanooga, envisioned such a group about ... (click for more)

Erlanger Chooses Epic Software For New $100 Million Electronic Medical Records System; CEO Judy Faulkner To Visit Chattanooga

Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel announced that the Chattanooga hospital has chosen Epic Systems for a new electronic medical records system that he said will cost close to $100 million over 10 years. He said Cerner was the other finalist for the major hospital expenditure. Mr. Spiegel said the new system will mean some 100 more jobs at Erlanger. He said Epic will bring up to 200 ... (click for more)

Red Bank Police Find 17 Animals In "Deplorable" Condition At Home On Oakland Terrace

Red Bank Police on Friday found 17 animals in "deplorable condition" after making a home check on Oakland Terrace. The Humane Educational Society was called in to assist. The HES said, " Officers entered the home on Oakland Terrace and rescued nine dogs, six cats and two rabbits that had been living in deplorable conditions. "These animals are currently ... (click for more)

Injustice Is Terrible, But Shouldn't Lead To Rioting - And Response (2)

Injustice is terrible.  Period.  I am totally wowed, amazed, and grateful that the six officers have been charged in Baltimore.  Justice will be done like with the officer that shot the man in the back.   That being said,  I don't understand why, when atrocities like this happen, protests and marches can evolve into terrible rioting.  Fortunately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: From Private To General

It was quite a thing back in March, when Florida Gov. Rick Scott named Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun to command the state’s National Guard. After all, not many who sign up as a “buck private” climb the ladder all the way to become the state’s Adjutant General, and when you add the fact the highly-respected Calhoun is an African-American, the story only gets better. But there is more: ... (click for more)