Unemployment

Updated 06/02/2016

Below you will find information that may help those who recently became unemployed.

Unemployment benefits, eligibility and policies are very complex and differ by state, type of work you did, what state the work was done in, and your employer.  Not all separated workers are entitled to unemployment benefits.  Not all workers who were fired are ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The resources below can help you with your unemployment questions for the states listed below.

If on-line registration for benefits or submitting claims is possible, we generally recommend these are your best option to reduce lost time.  If you must go to an office, we generally find Thursdays and Fridays as days where the office visitors are lowest saving you time.  Where electronic payment options exist, we generally recommend these where you are protected from any expenses (such as ATM Machines, ATM Networks, or other fees) to receive your benefits.   Payment by check is frequently offered but you may encounter the problem of lost checks and the work and lost time value of your benefits needed to document an actual loss.  If you have a checking account, a Direct Deposit can be your best and lowest cost option.  Examine all costs, risks and fees prior to making your decision.

How much does the Unemployment Tax cost you?
The answer is zero.  Employers, in general, contribute to their State's Unemployment Insurance Fund.  In Tennessee, this varies between 0.01% to 10.00% of the first $9,000 of wages paid to each employee in a calendar year.  New Employers into the fund automatically pay 2.7%, other than construction, manufacturing and mining for the first four years in business.  After that they are moved to an experience-based rate based on the number of payable claims from displaced employees. 

The STATE OF TENNESSEE
http://www.Jobs4TN.gov launched in May 2016 and not everything in production was "good to go" and in some cases may never have been tested.
  • At the end of May 2016 the videos appear to be working.
  • Uploading your Resume worked but then the tool to address your resume reordered the sections of your uploaded Resume.
  • Some data on earnings were not uploaded ... multiple years worth of data was not uploaded which is the basis for denied claims.
  • There is a form you now need to complete to log your activities for 3 contacts each week.  Being the State, the directives are for the classic "one process fits all" which does not work across various career and income levels.  The more the income the more the process falls apart.
It will of course get better and the bugs fixed but given the complexity of the system it will take longer than anyone may hope for.  

One word of caution to those looking at large scale web sites:  you cannot successfully automate conflicting policies and bureaucratic processes.  Computers should reduce complexities allowing people to do more, and that is not doing more trying to satisfy a computer.  Compelling a customer through multiple pages of required responses that are often repetitive do not generation a fan club.

Computerization should open doors for rethinking old process and not dragging forward old ways that never worked well.  It is about serving the customer whether this is J. Q. Public or the registered voters of a Congressional District.

Demonstrated "train wrecks" from large scale web sites often reveal the failure to rethink processes, think about proven skills of the people involved, and a poorly defined vision for the ultimate solution.

This is a challenge to business and governments everywhere.  Those who embrace the challenge will be rewarded.  For the others, you reconsider doing business with them or find a better candidate to elect.

NOTES FOR THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
  1.  Having correct address information is always important.  Unfortunately the new systems
     seems to be limited in its ability to distinguish between real and cosmetic changes.
     For example change Street to ST and you may get a letter you need to file.
                         change from a 9 digit ZIP Code to 5 digit ZIP Code and you may get a letter.
     We understand this can lead to criminal abuse but this system should be mature enough to
     handle simple changes without requiring incremental paperwork for a paper heavy agency.
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Web Site LinkDescription or Other Information
AR: Department of Workforce Services Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Web Site 
AR: Filing an Unemployment Claim  
Employee Job Termination Rights From Lawyers.com Give thought before engaging legal representation as outcomes are not guaranteed and vibrations from your actions may continue for many years. 
MS: Mississippi Department of Employment Security Mississippi Department of Employment Security Web Site 
MS: On-line Services Access Web Site Site to Register or File a Claim 
MS: Procedures to File for Weekly Benefits Procedures and Links to file for Weekly Unemployment Benefits 
TN: Career Coach Services & Schedule The Mobile Career Coach offers a number of services including online access and support personnel for those in transition. The services are provided by the State of Tennessee. 
TN: Central Website for Unemployment A "one-stop site" providing basic information on Unemployment to Registering for Benefits, Filing Claims, Reporting Activity, Viewing Jobs, Loading Your Resume, etc. 
TN: How to File an Unemployment Claim [Video] Videos in Jobs4TN.gov, as of May 2016, were not functional. Stand by. 
TN: Job Search Log Official Log for tracking your job search activities 
TN: Labor & Work Force Development Forms 123 Forms available across the 13 pages of forms 
TN: Labor & Work Force Development Web Site TN Labor & Work Force Development Web Site 
TN: Tennessee Automated Payment Card Information on the Payment Options for Unemployment Benefits. Notice the risks of the Debit Card for costs you pay to receive your money. 
TN: Unemployment Information Unemployment Information from the TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development. 
TN: Work Search Log Required activity tracking document for those on Extended Benefits. 
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