Unemployment System Improvements To Expand Successful Online Applications

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is taking steps to improve online application for unemployment benefits.

Programming changes implemented this week are expected to allow more claimants to file online and reduce the number of calls to the state’s call center system. 

When claimants file for unemployment online, they are asked to select their previous employer from a drop-down menu. This menu was limited to only two employers, and when the employer was not listed, claimants were prompted to cancel the application and call the claims center.

System improvements now include all past employers within the eligibility period to successfully complete the application for unemployment. Employer information is still required to verify separation information and determine eligibility. 

“There are many changes coming in the next 12 months,” said Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips. “We are focusing on those most easily implemented first and are gaining momentum with every improvement made.”

In July the department completed another modification to the online application that will save applicants time when they have claims requiring contact with a customer service representative. 

For example, the system had a number of qualifying questions at the end of the online application. Answers to questions such as, Did you work in Tennessee during the last 18 months? could stop the claim and prompt the claimant to call the claim center for more information. These questions were moved to the front of the application to avoid claimants wasting time inputting information before being referred to the claims center, officials said.

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